b. Cardiff Butt, 28 April 1968, Manchester, Jamaica, West Indies. Butt moved to Kingston to pursue a career as a tailor and, being inspired by Professor Nuts and Lieutenant Stitchie, was soon drawn to the dancehall. Butt originally performed on the sound systems as General Degree, acknowledging the fact that he was cited as the contender to General Trees’ crown. The success of Degree’s 1991 debut, ‘Granny’, led to a number of hits with a variety of Jamaica’s top producers, including Andre Tyrell (‘Body Guard’), Philip ‘Fatis’ Burrell (‘Come Dis Up’), Sly And Robbie (‘Love Lullaby’), Steely And Clevie (‘Dweet (Do It) Sweet’ and ‘When I Hold You Tonight’), and Danny Browne (‘Pianist’). The suggestive lyrics of the latter helped the single to top the reggae charts worldwide, prompting new interest for his earlier hits and the release of P’N’S. An association with Browne’s Main Street outlet followed, including sessions with Junior Tucker on the chart-topping ‘Move Along’ and ‘Morning Ride’. Degree has maintained a high profile with ‘Man Tief’, ‘Ragga Loving’, ‘Good Girls’, the cultural ‘Nah Stop Pray’, ‘Only Master God’, ‘Thanks And Praises’, and for the UK-based Fashion Records, ‘Run Way Mr Tickle’. His style is widely regarded as having influenced DJ Buccaneer and appointing Red Rat with his epithet. In 1996, inspired by Dave ‘Rude Boy’ Kelly, Degree set up his own Pretty Boy label and dropped the General tag. In 1997, the DJ had a UK pop hit with the release of ‘Come Give Me Your Love’, recorded alongside Richie Stephens.
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