Trojan Jamaica/BMG has announced the release of U-Roy’s final full-length album, SOLID GOLD U-ROY. The album was originally set to come out in 2020 with plans for a worldwide tour in support, but the pandemic delayed the release. Now, with the loss of U-Roy on February 17, the album has become a celebration of one of the most profoundly influential reggae stars of his generation.
An originator of the chatty rhythmic vocal style known as toasting — a key foundational element in the development of rap in its early stages in the 1970s, U-Roy left behind an unmatched legacy which is clearly on display on SOLID GOLD U-ROY, featuring guest appearances by Ziggy Marley, Shaggy, Mick Jones of The Clash, Santigold, Sly & Robbie, David Hinds of Steel Pulse, Big Youth, Tarrus Riley, Rygin King, Jesse Royal, Richie Spice and Scientist. The album arrives on July 16, 2021; pre-orders are available now.
SOLID GOLD U-ROY is being celebrated by the release of “Man Next Door (Feat. Santigold).” The track features an indelible guest appearance by the incomparable Santigold. “Man Next Door” is a reggae standard written by John Holt and released in 1968 by his group The Paragons. U-Roy sampled the song in 1982 for “Peace and Love in the Ghetto” on his Original DJ album. Pre-orders of SOLID GOLD U-ROY will come with an instant grat download of “Man Next Door.”
An official music video is also available now. The clip captures U-Roy in 2018 at the Trojan Jamaica studios in one of his last sessions ever. Santigold was filmed at Sunset Sound later that year. The video was directed by Nick Franco/1185 Films in collaboration with Trojan Jamaica co-founders Zak Starkey and Sharna “Sshh” Liguz. Check out the video below:
“It was such an honor to get to work on this project with U-Roy, a true creator,” says Santigold. “He was a major pioneer in a genre that influenced me so deeply. And it just so happened that the song I was asked to sing, ‘Man Next Door,’ has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. It felt so special to get to sing that song in particular – I knew the harmonies in my body without having to think for a second – and to hear his voice cutting through, driving the rhythm, drawing us all into his world. What a gift that I got a chance to sing on this track with him. He was one of the greats.”
Photo credit: Marv Watson