b. Carlton Mason, c.1966, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Tumpa Lion’s unique style always indicated that he was destined for a promising career as one of the original DJs performing with Patrick Roberts’ Shocking Vibes Crew. In 1990, Tumpa Lion released the sexist refrain, ‘Tight Like A Virgin’ and the braggadocio, ‘We Are Bad Boy’, that were both popular hits within the dancehall and specialist charts. He followed the release with a series of singles including a tacky rendering of ‘The Glue’, the disparaging ‘You Nah Boney’ and an observation relating to halitosis, ‘No Sweet Mouth’. In 1992, Tumpa Lion joined Maxi Priest on the remake of the Cornelius Brothers And Sister Rose soul classic, ‘It’s Too Late To Turn Back Now’, inspired by the Chi-Lites’ reggae-styled version of the song. The laid-back rhythm and enchanting melody reflected the early 90s trend of dancehall smoochers. The combination with Priest was widely regarded as outstanding and, as intended, introduced Tumpa Lion to a global audience. In 1993, the DJ enjoyed further success with the mischievously conceited ‘The Distance’. The song was an unreserved boast of his supposed staying power in the bedroom when his, ‘Woman seh thanks - good performance - can you get the jockey whey fi do de distance’. Tumpa Lion’s experience as a top ranking DJ was short-lived, although he remains a highly respected performer within the Jamaican music industry.
Share this page