U Roy, originally Ewart Beckford, is a groundbreaking figure in the evolution of reggae. He was among the first to introduce the phenomenon of toasting, whereby a DJ would rap over instrumental dub records. Toasting over the original dub plates of King Tubby and other pioneering dub producers in the late 1960s, he spawned a wave of disciples and made toasting a crucial part of reggae music. Throughout the '70s, U Roy was a hit machine, working with Bunny Lee and a host of other producers. Known as "the Originator," U Roy can lay claim to being a primary influence not only on the entire dancehall movement, but on hip-hop as well.
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