Delroy “Junior” Reid (born June 3, 1965 in Kingston, Jamaica) is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall musician, best known for the songs “One Blood” and “Funny Man”, as well as being the man that replaced Michael Rose as lead vocalist for Black Uhuru.
Reid was born in the Tower Hill area of Kingston, and had a tough upbringing in the city’s Waterhouse district, notorious for being one of the most dangerous places in Jamaica. It was there in the politically turbulent late ’70s that he recorded his first-ever single “Speak the Truth” at the age of 13 for the late Hugh Mundell, released in Jamaica on Augustus Pablo’s Rockers International label, and popular as an import single in the United Kingdom. UK label Greensleeves Records followed this with “Know Myself” in 1981. He then went on to form his own band, the Voice of Progress, and after a local hit with “Mini-Bus Driver” the group scored local success with an album of the same name.
By the early 80’s, commissioned by the great Sugar Minott to record a number of tunes on Minott’s Youth Promotion label, enjoying considerable popularity with tracks such as “Human Nature”, “A1 Lover”, and the evergreen “See How Me Black See How Me Shine”, an uplifting and proud statement which became an anthem to the ghetto youth whom Reid increasingly championed. Reid was present at the 1983 shooting death of reggae singer Hugh Mundell; he was travelling in the same car as Mundell in Kingston. After the death of Mundell, Reid transferred his talents to King Jammy’s studio on St. Lucia Road where his fast-growing success rose yet another notch. “Boom Shacka Lacka” was his first UK hit and led to another exceptional album. After a number of fine singles – which included “Youthman”, “Bank Clerk”, “Sufferation”, “Give Thanks and Praises” and “Higgler Move” – his chance of a wider international audience came with the offer of replacing Michael Rose in Black Uhuru. Always a strong follower of Black Uhuru, and with a similar vocal style, Reid slipped into Rose’s shoes with ease. The collaboration on his first Black Uhuru album, the Grammy-nominated Brutal, in 1986, was well received by all. Two years and two albums later, Junior’s interest to produce material for himself, and desire to regain his domestic popularity, drove him back into the solo arena and back to King Jammy’s studio, as well as setting up his own JR label. Reid had a number 21 hit in the UK in 1988 with the collaboration with Coldcut, “Stop This Crazy Thing”. He had an even bigger hit in 1990, with “I’m Free”, recorded with The Soup Dragons, reaching number 5. Meanwhile, 1989’s “One Blood” saw him re-established at the forefront of the reggae scene.
As a producer, Reid has his own production company; JR Productions. He produced much of Snow’s second album, Murder Love, released in 1995. Reid has collaborated and produced for Dancehall artist Ninjaman, on many occasions since the early 90’s. He has also produced for Junior Demus, and reggae legends such as Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs. He also opened his own recording studio.
His vocals have been used in the hip hop scene, which first debuted as a sample on the song “One Blood Under W” from The W album by the Wu-Tang Clan, which was released on November 21, 2000. In 2006, he collaborated with West Coast hip hop artist The Game on the song “It’s Okay (One Blood)”; The song also samples Reid’s 1990 single “One Blood”.
Reid appeared on the Blackout remix of Mims’ “This Is Why I’m Hot” from his debut album M.I.M.S. (Music Is My Savior). This was one of the more popular remixes made in 2007, mixing West Indian culture with the culture of New York City. He recently did a song with Jim Jones, Max B and Mel Matrix called “What A Gwan”, which features a sample from Barrington Levy’s “Black Roses”. Reid is on Fabolous’s new album From Nothin’ to Somethin’ on the track “Gangsta Don’t Play” and he has colaborted with Fat Joe on the track “More Money”. He recently appeared on the remix of Smitty’s song “Died In Your Arms” also featuring Rick Ross and T-Pain. In late 2007 he performed in the “Freedom Concert” in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and also went on to record the remix version of “Free” with The Indispensibles, a Nigerian hip hop duo. Reid was also proudly featured on the track “Fire” from San Francisco-based DJ and deep house producer Miguel Migs’ 2007 album “Those Things.”
On November 18, 2007, Reid performed alongside Alicia Keys at the 2007 American Music Awards. Reid is also featured on a remix version of Alicia Keys’ single “No One”. He did a song with Lil Wayne called Ghetto Youths Rock