Tough Life - Junior Kelly

VP Records

Tough Life is an apropos name for reggae ‘sing-jay’, Junior Kelly’s latest. Things haven’t been easy for Kelly and his family, particularly during the time of his older brother’s murder. Jim Kelly was a talented DJ who was gunned down over a labor dispute. Following the trial of the accused, Junior Kelly and his siblings were shipped off from Kingston to live in the countryside in a kind of ‘witness relocation’. It was about that time that Junior Kelly started to write his first lyrics and prevailing themes of love and faith began to emerge in his music. His first big hit called ‘Love So Nice’ used the rhythm of Bob Marley’s ‘Stir it Up’ to share the universal experience of being hurt by love. But, Tough Life isn’t an album about self-pity. It’s an affirmation of how life’s adversities can help make us all stronger in the end. Kelly sampled the voice of one of his mentors, Dennis Brown for the album’s first single, ‘Hold The Faith’. Here’s a next gen. reggae star with an abiding respect and appreciation for the old school veterans. Love You Like That, is a sweet blend of DJ rapping and the melodious voice of J.C. Lodge. The Riddim Twins lay down the bottom on a track that calls out young Jamaicans, ‘Youths Dem Nah Cool’. When asked, “What does music mean to Junior Kelly?” He replies thoughtfully saying, “Music is a living entity that takes on its own shape and form. It’s the ultimate way of communicating.”