Prezident Brown salutes his reggae troupe of fans.
P. Brown in town
The reggae artist
WHENEVER Pro Bowl weekend rolls around, you know there's going to be an abundance of extra club gigs to check out for all the locals, visitors and perhaps, hopefully, a football stud or two.
After Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock's appearance at the Pipeline Cafe last night, there's reggae music aplenty this weekend, headlined by Prezident Brown at the Hawaiian Hut tomorrow night, presented by Pacific Sounds Outernational.
Brown's bio goes that he was born Fitz Albert Cotterel in Clarendon, Jamaica. As "Junior Ranking," a name his mother gave him, he would grab the mic and chant away at schoolyards and country dances. As a teenager, he was known as "Slim Brown," a name given to him by fellow toaster Nicodemus, because of his strong resemblance and deejay style similar to his longtime idol, U Brown.
The biggest and most formative influence for the junior emcee, however, was producer and Soundsystem operator Jack Ruby. He took the fatherless teen under his wing, re-christened him Prezident Brown, and appointed him resident emcee of his world-traveling Hi-Power Soundsystem.
After the sound-system era changed following Ruby's death in 1989, Brown recorded with a couple of local labels, eventually landing with X-Rated (now World of Music), which helped launch his career in Europe.
X-Rated took off just as a massive roots revival swept across Jamaica, washing gun and slackness lyrics out of the dance halls and paving the way for conscious reggae music. By 1995, Brown's pure Rasta conscious-lyric vibe was flooding the market from all sides. He recorded the song "Blow Your Nose" with Everton Blender (an artist with whom he has toured Africa and Europe.)
Prezident was also featured in the song "Black and Proud" on the Steel Pulse album "Rage and Fury."
The two-volume compilations "Prezident Brown Showcase," put together to help introduce Brown to American audiences, make up a total of four CDs and 63 tracks. Vol. 1 features a remastered version of his fourth album, "To Jah Only," plus three unreleased tracks and a dub album. The second volume includes "Can't Touch My Soul," a compilation of singles including six previously unreleased tracks, and a remastered version of his second album, "Prezident Selections," along with bonus tracks.
He is currently recording a new album in Jamaica.
Brown will be performing with DJ Scotch Bonnet, and local fave Ooklah the Moc will open. The Hawaiian Hut doors will open at 9 p.m. tomorrow, with admission $15 for 21 and over; and $20 for 18 to 20.
Also on tomorrow's reggae calendar is an evening with Irie Souls at Club Bliss, 327 Keawe St. (The Souls are subbing for the originally scheduled Melodious Solutions and Stir Crazy.) Music's from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and admission's $5 for 21 and over; $7 for 18 to 20.
At Don Ho's Island Grill at the Aloha Tower Marketplace, Most High and Freesound will perform, starting at 9 p.m. It's $7 for those 21 and over.