Nigeria’s Reggae King and one of the greatest Rub a Dub master Ras Kimono is dead.
He was 60. He was born May 9, 1958. He died after a brief illness in a Lagos hospital.
The musician who better known to fans as Ras Ki, was recently appointed into the board of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), died early this morning. He was said to have fallen ill on Saturday and was rushed to the hospital for medical attention.
Public Affairs, Manager, COSON, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji confirmed the incident in a telephone call Sunday afternoon. Among his big hits are Under Pressure, and Rumba-Style.
Born in Ekeleke Elumelu, in Delta State, Nigeria, Kimono started his music career as a student of Gbenoba Secondary School Agbor and later as a member of the Jastix Reggae Ital, alongside Majek Fashek, Amos McRoy Jegg and Black Rice Osagie.
His music was greatly influenced by the poverty, inequality and hardship he witnessed in his early life. He released his solo debut album Under Pressure on the Premier Music label in 1989, which propelled him to instant continental stardom.
The album had hits such as “Under Pressure”, “Natty Get Jail” and the massive hit “Rhumba Style”. He later released a string of hit albums, touring all over Africa, Europe and the United States, promoting his brand of reggae music.
He won several awards including the Nigeria Music Awards, Fame Music Awards and many more. In 2010, he was still performing to a loyal fan-base of all ages and his music is still played on radio, throughout West Africa.
Kimono served a long apprenticeship on the Nigerian music circuit, experimenting with a number of styles, before making his late 1980s breakthrough as a reggae singer.
Together with his Massive Dread Reggae Band, Kimono released his debut album, Under Pressure in 1989, accompanied by the popular single, “Rumbar Stylee”. What’s Gwan even proved to be more successful, with the topics selected including legalisation of marijuana, and the need for Africans to intellectually repel colonialism and its arbitrary boundaries between tribes.