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Interview: Kiddus I in Kingston (Part 2)

Interview: Kiddus I in Kingston (Part 2)

Interview: Kiddus I in Kingston (Part 2)

By on - Photos by Veronique Skelsey - Comment

"Rockers was a crackers"

Sampler

Read part 1 of this interview

In part 2 of our exclusive interview with Kiddus I he explains how he began recording music, how much of this music was lost, and why he thinks he could still be owed royalties for Rockers

Kiddus I

Meeting with Familyman and recording his first song Be Careful How You Jump

I really met Family in ’71 at 56 Hope Road. I think Familyman came there before Bob if I’m not mistaken. Bob was in England and he didn’t come back to Jamaica to be at 56 Hope Road until I think ’71 or ’72. Joe Higgs was there and a guy called Boston Jack & the All Stars which was a big group – he and a guy called Steer McCallam.

I had been there before. I had some friends who lived there in the late 60s – ’68 ’69. They had four apartments in the big building and upstairs in one of the apartments I had two friends, two young ladies who were at the university and lived there. So when Bob came, I was going there because of my friends. Cindy came afterwards, Dickie Jobson also used to live there, the guy who did the movie Countryman, and Renny another friend of mine who looked after the place, he and his wife and his little daughter.

So after my girls left, this was where I would go. I would go round to the back yard which Renny ran. Bob came end of ’71-early ’72 and Familyman and Carlie were already coming on and off. We linked up from then. I would say ’71 because if I remember correctly it was 1972 when I had a track called Careful How You Jump. Family played the bass line and keyboards, Carlie played the drums and Sangie Davis came and played guitar I think. Bunny Wailer came in afterwards and it might have stimulated his melody for Armagideon because if you listen to Careful How You Jump there is a similarity. But I didn’t release that music until I re-recorded it in ’78. It never got released until about ten years ago on the Rockers/Graduation in Zion.

Lee Scratch Perry and recording Security In The Streets

I linked with Scratch…I don’t 100% know… but I wanted to do some recordings and I went down by Scratch in the early 70s and I did some. I lost all of those tapes… but some tracks came out as Cry Wolf and I did Security down there and Mr Too Fat but I recorded quite a lot of stuff and somehow or another those tapes got mixed up. There were some works that disappeared that I had done with Scratch from ’75 to ’76 period.

Me and Scratch... we got on very well

Me and Scratch… we got on very well. But within about three years when I did the Peace Treaty and the Nyabinghi House and stuff, Scratch came by a couple of times at the Racecourse and then he got involved with the Binghi House. In between that portion he himself seemingly started going through a spiritual transition and hence the famous “X” came into where he would “X” out this and “X” was a mission.

Getting involved in Peace Treaty Committee to stop the political violence

1978, I was a member of the peace treaty committee and we took over the Heroes Circle in Racecourse in Kingston. I controlled between 6 and 9 every night for a live show. It is where Oku, Derajah (Jah Father), Mikey Smith and a number of artists started live dub poetry. This was in the Nyabinghi House and the UNIA which was Marcus Garvey’s.

Kiddus IAll of a sudden I was on the Peace Treaty Committee, being a youth who worked amongst one side, of the party who set up those things was first 11, second 11, 21 strong. 21 shadow, inside and outside the mafia, and that was how the JLP had the organisation and that was how I became affiliated with them in 1969. Now, that was where I was party to confrontation and politics development.

So when the Peace Treaty came up like ten years afterwards I happened to be involved. I was by now a full member of the Nyabinghi House. I started chanting Rastafari from about ’62, but I never dreaded totally until ’71. I used to just dread and comb out and dread and comb out in the 60s but I dreaded officially ’71. So as a Ras now I was seeing now how the politics was undermining the potential of SS Ship Jamaica – where no ship can go forward with disunity. One can’t be pulling east and one pulling west. There has to be a united effort to row the ship to success and this wasn’t being done. This was being purposely undermined.

The 1980s – travelling to the USA and UK and the lost tapes

At the time I was in California and the acetate was stripping and I thought that they weren’t good. That was before we knew about baking. So I think about four of my 2 inch 24 track tapes went like that which would have been at least another LP which disappeared.

Then I think I had two mixed up at Inner Circle’s studio in Florida. I moved out in eighty-something but when they got mixed up I’m not quite sure. The airport had my original track for the movie and a tape with about five tracks on it which also went missing at the airport here in Kingston.

