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Remembering U-Roy, Jamaican Vocal Legend With Influences On Dancehall, Reggae, Hip-Hop

Ewart “U-Roy” Beckford was a Jamaican deejay who elevated the art of toasting — talking over a record to the rhythm of the song — to an international phenomenon. He helped start the career of early toasters and artists like Shabba Ranks, and even early hip-hop can be traced to U-Roy’s vocal style.

U-Roy died last week at 78. Host Jane Clayson speaks with Patricia Meschino, writer for Billboard, about U-Roy’s legacy.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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