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About Eek-A-Mouse

Eek-A-Mouse was one of the most distinctive vocal stylists to emerge in reggae in the ’80s. Born Ripton Joseph Hylton in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1957, he developed an approach that mixed conventional roots reggae crooning with the spoken, rap-like style known as toasting, interjected with scatting flurries of invented near-onomatopoeia. His 1981 album Wa-Do-Dem matched his unique sound with roots and dub tracks, and it was an international success via singles such as “Ganja Smuggling.” On early-’90s records like U-Neek, Eek-A-Mouse altered his style to incorporate elements of hip-hop, dancehall, and rock, seemingly courting a bigger international audience, but the shift didn’t take, and he was soon back to doing what he did better than anybody else—refining the singular sound he pioneered. Over the years, his pan-genre renown has led to him making guest appearances with a broad range of artists, including British New Wavers The Blow Monkeys and Californian nu-metal men P.O.D.

Kingston, Jamaica
November 19, 1957
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