I might have lost six LPs or so

Then there were some other tracks that I’d done at Sparkside Studio in London. I went to London in ’88. I worked with Euton from Matumbi and Runnin’ Water the lead singer, Henry Holder, and John Kpiaye. I did works in Los Angeles too – Ground Control in Santa Monica and I went to another studio where I recorded with Haile Maskel. Whole heap of works messed up. I came back here in ’89 and went back up in January ’90 and I was there until January ’92.

I haven’t done enough since… one, two, three, four… I might have lost six LPs or so.

The 1990s - the car accident in Jamaica and a newfound seriousness about music

In ‘92 when I came back from England with a lot of work and a lot of money spent the music was disgusting. My type of music… nobody wanted to hear that. Slackness.

When I came back from England... the music was disgusting

My accident was in ’95 or ’96. I was driving and fell asleep one morning looking into the sun, coming across the mountain and crashed and my neck. I never had on my seatbelt and my head went into the windscreen so my neck is still compromised and I can’t turn it any further as there is aching on that side. When I was for dead I came out and said “Father, hear what happened now. I know I have been really misbehaving and not really following what I’m supposed to be doing so I’m going to go”. This was ’96 when I really reinvested myself and my energies back into the music.

The importance of harmony and both hands of the clock together

As homo sapiens and spiritual beings, Godlings who are supposed to be goodlings and not badlings, you control cosmic and chaos and balance. So if we are in harmony, then we are only going to try to be at one as best we can. We’ll try to be at 12 o’clock– maybe shift a bit, five, ten minutes or fifteen minutes shifting. But I don’t like to go drop to three o’clock or drop to nine o’clock in anything that I and I going to give utterance to.

I feel I am obligated as an entity, especially if I feel it is going down for posterity on vinyl, on CD. If I am just chatting into the winds I am carefree and I can ask Father for forgiveness for certain sometimes false impressions create folly meditation. Everyone has a little false impression at times and that creates a folly mediation. You are thinking something else out of the fact, you are projecting on this or that. So when I get caught up over this I try my best to leave it and come forward, but it’s not to say I don’t get caught up because every day a portion of that happens and you have to discard negativity coming into you.

The power of music

As a living spiritual soul, a sovereign living spirit in creation, who takes on shepherd qualities different to sheep qualities, then this is again where the music becomes so important. This platform is such a powerful medium that, if it is managed properly by ones who are in harmony with and give utterance in harmony, then it will serve its purpose and it can be expressed in all genres, all areas, because it’s physical material and spiritual. When things synchronize with sounds. You don’t have to behead a man. ISIS lick off 21 man’s head. I want to know which almighty spirit is chanting to them the entity to show them and give them that power? Who is the jury and the judge and the judgement at the same time?

So when I put some music upon the radio and the message I send out there now is pure destruction that creates chaos. This is what a religion and an entity in any form or way out there would use, this spirituality to go and take unto himself demigod qualities, because he becomes a god. Because out of himself, for the little moment of time when he has, in that little instant of life he will take on so much authority.

I fight against injustice and there are times when you can’t go passively because when you are oppressed to the extent where you are endangered then I don’t expect a man to be a lamb in sheep’s clothing. I expect you to rise and defend self if self is threatened. I don’t see a why I can excuse myself for destroying innocence and innocent ones. I don’t think I have that right. If it’s as you would say “collateral damage by mistake” that would stick to I karma still. It can’t be helped. It is so. Because I am the influence of such and the instrument of such.

Two thirds of mankind are walking living dead

But the devilty in the earth… because, I would say, we walk with living deads daily. I would say maybe more than two thirds of mankind are walking living dead. It’s the people who aren’t in touch spiritually but outside of that, and I don’t want to go into certain little things upon that level, but there is a set of fallen spirits who are living deads. Maybe a percentage can be polished and come forward because I think the acceptance is there for everyone who will. But I personally saw, looking into an audience on two nights, two thirds of them turned into living dead and ashes in front of me. I don’t joke. 1978.

Getting back into music

In about ’96 I said “Hey, time is going on me” and I knew my first calling per se was music, from a little boy. So I said “Hey, I’m going to put myself back into seriously fulfilling my purpose as a musician to express what we have to say”.

