General Echo: The Master of Slackness Lyrics

by Nov 22, 2023Articles, Obituary

General Echo - The Master of Slackness Lyrics

Errol Robinson, better known as the deejay General Echo, was shot and killed by the police in Kingston on November 22, 1980.

General Echo, a legendary figure in the realm of dancehall reggae, is widely regarded as the reigning master of slackness lyrics, a subgenre within dancehall music known for its explicit and provocative content. With a career that spanned the 1970s and 1980s, General Echo left an indelible mark on the music scene, known for his unique style and fearless approach to lyrical content.

Who Was General Echo?

Born in 1955 as Earl Anthony Robinson in Kingston, Jamaica, General Echo rose to prominence as a dancehall deejay and performer. His stage name, General Echo, was derived from his own popular sound system Echo Tone Hi Fi, established in 1975. While performing on Echo Tone, he quickly gained attention for his quick wit, sharp delivery, and explicit lyrics. Not only was he an accomplished entertainer, but he also had the ability to captivate audiences by stopping the music to share a joke or two before continuing. However, it was his appearances on sound systems like Gemini, Stereophonic, and Ray Symbolic in the late 1970s where he truly began to establish his reputation.

The Reigning Master of Slackness

General Echo’s impact on the dancehall reggae genre cannot be exaggerated. He was one of the first reggae deejays to move away from cultural lyrics. His fearless embrace of slackness lyrics, characterized by sexually explicit and often controversial content, set him apart as a boundary-pushing artist unafraid to tackle taboo subjects. While his audacious and provocative style earned both praise and backlash, it undoubtedly played a crucial role in shaping the development of dancehall music.

Recordings

General Echo’s debut LP was People Are You Ready, an album with one track from Prince Mohammed (Great Sounds Ska), which he cut for Winston Riley’s brother Buster. In 1977, he connected with producer Dudley ‘Manzie’ Swaby and started recording with him. His first album for the producer was called Rocking & Swing and was released before he started chatting slack on records. Alongside this, he also released a couple of non-explicit singles such as Drunken Master for Sly & Robbie and Arleen on the Stalag riddim for Winston Riley, which became a No.1 hit in Jamaica. Following these, he released the albums Slackest LP and 12 Inches of Pleasure for Winston Riley (under the name of Ranking Slackness) and Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes respectively. Read the review of the latter.

Executions

On November 22, 1980, General Echo, accompanied by his friends Leon ‘Big John’ Johns, the owner of Stereophonic Sound, and selector Flux, was driving to investigate an amplifier for Stereophonic at the workshop of sound system builder Mr. Denton in Kingston. Unexpectedly, the police stopped them on Derrymore Road in the heart of Kingston. Tragically, all three men were fatally shot by the police, and no satisfying explanation was ever given for these unjustified executions. General Echo’s untimely demise reverberated through Jamaica and deeply saddened the reggae community.

Legacy and Influence

Despite his untimely passing in 1980, General Echo’s impact on the dancehall music scene remains palpable. His bold and unapologetic use of provocative lyrics opened doors for future artists, encouraging them to push the boundaries of societal norms in their music. General Echo’s unrivaled mastery of slackness lyrics solidifies his status as a pioneering force in the realm of dancehall reggae.

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The sleeve and label credit Prince Mohammed as the artist, but this is only correct for one track (Great Sounds Ska). The rest of the tracks are handled by General Echo.

Angelina

Natty Going Back To Africa

Go Up Town

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Armagedion

Self Praise

Oil In A Babylon

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Cockie No Beg No Friend

Adam & Eve

Lift Up Your Dress Fat Gal

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Bathroom Sex

This Is Lover’s Corner

Me Know Everything About She Pum Pum

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