The latest sad news from Jamaica came with the death of deejay I.Roy on Saturday 27th November 1999. Apparently he died of a heart attack. Brought on it seems by the death of one of his sons in prison. Roy had not been well for some time, and had recently been living on the streets of Kingston.
Roy Reid aka I.Roy, along with U.Roy and Dennis Alcapone more or less created deejaying as it is known today. I.Roy's output in the seventies was incredible with some 25 albums released between 1973 and 1979. By the mid-seventies he had signed with Virgin, releasing a number of works with them including a rap set - under his real name of Roy Reid.
Roy had always used what is now known as 'Gangster Rap' in his lyrics, usually working in the titles of the big black films of the day. His sound system work included deejaying on the great King Tubby's HiFi in the mid seventies. While in the early eighties he had set up his own sound system - Turbotronic. Small Axe sends its condolences to his friends and family.
I.Roy – Something - Impact 7".
Although I.Roy was in at the start of deejaying – his contribution has always been affected by the fact that he was next talking deejay to U.Roy. To be accurate I.Roy had a yankee slang style that would be now called rapping. Hubert Lee’s great early seventies recut of ‘Something On Your Mind’ provides him with great inspiration here.