Clifton George Bailey III (born 13 April 1967), better known by
the stage name Capleton, is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall artist. He
is also referred to as King Shango, King David, The Fireman and The
Prophet. His record label is called David House Productions. He is
known for his
Rastafari movement views expressed in his songs.
2 Early career
3 Later career
4 Religious views
8 External links
Bailey was born in Islington in St. Mary in 1967. As a youth, he
was given the surname of a popular St. Mary lawyer and friend of the
family, Capleton, as a nickname by his relatives and friends.
Capleton rejects the name given to him at birth, given its European
origin. He now prefers "King Shango", given its roots in the Yoruba
As a teenager, he sneaked out of his home to catch local dancehall
acts, eventually leaving St. Mary for Kingston at the age of 18 to
work on his career as a dancehall deejay.
Capleton in concert, 2006, in Germany
In 1989, he got his first big international exposure. Stewart Brown,
owner of a Toronto-based sound called African Star, gave the untested
artist his first break, flying him to Canada for a stage show
Ninjaman and Flourgon.
Capleton first arrived on the scene in the late 1980s, slackness
and gun talk were the dominant lyrics in the dancehalls. The pre-Rasta
Capleton had a string of hit songs from "Bumbo Red" to "Number One on
the Look Good Chart" and "No Lotion Man".
He recorded the song that began to establish his significant place in
Dancehall, "Alms House" in 1992. The tune became a big hit in the
dancehall, followed up immediately by "Music is a Mission" and the
massive hit "Tour". By 1993, he was voicing tunes which became
increasingly conscious, such as "Prophet" and "Cold Blooded Murderer".
Tunes such as "Tour" and "Wings of the Morning" earned him a deal with
Russell Simmons' Def Jam Recordings, which culminated in the
I-Testament albums of the mid-1990s.
Reggae Sumfest's dancehall night, to much
fanfare. The performance, which led to a subsequent headliner
placement the following year, is credited with "re-bussing", or
creating a comeback for, his career. The 1999–2000 period
elicited a string of hits, many of which can be found on the album
By 2004, some argued the quality of Capleton's music had been
downgraded by over-proliferation on numerous riddims, while Capleton
himself argued his continued recording over both dancehall and roots
reggae riddims created balance in his musical output. Nonetheless,
he scored hit singles over one of the most popular riddims of
2004, "That Day Will Come" over the Hard Times riddim.
After a hiatus from the label,
Capleton returned to
VP Records in 2010
with the release of I-Ternal Fire.
After headlining a U.S. tour which included Romain Virgo, Munga
Honorable, and Kulcha Knox in the fall of 2010,
Capleton embarked upon
a tour of the African continent for late 2010 and early 2011. Stops
included Gambia, Senegal, South Africa and multiple dates in
Zimbabwe. In December 2012 the music Unite Cape Town International
Reggae Festival saw Capleton, reggae and dancehall artists like Black
Dillinger, Blak Kalamawi .
Capleton's annual 'A St Mary Mi Come From' live show has raised funds
for several charities since it was first staged in 2000, including
local schools and hospitals.
Capleton makes reference to Bobo Ashanti, one of the various mansions
of the Rastafari movement. Yet he frequently mentions there's no
separation between the mansions of Rastafari as he sees it. He stated
in an interview on TraceTV that he doesn't eat meat of any kind,
consume dairy in any form, or even eat anything from soya. "Not an
ordinary vegetarian..." he stated, "I'm vegan." He also touches on the
subject of his lyrics regarding fire, saying they are metaphoric
references of purification, not violence or murder.
Capleton has faced criticism for anti-gay lyrics in some of his songs
though homosexuality remains illegal in his native Jamaica. His
manager has argued that some of the controversial lyrics have been
mistranslated and do not actually refer to gays.
has admitted that through his Rastafari faith he believes that a
homosexual lifestyle is not right, but has insisted that terms such as
"burn" and "fire" are not to be understood in the literal sense "to go
out and burn and kill people", but as a metaphor for "purification"
and cleansing. As part of an agreement to end the Stop Murder Music
Capleton and other artists allegedly signed the Reggae
Compassionate Act (RCA) in 2007.
