b. Richard Bailey, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. Bailey’s academic achievements led to his initial aspiration to become a teacher. He may well have fulfilled his ambition had he not been drawn to the delights of the dancehall and remarkably emulated his DJ heroes. In the mid-80s he emigrated to Baltimore, USA. He soon found solace with a local sound system, where he nurtured his career. Although he proved a competent performer, his location in Baltimore offered little opportunity to sustain a career as a DJ. In 1988 he moved to Miami where his reputation quickly spread, and he attracted the attention of Willie Lindo who took him into the studio. The sessions resulted in ‘Stamina Man’, ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Gangsta Roll’ for Lindo’s Heavy Beat label. The historic end to Nelson Mandela’s incarceration was described in Apache’s 1990 hit, ‘Them Free Mandela’. In the same year, he recorded in combination with Screwdriver the local hit ‘Long Time’. His success led to live appearances at the Jamaican Reggae Sunsplash Festival in 1992 and 1993, as well as the Miami Reggae Festival, previously known as the Jamaica Awareness Reggae Festival, for four consecutive years. In 1994 Honourable Apache produced his biggest hit, ‘Yardie Anthem’. His prominence led to a signing with Clifton ‘Specialist’ Dillon, who, through his Shang production stable, successfully exposed works by Shabba Ranks, Mad Cobra and Patra to a global audience. By the mid-90s he became the Hono Rebel Apache, a name emphasizing his unwillingness to compromise his music for commercial purposes.
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