yardie's reggae collection - artist page

I KONG (b. 1947 - )


* * * * *

1978 - VP - studio - discs: 1

I Kong was born Errol Kong in 1947. He was also known as Ricky Storm. His uncle was the legendary producer Leslie Kong. In the early 60's he was a member of the Rocksteady group "The Jamaicans" (early called The Merricoles, and formed by Tommy Cowan plus other members). By the end of the decade he worked on cruising ships as bartender and singer. One day he dreamt that the ship will have sink. He quit his job and less than one month the M/S "Yarmouth" did sink. In the early 70's he recorded his first solo single for Tommy Cowan's Top Cat label. In 1978 his only album was released: "The Way It Is". No success came with this album. He moved to St. Elizabeth parish to live his life away from the music business. As you see here I was not able to get more informations on this artist. He is rarely mentioned in Reggae history books as if he did not exist. But I Kong, even if he released only one set, must be remembered. For sure. This set must get the deserved attention. It contains some great material. All the tracks were written by himself. It was recorded at Harry J Studios and Lee "Scratch" Perry's legendary Black Ark. It was overdubbed at Dynamic Sounds. It was engineered by Sylvan Morris, Jerome Francisque, Lee Perry and Geoffrey Chung. Errol Kong employed some of the real top musicians available. These credits seem quite good. But why this set was not accepted as it deserved? I am not really able to tell you. For sure this is not an easy set. At the first hearings there is the sensation that it is too much oriented to a R&B sound. This is quite true with a couple of tracks. But the rest, actually I should say the whole set, is clearly permeated by that late 70's Jamaican musical spirit that was totally committed to his homeland sounds and in the meantime was looking forward and abroad for new athmospheres. It is quite hard to give a definition of this unique kind of Roots album. This eight tracks, Rastafari filled, set shines alone in the late 70's emisphere. Looking for the best songs, some must be mentioned: "Life's Road" is a very deep and slow Roots and Rastafari digression upon the meaning of life; "Wolves In Sheep Clothing" states how many lies are spread by the so called leaders; "Babylon Walls" is a rocking Soul flavoured tune about the future falling of the oppressing society; "The Way It Is" closes the set with its message of deliverance. Respect to the I! I Kong offered us only one album, but the message will always be remembred. Note: this VP release has seven Dub versions to enjoy. A great and unique album!.

1. Ghetto Cry
2. Life's Road
3. Wolves In Sheep's Clothing
4. Babylon Walls
5. Set Black People Free
6. Sinner Man
7. I Wish (We'll All Be Ready)
8. The Way It Is
9. Life's Road Dub
10. Babylon Walls Dub
11. Set Black People Free Dub
12. Sinner Man Dub
13. I Wish (We'll All Be Ready) Dub
14. The Way It Is Dub
15. Love Was Dub

artists - main list

yardie-reggae.com - 2007