Gregory Isaacs, R.I.P.

My very first memory of reggae wasn’t of Bob Marley or Peter Tosh ... my encounters with them would come much later. It was actually Gregory Isaacs. His was the opening number on my first mixtape -- an unlabeled, charcoal-hued cassette that had likely been recorded over too many times to count. Somehow it ended up in my little red radio and ever since, no weekend house cleaning regimen has been complete without Gregory Isaacs providing the soundtrack. No family bashment in my youth was complete without some slow grooving on my uncles' toes to his entire repertoire -- not to mention his Lovers Rock cohorts Dennis Brown, Wailing Souls and Beres Hammond among others. The genre that Isaacs popularized was my first love; and to this day, remains my favorite.

No shade to bros. Marvin or Donny, but you just can’t get any smoother than Gregory Isaacs.

He died of cancer early Monday morning in London. May he rest in peace.

Gregory Isaacs. "Slave Master"
Gregory Isaacs. Cool Ruler.
Gregory Isaacs. We Sing Gregory.
Gregory Isaacs. Mek Me Prosper.

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