As noted above (see BB 12), Hopeton Lindo, who was raised in the Kencot district of Kingston, made his biggest impact as a songwriter during the 1980s and 90s, being part of a team of scribes (along with Carlton Hines of Tetrack and Mikey Bennett of Home T4) employed by Gussie Clarke at Music Works. In fact, he wrote so many hits (including ‘Red Rose For Gregory’ and Shabba’s ‘Mr Loverman’) that he earned the descriptive nickname, ‘The Pen.’ But Lindo also recorded some excellent roots material as a vocalist, starting with ‘Black History’ for Mikey Dread (on a cut of the classic ‘His Imperial Majesty’ rhythm). ‘African Choice,’ Lindo’s first voicing for Gussie, surfaced in 1981, being handled in Canada by King Culture, and forming the debut issue on the Rockers Plantation label in the UK. Though the song is ostensibly a love song, this roots anthem is also an assertion of black pride; B-side ‘False Sentence’ is a stunning track relating the jailing of an innocent man, its bass-heavy dub portion featuring an eerie harmonica line. All killer, no filler!
David Katz ©