It took a while because from ’96 I didn’t get through everything towards the end of 2000. I had a deal where these Japanese released some of the stuff that I could find, and then Mackasound came down in the meantime and we started the Inna De Yard project. Green Fa Life was done in that period. I still have some more material that hasn’t been released from when we did Green Fa Life. We have another six or so tracks at least.

So in that period I just looked towards Green Fa Life. Trying to set up something towards a sustainable community development programme for self-sufficiency through commerce and industry, food, clothes, shelter, sick nourished, aged protected, infants cared for. That is the foundation of which I saw and pinned I-self to and linked I-self to – one aim, one heart, one destiny.

How Topsy Turvy World and the Take A Trip albums came out of touring with different bands.

Kiddus IWhen I first went to France I played with Homegrown and then maybe six years or so later we did a project together. About five years ago we recorded it. Makasound was supposed to and then they went bankrupt three or four years ago. So that put a little spin on things and it’s taken a little while but they’ve got this guy to release it. Iroko Records.

The next album with Martin Pauen – as yet unreleased

The next one that’s coming up… I’m not quite sure what we’re going to call it yet. We haven’t made a choice but it could be Belly A Go Bust or ABC. I’m not quite sure. Because there is a track called Starting from ABC, one called Belly A Go Bust. So we will make a choice soon.

That is about 13 tracks. Jin Jin band mostly. Fams is not on this one but it’s a nice production coming. The other one that was a bit costly and so we are looking to make it a little more of economical vibe with this one and see… but the music is good.

There is a feature with Derajah on it. There is a track that I might do with Cedric Myton because Cedric had done a track for Martin and he called me and asked me to do a thing with him too. So I’ll see how that goes. Cedric has a good track with him so we have to go and see now if there is a part where he repeats two verses of the same thing that maybe I could fit in in that one too.

Revolution

I have a special little duty to perform so I must straighten up and reach twelve o’clock boy! Don’t get tempted. Because I see myself like Che Guevara. I saw a road, I won’t say what it was, but I would have maybe been considered a terrorist in these times. Any real serious change, if it doesn’t happen in the mind then it happens through a revolution of some sort. A revolt or a revolution. If you’re going to turn the tables on a system of oppression you can do it by education but education, to reach across to the masses officially, might take time. You might have a hothead who wants to be a martyr and he sees injustice and he thinks he should fight it now so he’ll go for his tools of war and he’ll make war.

I see myself like Che Guevara

When I was tempted to do that, I found out that even if I make war using you as a soldier in the army, if the revolution doesn’t take place in the heavens and the heart then there is no revolution. You’re just changing, as we say, a white dog for monkey or black dog for monkey or you might say from frying pan to fire – because there is not much change. The seat is the same and the person who goes inside to sit down is not much different. He can’t do much more because it is a programmed system manipulated by corporate clans and societies.

Infinity and balance

So for I and I as spiritual beings, sovereign souls in and of this world who recognise that we are such, we are in opposition to, it’s a natural process. Now can we meet a balance? I think we can because we all have to be sustained on this terra firma which houses all of us. Little babies who are born into creation with that little divine spark into them and supposed to grow out of the flesh, learn the behaviour patterns and norms of your society where you are. Whether you are in the frozen north of the Sahara desert or the equatorial forest in New Guinea or in Brazil, we have to coexist, so where you are is where you learn your behavioural patterns and norms.

Now if you had, by chance, good shepherds wherever you were located then you would have had good leadership which would have then allowed your community and society to coexist because your shepherds are good shepherds. The word “shepherd” is a man who is supposed to look after a flock of sheep or goats or anything. Now a good shepherd does the best he can for that flock doesn’t he? He goes through all forms of things to make sure he can safeguard his livelihood so he becomes a good husbandman and caretaker and shepherd.

So when we turn around to mankind’s stewardship of man as shepherds we don’t see that. We see mismanagement, misuse, abuse, through greed, individual greed. This little entity who comes into the earth in the flesh like you, same way, growing up can’t recognise that the land that birthed him birthed the whole of us. The sun that shines, shines for the whole of us. The moon that shines, shines for the whole of us. Then, the most important thing in life, is the unseen spirit, breath, because that is the unseen spirit which houses every entity and it’s sufficient for everyone. It knows no colour, it knows no class, it knows no creed but is given freely to everything.

