No stranger to classic albums, Mykal Rose recorded some of reggae’s greatest songs as lead singer of Black Uhuru. He has also done well since launching a solo career 40 years ago.
The 66 year-old artiste’s latest album, I Give You Love, is number one on the Florida Radio Network Album Chart. Produced by Adrian Hanson for Donsome Records, it was released in September.
Rose is not surprised by enthusiastic response to the album which contains the title song and Freedom Way, which addresses global turmoil.
“Dis album is a sign of di times…everything yuh si wha’ a gwaan in di Middle East an’ on di ground in Jamaica. Is reality, Revelations a speak fi itself,” he said.
Production on I Give You Love started in 2022, with the title track released shortly after. Rose also did a version of that single with Bugle.
In October, it was named among 65 albums considered for the Best Reggae Album category at next year’s Grammy Awards. It did not make the cut, but Rose is pleased with the quality of I Give You Love.
“Dis is a very good album, a really, really good album. Content, everything, it’s fresh! With di whole variation with what going on in di music coming outa Jamaica right now, it’s a step up,” he declared.
I Give You Love went number one in Florida one week after Rolling Stone Magazine named Black Uhuru’s Youth of Eglington at number 89 in its The Best 200 Songs of The 1980s. That song, released in 1982, is from the trio’s album, Red, which was produced by Sly and Robbie.
Rose recalls writing the song after observing instability in black communities in Toronto, Canada where his older brother lived. And in British cities such as Brixton, Manchester and Liverpool which experienced race riots at the time.
Along with founder Duckie Simpson and American Puma Jones, Rose made Black Uhuru a force during the 1980s when dancehall music took over from roots-reggae as the sound of choice out of Jamaica.
Guided by Sly and Robbie, the trio recorded a flurry of hit singles including General Penitentiary, Shine Eye Gal, Abortion, Sponji Reggae, Party in Session and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
Rose left Black Uhuru in 1985, shortly after they won the first Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album that year for Anthem. He plans to tour Europe in 2024 in support of I Give You Love.
By Howard Campbell