In 1978, prolific reggae vocalist Lincoln "Sugar" Minott released Live Loving, which was one of the first--if not the very first--dancehall albums to hit a turntable. Minott, a strong, proud and conscientious product of the Western Kingston ghetto, soon went on to set up his own, self-produced labels, Black Roots and Youth Promotion. Throughout the early 80s, Minott worked to produce other pioneering dancehall artists like Junior Reid and Tenor Saw, while releasing his own, cutting-edge tracks. Many of the best of these hard-to-find tracks are now collected on Herbman Hustling.
On all sixteen tracks (ten tracks from the original album of the same name, plus six bonus tracks from several singles), Sugar's vocals are seductively smooth and insightful. Musicians Leroy Wallace, the Roots Radics, Dean Fraser, Scully and many other Jamaican luminaries sit in on these tracks: check the sultry, slower-paced "So She Hot," the poignant "Hard Time" duet with a very impassioned Captain Sinbad, and the lovers-rock style "Come Back Baby." And don't miss the ultimate, true-to-life herb-dealer's anthem, "Herbman Hustling," with Sly and Robbie's catchy, pre-ragga rhythm track. - Silja J.A. Talvi
See also: reggae