Capleton has continued to sing songs that some claim violate
the RCA, causing the cancellation of a concert in Switzerland in 2008
and a United States tour in 2010,
Lotion Man – 1991
Alms House – 1993
Good So – 1994
Prophecy – 1995
I-Testament – 1997
One Mission (compilation) – 1999
Gold – 2000
More Fire – 2000
Final Assassin – 2000
Still Blazin' – 2002
Voice of Jamaica, Vol.3 – 2003
Praises to the King
Praises to the King – 2003
Reign of Fire – 2004
The People Dem
The People Dem – 2004
Duppy Man (featured with Chase & Status)
Free Up – 2006
Hit Wit Da 44 Rounds – 2007
Rise Them Up – 2007
Bun Friend – 2008
Yaniko Roots – 2008
Jah Youth Elevation – 2008
Liberation Time (featured with AZAD) (2009)
I-Ternal Fire – 2010
^ a b c Savage, Shannon (6 October 2004)"
Dancehall music silenced"
Archived 1 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine., The Orion (student
newspaper of CSU Chico) – Entertainment. Updated 11 May 2009.
^ Thompson, Dave (2002)
Reggae & Caribbean Music, Backbeat Books,
ISBN 0-87930-655-6, pp. 67–69
^ a b Walters, Basil (2012) "
Capleton lauded for charity work",
Jamaica Observer, 20 July 2012, retrieved 29 July 2012
^ a b
Capleton interview. ChicagoReggae.com. Retrieved 24 January
^ Barrow, Musa. Art and Music: Interview With Jamaican
Capleton Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Foroyaa
Online. 4 June 2008.
^ "Capleton." Contemporary Musicians. Ed. Leigh Ann DeRemer. Vol. 40.
Gale Cengage, 2003. eNotes.com. 2006. Retrieved 2011-4-15. 
^ Campbell, Howard.
Capleton Finds His Way Back To VP. VPRecords.com.
30 June 2010.
^ Summer Fest ‘99 –
Dancehall Nights Archived 15 July 2011 at the
Wayback Machine.. Reggaeweb.com. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
Reggae Sumfest 2000 Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine..
Reggaeweb.com. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
^ Huey, Steve.
Capleton biography. allmusic. Retrieved 2 February
^ Smith, Germaine. REIGN OF FIRE –
Capleton still blazes Archived 12
May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.. Jamaica Star. 7 May 2004.
^ Drop Leaf album review.
Reggae Vibes Productions. Retrieved 2
^ Campbell, Howard.
Capleton finds his way back to VP. Jamaica
Gleaner. 30 June 2010.
^ Warming the stage for
Capleton Archived 27 November 2010 at the
Wayback Machine.. The Standard (Zimbabwe). 21 November 2010.
Capleton Headlines The Music Unite Capetown International Reggae
Fest (Dec 8-9 South Africa)". themalaika.com. 3 December 2012.
Retrieved 10 August 2016.
^ Park, Esther. Bob Marley Movement Caribbean Festival 2010: Interview
With Capleton. Miami New Times. 25 February 2010.
^ Mbiriyamveka, Jonathan.
Capleton Show Organisers Hunt Ghetto
Rappers. The Herald (Zimbabwe). 18 October 2010.
^ "Gay in JA: What's it like to be gay in a society where it's illegal
to practice your sexuality?", BBC. First aired 2008, updated Tuesday
16 June 2009. (Only regionally available)
^ LOGOonline.com: NewNowNext Blog:
Reggae Stars Sign On To Cut Out
Homophobic Lyrics Archived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
Reggae Stars Renounce Homophobia, Condemn Anti-gay Violence –
Towleroad, More than gay news for more gay men
Capleton Concert cancelled in Basel, Switzerland", Another Green
World. Thursday, 6 November 2008.
Capleton's profile at VP Records' website
History of Capleton
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