So how come you little homo sapiens come up and take so much autonomy? Who gave you the right? Who gave you the power? Hence, when zero comes out of itself and creates infinity – it has a serious thing, a cross. What is that? A balance. Creation set these things In place – how come we can’t grow and recognise these simplicities to life? And then, for the little period you have, man, you might have 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 years. You might only have 20 or 10, but an awareness of time transcending and unfolding, you as a spirit. You hear that you use less than 10% of your brainpower. You don’t develop? Who the Ras are you? You don’t develop but you are a little demigod. Because God plays hide and seek with you. The All plays hide and seek within you. Now, how are you going to balance and walk the seven stairs and balance the eight? Because the eight is…The infinity. And the infinity comes in a trinity – vision, sound and breath – and there are two I’s in infinity.

Why is there so much disharmony that religion has separated and divided mankind so much, when religion is just a means to teach man of spirituality? Is it the government? Or is it clans of traditional heritage that still continue underground for their purpose of world dominance and control of mankind? Is it something to do with aliens? There are so many numbers, there are so many different things in play…

You see the pebble? I look for who is inside the pebble when the pebble drops in the centre of the water upon the stillness of the ocean. I look for those who are closer to the centre, as a core factor, and these are brothers and sisters without colour, without class, without creed, throughout the world who are in tune to that centre, regardless of where you are in the 360 degrees of its emanating outwards from that source of all that is all. So you can take it from the bottom, you can take it from the top, you can take it from the sides. It’s the same innate, unfolding matter and spirit.

As I said, sovereign spiritual souls, there is a quickening, and I know that Father, the all that is all, has a countermove in place to match. Because each energy needs each energy but it is a balance. Because as light travels with I and I, I get enlightened so to the other side of I. As high as I go it is the same way the other side, ascent equal. But I am the master and controller of I. I am not controlled by this or that. The basic principle of life is “What you want for that self in the mirror is likewise”. Nothing else. And I just go and live and you exist and we coexist in harmony. Done.

The legacy of Rockers

Rockers? Rockers was a crackers. It did a lot promotionally-wise – trust me. Marketing and promotion – it did a lot for us as artists. But in terms of economical financial - nothing. Horsemouth acted and did certain things but I wrote and produced my track and paid for my studio time and I paid my musicians for working when they came and filmed that – seen? And up till now I still don’t get any real royalties.

Martin, the same guy who did the Topsy Turvy – called me from Germany last week and he told me a company named Panache have been collecting some monies. I heard of another one named CanJam which was collecting some royalties off of Rockers, Upstairs Music, about three different people. Upstairs Music gave me about four thousand dollars I think it was. It was some time ago and there was a bill to pay or something and I gave the person it and made them go and pay the bill. But that’s all I’ve ever had out of it. My royalty cheques from the PRS don’t mention my song. Graduation in Zion. Written by me, produced by me, owned by me – everything. So I wonder what is happening?

As soon as I know who has been collecting my royalties I am going to open a lawsuit to recover my money. Because it’s been 30 odd years. This is my daughter’s school fees right now. I need some money to go and buy prescription drugs for my grandson in the hospital and you have to be thinking how you are getting certain things because nothing is easy. Things are too tough. Music is not paying much unless you are out there working regularly. You aren’t getting record sales coming in. You aren’t getting CD sales coming in – because both of them practically dried up. So you know it’s for the love of it but at the same time, when something is made from it you would expect that you would get your dues. Simple. If nothing is made from it then give thanks – it goes out and goes through fine. But if somebody is benefitting financially and you have needs and wants, and maybe these people are benefitting from a number of other people like you.

They say a crab louse is one of the smallest things that sucks off of people. A crab louse is one of those little things that goes around people’s private parts. But they say there is a thing called an eecky eecky which lives on a crab louse so I would come in like a crab louse to blood cloth and they would come in like some eecky eecky who still sucks off of me! Because they must think I’m like a crab louse so they can just go behind my back and just jook in our mainstream, our bloodstream and just suck and syphon it all away without even making sure that some comes forward to I and I.

So all of you guys out there who are hearing this and have been profiteering off of I and I hard earned sweat then any time I find any one of all of you was collecting, you must have forged my signature or what did you do then as a vampire to be sucking out my rights? It’s a flipping vampire. Be sure that the same way the law defends you is the same way is going to defend I in a court of rights and in truths. I’m not going to cast any judgement but remember that if you hear this you had better call and make restitutions because fire will burn you. And be sure that by the words of a righteous one, judgement will occur. I don’t cast judgment but you have the opportunity to make sure you choose wisely.

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