Beastie Boys’ Mike D, Flying Lotus, Lupe Fiasco & Others Mourn Death of Reggae Legend Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry
“Blessed journey into the infinite,” Flying Lotus, whose real name is Steven Ellison, wrote on Twitter. “RIP Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.”
Rapper Fiasco also remembered Perry, tweeting, “AFRICAN BLOOD IS FLOWING THROUGH I VEINS SO I AND I SHALL NEVER FADE AWAY!!!!”
During his decades-long career, Perry built his legendary Black Ark studio in Kingston, which became the birthplace for many classic reggae and dub recordings by Bob Marley & The Wailers, The Congos, Max Romeo and Junior Murvin. Perry’s work on Romeo’s War Ina Babylon, The Heptones’ Party Time, The Congos’ Heart of the Congos and Murvin’s Police & Thieves helped push reggae to new international levels in the late 1970s.
Romeo remembered the late producer as a “genius in the truest sense of the word.”
“The first thing is, he was truly a producer; he didn’t just a sit in a chair in the studio and listen to what you got and record it. He joined in in the building of the thing,” Romeo told Rolling Stone after Perry’s passing. “He’s a genius in the truest sense of the word. Of course he was ahead of his time. His creations actually contributed to rap music, Protoje and Buju Banton’s music. He’s the best I ever worked with in my 55 years in the business.”
Mad Professor, a longtime collaborator of Perry, also remembered him in a lengthy tribute on Facebook.
“The end of an era! We first worked in the early eighties, recording several tracks and doing [several] tours, having many laughs, sharing many dreams… we spoke together with his wife a week ago…,” the dub producer wrote. “What a character! Totally ageless! Extremely creative, with a memory as sharp as a tape machine! A brain as accurate as a computer! We travelled the world together… Japan, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, All over the USA and Canada… and many more places. Never a dull moment! All the Bob Marley stories… all the Coxone Dodd stories!! And many more…”
See more tributes to Perry below.