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Cocoa Tea

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Biography

Cocoa Tea was one of the few early dancehall stars to carve out a consistent, productive career as the genre evolved over the years. His cool-toned, laid-back vocals were perfect for sweet, smooth lovers rock, and gave him a distinct identity amid his more aggressive peers. Still, he was also capable of toughening up his sound on his cultural protest material, which was often sharply perceptive. Tea was born Calvin Scott on September 3, 1959, in Rocky Point, a small town in Jamaica's Clarendon parish. He sang in his church and school choirs as a youth, and made his first recordings for producer Willie Francis in 1974 at the mere age of 14; one single, "Searching in the Hills," was released under his given name, but went nowhere. He spent the next few years working as a racehorse jockey, then as a fisherman; during the latter occupation, he began to rediscover his musical ambitions, performing with the traveling sound systems that passed through local dancehalls. In 1983, he moved to Kingston and adopted the performing name Cocoa Tea, after the Jamaican term for hot chocolate (later alternate spellings would include Coco Tea and Coco T). He soon met top dancehall producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes, and recorded a series of hit singles that included "Rocking Dolly," "I Lost My Sonia," "Informer," and "Can't Stop Cocoa Tea." His first album, Weh Dem a Go Do...Can't Stop Coco Tea, was released in 1985 and compiled many of his previous successes (a slightly different version, Rocking Dolly, was later issued in the U.S.). Lawes moved his operation to New York, and King Jammy became Tea's primary producer just as he was beginning to expand his focus to Rastafarian lyrical themes. The results included two albums, 1986's The Marshall and 1987's Come Again, and hit singles in those two title tracks, "Tune In," and "Settle Down," among others. In 1989, a supergroup featuring Tea, Shabba Ranks, and Home T recorded together under the auspices of both King Jammy and Gussie Clarke. The resulting album, Holding On, was a major hit in Jamaica, as were the singles "Pirates Anthem" and "Who She Love." Still an extremely viable solo artist, Tea recorded the biggest socially conscious hit of his career to date, "Riker's Island," in 1991, and supported it with an album of the same name. His strident anti-Gulf War commentaries "Oil Ting" and "No Blood for Oil" were banned on radio in Jamaica and the U.K.; the latter was included on a second supergroup album, Another One for the Road, for which Cutty Ranks replaced Shabba. Tea's next major solo hit was the lovers rock tune "Good Life," produced by Philip "Fatis" Burrell. He was able to maintain a steady, solid level of popularity into the late '90s, with hits for Burrell (1996's "Israel King," 1997's King Sporty cover "I'm Not a King") and Bobby "Digital" Dixon (1995's "Holy Mount Zion"), plus a collaboration with Cutty Ranks on the 1997 Bob Marley cover "Waiting in Vain." Much of his mid-'90s material was collected on Holy Mount Zion, which was released in 1997 by the legendary Motown label. Further albums included 1998's One Way and 2001's Feel the Power. ~ Steve Huey
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   White Squal
  3.   Rastaman
  4.   Young Lover
  5.   Chilling Out
  6.   Low Profile
  7.   Save Us Oh Jah
  8.   Pirates Anthem
  9.   Crying Time
  10.   She Loves Me Now
  11.   Tune In
  12.   Come Again
  13.   No Wanted Man
  14.   Your Love Is Lifting Me Higher
  15.   Bad Bwoy
  16.   Hey Bobby
  17.   Moving On
  18.   Waiting in Vain featuring Coco Tea
  19.   Barber White Sheep
  20.   Love Me
  21.   Easy Nuh
  22.   Be Yourself
  23.   Let's Give Thanks by Charlie Chaplin
  24.   Poverty Line
  25.   Only Me
  26.   One Way
  27.   Hunting in the Ghetto
  28.   Holy Mount Zion
  29.   Waiting in Vain
  30.   No Love feat. Suga Roy & Conrad Crystal
  31.   Tek Weh Yuh Gal
  32.   A Single Step
  33.   Sweeter
  34.   My Girl by Ninja Ford
  35.   Hunted Wanted
  36.   Like a Love Song
  37.   Indian Woman
  38.   I Am Not a King
  39.   Heathen
  40.   Earthquake
  41.   One Up
  42.   Don't You Burn
  43.   Mek Dem a Gwan So
  44.   Black Magic Woman
  45.   Body Language
  46.   Israel's King
  47.   A Business
  48.   The Weed
  49.   Pose Up
  50.   The Mood Is Right
  51.   Medley 5
  52.   Heathen Back
  53.   Still in Love With Me
  54.   There's No Hope
  55.   Barack Obama
  56.   In a di Red
  57.   Can't Live So
  58.   Jah Made Them That Way
  59.   Stop Him
  60.   Why Turn Down the Sound
  61.   Back Together
  62.   I'm Going Home
  63.   Getting Closer
  64.   Love Rain
  65.   Flirty Flirty
  66.   Burn It Down
  67.   Sinner Burning
  68.   Rocking Dolly
  69.   Evening Time
  70.   Who
  71.   Mr. Fisherman
  72.   Informer
  73.   Shelly-Ann
  74.   Love Is by D'Angel
  75.   Love Me Truly by Shabba Ranks
  76.   I'm Leaving You Behind
  77.   Lost My Sonia
  78.   Death In The Stadium
  79.   A Love Like Yours and Mine
  80.   I'm the Toughest
  81.   Me No Like Rikers Island
  82.   Stay in School
  83.   Sex Drugs and Crime
  84.   Greedy Boy
  85.   Love Me
  86.   So Long
  87.   Try Love
  88.   Holding On
  89.   Hurry Over
  90.   How Dem Flex
  91.   Magnet and Steel
  92.   There She Goes
  93.   Inside Out
  94.   Ladies' Ball
  95.   Lost My Sonia/Sonia Come Back
  96.   No Love
  97.   Treat Her
  98.   Rastaman Chant
  99.   Stand Up Straight
  100.   It Was Charm
  101.   Time Will Tell
  102.   Trickster by Lady G.
  103.   Press Freedom
  104.   18 & Over
  105.   Go Home
  106.   No Blood For Oil
  107.   Can't Be Real
  108.   Zeeks by Louie Culture
  109.   Pirates Anthem featuring Home T
  110.   Get Rotten
  111.   Oil Ting
  112.   Biological Clock
  113.   Babylon Feel It
  114.   Can't Tek the Fire Bun
  115.   One Away Woman
  116.   I'm Sorry
  117.   Sinners Surrender
  118.   Criminality
  119.   Joker Loving
  120.   Behold Jah Jah
  121.   Secret Admirer
  122.   Come Love Me
  123.   Stop Your Nagging
  124.   Don't Turn It Off
  125.   Caan Touch Dis
  126.   Give a Little Love
  127.   Love You to Death
  128.   Christmas Is Coming
  129.   Can't Keep a Good Man Down
  130.   Return
  131.   This Girl Is Mine by Ninjaman
  132.   Burn Satan
  133.   I Can't Help
  134.   Tender Loving
  135.   Grow Your Locks
  136.   Louisiana
  137.   Bust Outta Hell
  138.   Too Young
  139.   Forward to Africa
  140.   All Night Saturday Night
  141.   I'm the Roughest
  142.   Nah Fight Nuh Man over Woman
  143.   We Must Be Free
  144.   More Than Just a Lover
  145.   Keep on Doing It
  146.   Good Life
  147.   Virus
  148.   Over the Years
  149.   On Top of the World
  150.   How Do You Do