Mr. Vegas

Heads High

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    7
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Mr. Vegas, born Clifford Smith, was once a smooth-voiced singer known in Jamaica for his sweet tone. However, a fight one night at a recording studio--over the ownership of a DAT tape--resulted in Smith's jaw being broken with an iron pipe. After a few weeks in the hospital with his jaw wired shut, he ordered the wiring removed and came back with a new vocal style combining rap with singing. HEADS HIGH is a typical dancehall album in the sense that lyrically, it is mostly concerned with women, braggadocio, and "cabin stabbin." However, HEADS HIGH is an interesting album. Mr. Vegas's vocal style is not only well suited to the genre but has a distinctive tone all its own, which Mr. Vegas creates by semi-singing his raps. The beats are well done and quite varied across the 20 tracks. This album's title track was a huge hit, holding at No. 1 on the U.K. charts for 10 weeks and becoming a staple in any hip-hop DJ's reggae sets. Mr. Vegas was nominated as Best International Reggae Act for England's 1998 MOBO awards. Not bad for a rookie effort.

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