Dennis Brown, the Jamaican singer dubbed the "crown prince" of reggae by Bob Marley, was one of the great vocalists of our time. Marley considered Brown to be his spiritual successor, and Brown recorded like it. He released his first album, "No Man Is an Island," when he was 13 and averaged more than two studio albums a year — more than 75 total — until his death in 1999.
"He was one of those persons who made it cool to smile in reggae music," Damien Marley told NPR in 2010. "When I listen to his music, I can hear that he really loved singing. It almost sounds like he smiles while he's singing."
In May, VP Records will release "We Remember Dennis Brown," a double-disc compilation of his songs covered by some of the biggest and brightest artists in reggae and R&B, including among others Marsha Ambrious, Jah Cure, Sanchez, Gyptian, Romain Virgo, Raging Fyah, Chronixx and Jesse Royal.
Today, we're excited to premiere Jah9's version of Brown's 1980 song "Bloody City." Listen to the track below.
"Dennis had a great vocal style and really made reggae his religion," Jah9 said at a Dennis Brown Tribute Concert in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2013. "You can feel the magnitude of the music in the way he approached his melodic structure; putting important words to simple, but profound melodies, almost like jazz."