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‘Teach Me Right’ Kiddus I (2017)

by Carter Van Pelt, June 2017

With nearly 700,000 inhabitants, Kingston, Jamaica can seem like a sprawling, complicated city, but it remains small enough that you can cross paths unexpectedly with people you know, or people you know of, without intentionally seeking them out. Off the top of my head, I can recall multiple serendipitous encounters with the producers Niney The Observer and Leggo Douglas, the actor Carl Bradshaw, and the singer Kiddus I. One of my encounters with Kiddus I last year left me with an outstanding LP, Topsy Turvy World, that inspired this writing.

First, some context.

Kiddus I is an under-recorded artist who received some recognition through a now iconic scene in the 1978 reggae movie Rockers. In his big scene, filmed in a Kingston recording studio, he flashes his dreadlocks like a natural movie star and effortlessly etches out the lead vocal to “Graduation In Zion,” a genre defining liberation song from the height of the roots reggae era.

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