Tapper Zukie

Tapper Zukie (or Tappa Zukie) (born David Sinclair, 1955, Kingston, Jamaica) is a reggae deejay and producer. Tapper was the nickname given to him by his grandmother in his youth, while Zukie was the name that came from his friends’ association as a young boy, their gang called ‘The Zukies’.

In 1973 his mother, worried by Zukie’s tendency to get into trouble, sent him to England to stay with some relatives. Producer Bunny Lee arranged with the UK based entrepreneur Larry  Lawrence for him to undertake some recording sessions and concerts, opening for U-Roy the day after his arrival in London. Zukie’s first release was the single “Jump & Twist”, produced by Lawrence. Around this time he also recorded material for Clem Bushay which would later form part of the Man Ah Warrior album, issued in 1973.

Zukie returned to Jamaica, cutting “Judge I Oh Lord” for Lloydie Slim and “Natty Dread Don’t Cry”. Taking some riddims from Bunny Lee and Joseph Hoo Kim, he toasted over them at King Tubby’s studio, these forming the album MPLA (released in 1976).

The Man Ah Warrior album had gained Zukie a cult following in the UK, and he returned there in 1975, releasing the track “MPLA” as a single, which was sufficiently successful for Klik to issue the album of the same name in the UK. One notable fan of MPLA was Patti Smith, who gave Zukie a support slot on her UK tour and contributed sleeve-notes to his 1977 album Man From Bosrah.

This period of success allowed Zukie to set up his own ‘Stars’ record label, and he began to produce other artists, including Junior Ross & The Spear, Prince Alla and Horace Andy. Two dub albums emerged in 1977: Escape From Hell and Tapper Zukie In Dub.

A deal with Virgin Records subsidiary Frontline saw the release of two further albums in 1978 – Peace In The Ghetto and Tapper Roots, while he also continued to release records on his Stars label in Jamaica.

After 1986, he concentrated on producing music in Jamaica, working with such reggae musicians as The Mighty Diamonds, Max Romeo, Ken Boothe, Sugar Minott and U-Roy.

In 1978 Tappa scored a monster hit “Oh Lord ” which spent 6 weeks on top of the Jamaica charts . Also popular that summer was the popular dancehall X rated ” Whe do de chick” aka “Phensic”

Tappa has a few children, but only one going in Tappas footsteps. Noel Bonds aka BranNEW  is making his mark in the hip hop music industry.


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