Prince Jazzbo, 62; rap reggae artist launched careers

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prince Jazzbo, a rap reggae performer and producer whose career spanned 40 years, has died in his native Jamaica at 62.

Mr. Jazzbo died at his St. Catherine Parish home after a fight with lung cancer, his daughter Princess Omega Carter said Thursday.


He started his career in the early 1970s at Clement ‘‘Sir Coxsone’’ Dodd’s Studio One, the island’s first black-owned music studio, which launched the careers of many reggae legends, including Bob Marley.

Born Linval Carter, Mr. Jazzbo was a relatively early performer of dancehall toasting, a vibrant form of rhythmic chanting over a sound system track that directly inspired hip-hop. His best known tunes included ‘‘Croaking Lizard,’’ ‘’Penny Reel,’’ and ‘‘Crab Walking.’’

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In the 1970s, he had a spirited lyrical battle with reggae rapper I-Roy. The two feuded on studio tracks, but were friends away from the mic.

Mr. Jazzbo’s performing career largely faded after the 1970s. But he helped build a record label, Ujama, and eventually ran it himself, going on to produce hundreds of tunes.

Close friend Julie ‘‘Zimma’’ White said Mr. Jazzbo was a ‘‘very prideful man and a man of honor.’’ He raised money for Christmas events for children in his community of Spanish Town, a crime-troubled city in southern Jamaica.

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