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Along with Buju Banton and Sizzla, Capleton spearheaded dancehall's return to reggae tradition, tackling Rastafarian spiritual themes and using classic roots reggae as a musical foundation. Capleton was born Clifton George Bailey III on April 13, 1967, in the rural town of Islington, in Jamaica's St. Mary parish. Capleton's namesake was a prominent local lawyer, and young Clifton earned that nickname as a verbally gifted youth with a similar talent for logical argument. He also loved music, counting both Bob Marley & the Wailers and dancehall DJ Papa San as early favorites, and sneaking into sound system shows at age 12. At 18, he moved to Kingston in hopes of starting a music career, and performed with several small sound systems before catching on with Stewart Brown's African Star, a combination sound system and label with connections in both Jamaica and Toronto. Visiting the latter in 1989, Capleton shared a concert bill with the hugely popular Ninjaman, and impressed enough that he was offered the chance to record with major producer Philip "Fatis" Burrell upon his return to Jamaica. Capleton's first single was the risqué "Bumbo Red," which was banned from Jamaican radio for its sexually explicit lyrics, but became a huge word-of-mouth hit. He made a well-received appearance at the 1990 Reggae Sunsplash Festival, and issued a series of popular -- and often slack -- singles for various producers, the biggest of which were "Number One Pon the Look Good Chart" and "Lotion Man." The 1991 LP Capleton Gold gathered some of these early recordings, and he also appeared on several split albums, the most notable of which was 1992's Double Trouble, shared with General Levy. By 1992, a distinct cultural consciousness was becoming apparent in Capleton's work, starting with the landmark hit single "Alms House." An album of the same name was issued in 1993, collecting further singles in the same vein like "Matie a Dead," "Unnu No Hear," and "Make Hay," among others. During this era, Capleton was truly coming into his own; still recording prolifically in 1993, he scored several signature hits with "Everybody Needs Somebody," "Cold Blooded Murderer," and "Buggering." Those tracks all appeared on the 1994 album Good So. By that point, Capleton's conversion to Rastafarianism was complete and now dominated his music to a greater degree than ever before. His success also earned him a shot with an American major label, Def Jam, for which he debuted with the album Prophecy in 1995. Hip-hop remixes of "Tour" and "Wings in the Morning" (the latter of which featured a guest spot from Method Man) made Capleton a significant crossover success on the rap and dance singles charts, and Prophecy sold quite respectably in the U.S. Def Jam also issued the follow-up album, 1997's I Testament, which continued in a similar vein: R&B accessibility fused with Rastafarian militancy. Capleton subsequently returned his focus to the Jamaican market, and although his music was now rootsier than ever, he began to temper his Rasta obsessions with more romantic lyrics. 1999's One Mission gathered some of his work, but a better chronicle of his highly consistent output over 1999-2000 was More Fire, which contained all of his biggest hits of the period: the rootsy-sounding "Who Dem?," the antiviolence anthem "Jah Jah City," the female-positive "Good in Her Clothes." 2002's Still Blazin' gathered much of his best work from the next two years. ~ Steve Huey
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
  2.   That Day Will Come
  3.   Never Share (Burn Dem)
  4.   Leaders Let the People Down
  5.   Fire Time
  6.   Who Yuh Callin' Nigga
  7.   Jah Jah City
  8.   Jah Jah Lives
  9.   Miles
  10.   Hits Pon Top a Hits
  11.   Dem No Like Me
  12.   Fireman's Anthem
  13.   Cut Dash
  14.   Dem Nuh Know Themself
  15.   Blessed Love
  16.   The Woman Dem a Log In
  17.   Judgement
  18.   Bun dem Up
  19.   Woman Mi Proud Of
  20.   Table Turning
  21.   Where There Is Love
  22.   Tour
  23.   Mr. Lay Lay
  24.   Call I
  25.   All Is Well
  26.   Raggy Road
  27.   How the West Was Won
  28.   Girl I Love You
  29.   No Competition
  30.   Me Mean It
  31.   Burn Dem Down
  32.   Can't Sleep Ah Night
  33.   Too Much Gun
  34.   Final Assasin
  35.   Me Deh Yah
  36.   Black Woman
  37.   Continue Do It
  38.   Chant
  39.   Capleton
  40.   Acres
  41.   Hard Fi Learn
  42.   Don't Give Up
  43.   Nuh Know Dem
  44.   Wrong Stang Up
  45.   As the Hour Pass By
  46.   Christianity
  47.   Hot Suh
  48.   Mi Nuh Lotion Man
  49.   Recognized
  50.   Mass Media
  51.   Obstacle
  52.   Everything
  53.   Listen to My Sound by Wyclef Jean
  54.   Won't Go Down
  55.   Same Old Story In Dub
  56.   Speak Your Mind
  57.   Stay Suh
  58.   Can't Dis the King
  59.   Play Play War
  60.   The Return II
  61.   Fade Away
  62.   Fire Light Dem
  63.   Nuh Gimmi Nuh Talk
  64.   Choose Your Friend
  65.   Recognize
  66.   Chant Me Song
  67.   Jah Protect Us
  68.   Forty Sup'Em
  69.   Sadam & Gamora
  70.   Love
  71.   Don't Dis the Trinity
  72.   Invasion
  73.   West Won
  74.   Chant Me Song
  75.   Virgin
  76.   Number One Song
  77.   Ton Load
  78.   Wise Up People
  79.   Real Hot
  80.   In Her Heart
  81.   Who Is Dem
  82.   Continue
  83.   Warn Dem
  84.   Log on Girls
  85.   Hunt Dem Food
  86.   Prophet
  87.   Mi Deh Yah
  88.   Agressor
  89.   Help
  90.   Run de Place
  91.   Wirness
  92.   Hunt You