Blae Minott Says He’s Carrying On Father, Sugar Minott’s Legacy, With Launch Of New EP, ‘Citizen Of Love’January 6th, 2024
Reggae singer Daniel ‘Blae’ Minott, son of the late reggae legend Sugar Minott, is determined to build on his father’s legacy and grow the Sugar Minott brand on an international scale.
“The critical part of my father’s legacy is not just his children, but I believe his brand, that would be the preservation of his music and keeping his achievements relevant and his vision alive,” Blae Minott told DancehallMag.
Sugar Minott was known for his altruism and his relentless advocacy on behalf of ghetto youths. Many artists benefited from Youth Man Promotions and the mentorship of Minott, including seminal names such as Yami Bolo, Junior Reid, Tenor Saw, and Nitty Gritty.
Now, Daniel Minott is ready to throw his hat in the ring and espouse the ideals that were so dear to his father. To that end, he is confident that reggae lovers will enjoy his new Citizen of Love EP.
“The Citizen of Love consists of 7 tracks which feature spiritual messages through songs produced by for own label, My Block Records,” Daniel Minott said.
The EP consists of seven tracks with high-powered collaborative singles like the title track, Citizen of Love featuring Luciano, and Human Race featuring Natural Black. Other songs include Zion Praise, Jah ah See Yu featuring Psalms, and Slow Rocking featuring Tampanae.
“The track, Give You My Love, is livicated to the God woman dem. The first track, Jah Is Real, is to reiterate that there is a master maker and supreme designer to the universe and life as we know it, and that is the spiritual overtone of the EP,” he said.
A video for the title track, Citizen of Love, has already been released.
“The video is streaming well, getting spins on HYPE and RE TV and the track is getting rotation on several local radio stations, it’s a great look,” Daniel Minott said.
Born in Kingston, Daniel “Blae” Minott had an early interest in music and began expressing his love for the art at an early age when his father tried to form a group with his siblings in 1986 who attempted to record their first single entitled “Reggae the beat”. The song, however, was never released and the group disbanded.
Blae Minott never lost his love for the music and later, became one of the in-house studio engineers at the age of 15, working alongside Carlo Gray at the Youthman Promotion studio.
In 1999, Blae Minott decided to start recording once again, putting his songwriting skills to work. He recorded his first official song, ‘Can’t Take It No More’ with his label mate Tampanae at the Youth Promotion recording studio, and the song was added to local radio playlists.
He has continued to record music on his own independent My Block Records label.
“It’s all about the message in the music,” he said.
SUGAR MINOTT’S LEGACY
Daniel Minott is proud of his father’s legacy.
Born Lincoln Minott, Sugar Minott is widely regarded as the “Godfather of Dancehall”. One of the most versatile and prolific singers to come out of Jamaica, with a career that spanned the roots, lovers’ rock, dancehall and ragga genres, he first broke through in the late 1970s with songs like Vanity and the powerful pro–ganja ode, Oh Mr DC for Studio One.
The sweet-voiced crooner became one of the hottest reggae acts of the 1980s when he made the UK Top 5 with his mellifluous cover of a Michael Jackson B-side, “Good Thing Going” in the spring of 1981. Suddenly, Minott found himself at the tip of a vanguard of the leading voices of the soul-flavoured Lovers’ Rock sub-genre that served as the soundtrack of Britain at the time.
The song was picked up by RCA and went on to chart in several countries. He resided in London for a while, making an appearance on Top Of The Pops. He issued a follow-up single, a Lovers’ Rock adaptation of “Never My Love” which failed to break into the Top 50 in the autumn of 1981. The original “Never My Love” is an Addrissi Brothers composition popularised by The Association in the 1960s.
Sugar Minott followed up with other hits such as Lovers Race, No Vacancy and Tune In in the 1980s. He delivered an iconic performance at Reggae Sunsplash UK in 1985 that reggae lovers in Europe still rave about today.
He also collaborated with Jamaica’s premier rhythm section, bassist Robbie Shakespeare and drummer Sly Dunbar, and made the “Rub A Dub Sound Style”, “Devil’s Pickney” and the timeless “Herbman Hustling” singles in the mid-’80s.
As a producer, he helped develop the talent of artistes like Tristan Palmer, Little John, Tenor Saw, Junior Reid, Yami Bolo, Garnet Silk and Steve Harper (aka Shalom) through his Youthman Promotions label.
Sugar Minott eventually married music executive Maxine Stowe, niece of Clement Coxsone Dodd in 1993, who at the time was working at Columbia Records. The couple had met at Coxsone’s Music City in Brooklyn New York in 1978, where they collaborated and produced the album Roots Lovers. They remained married until his death at 54.
MINOTT’S PLACEMENTS IN FILM
In later years, Sugar Minott’s ‘Oh Mr. DC’ have appeared in an action-thriller Dead Shot in 2023. One of his biggest songs on the Studio One label, Sugar Minott offers up an a slice of drug-dealing life on the ganja anthem “Oh Mr. D.C.” Many reggae enthusiasts will remember the line: ‘Coming back from the countryside with my bag of collie/I buck up on a D.C.’.
The weed-ode song also appeared in Small Axe, a TV mini series, in 2020. Another single, “Hard Time Pressure”, appeared in Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City in 2009 with “Hard Time Pressure” from the 1979 Black Roots album.
Another single, ‘This Reggae Feeling’ appeared in the movie Ritual Story, starring Jennifer Grey and Tim Curry. Minott appeared in the film, ‘Cool Runnings’, as himself. Minott also guested on a reggae reworking of Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For A Film)” on the Radiodread album credited to the Easy Star All-Stars in 2006.
It appears plans for any Sugar Minott projects are on hold as his estate is managed by the Administrator General.
“Most a them moves pending court cases as the Estate is not yet settled,” Daniel said.
For Daniel, Sugar Minott’s greatest success lies in his dedication to being a parent.
“Dad was a loving father who always expressed to his children how much he loved them. That meant everything to us, love is the greatest thing a parent can give a child and for that we are forever grateful,” Daniel said.
“My fondest memories would be working in the studio with my dad just watching him making a song from scratch . First, recording the lead track to putting on the harmonies to the finished product. That was most memorable as the experience was magical.”
Sugar fathered 13 children, with one predeceasing him, Alton. Minott eventually sired four children with Stowe: Rachiim, Jahson, Candice and Osunya. The other children are the above-mentioned Daniel, Tamar, Lincoln Jr., Debbie, Andrew, Tamar Elaine, Kelly and Linval.