DJ Clash ~ 3 The Hard Way
Little Harry, Billy Boyo & Nicodemus
February 19, 2008

Track list
  1. Little Harry - Jessat Promotion
  2. Billy Boyo - Jah Jah Made Me To Be An MC
  3. Nicodemus - Hail Nico Dread
  4. Little Harry - Harry On The Go
  5. Billy Boyo - Billy Boyo In The Area
  6. Nicodemus - Birdman Hunting
  7. Little Harry - Leggo Mi Queen
  8. Billy Boyo - Going Back To School
  9. Nicodemus - Shaolin Plat
  10. Little Harry - Wicked & Wild
  11. Billy Boyo - Check In
  12. Nicodemus - Bubble Nicodemus Bubble
  13. Little Harry - Rougher Than Rough
  14. Billy Boyo - Look How She Fat
  15. Nicodemus - Tubby’s Daddy
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
In the early 1980s the growing popularity of dancehall music caused a real explosion of new deejay talent, with each and every artist trying to establish his name in the Jamaican dance halls and on vinyl as well. This collection brings together three of these deejay talents, namely the two juvenile deejays (or MC's as they preferred to be known) Little Harry and Billy Boyo, along with the man known as Nicodemus.

Born Cecil Wellington, 1957, Nicodemus started his career on the Socialists Roots sound system alongside selector Danny Dread, and furtheremore played sound systems such as Taurus and Channel One. After a debut hit "Jamaican Rockers Hop" in combination with Ranking Trevor he went on to have massive solo hits with "Boneman Connection" and "Wife And Sweetheart". He also successfully went toe to toe with Toyan on the LP "DJ Clash" (recently repressed by Greensleeves). Nicodemus sadly lost his life to diabetes in 1996.

Billy Boyo was one of the most successful child deejays of the time. His close family ties with his brother-in-law, then ruling producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes, and his obvious talent on the mic soon found him live 'pon Volcano sound, after he first held the mic on Jammy's Hi-Fi when he was about 9 years old. At the age of 10 Billy Boyo debuted on record with "One Spliff A Day", which was followed by "She Wicked She Wicked". In 1982 "Junjo" Lawes recorded this talented youthman deejay for a two artist "clash" album entitled "DJ Clash Volume 2", released by Greensleeves Records. Tragically, Billy Boyo died of a brain tumour in 2000.

On the "DJ Clash Volume 2" it was Billy Boyo vs Little Harry. The latter first took up the make at the age of 10. His big break came on 1981 at the legendary Skateland JCDJ National DJ competition, where his crowd pleasing performance was noted by the night's eventual winner Yellowman. A firm friendship was formed and Little Harry was soon chatting 'pon Junjo's legendary Volcano sound. Then in 1984, he started to record several songs for King Jammy, much of them released on 'All Star' compilation albums. Two years later he began to deejay for King Sturmars Hi Fi. During that time, he recorded his biggest hit, "Anarexol Body" for the Skengdon label. Little Harry is still active in the reggae business and can be found in the studios around Kingston.

"DJ Clash ~ 3 The Hard Way" features all tracks from Billy Boyo's & Little Harry's LP "DJ Clash 2" (at the time of its original release a top ten album according to notes kept by London record shops, Dub Vendor and Hawkeye Records), and the Nicodemus tracks from the LP "DJ Clash", which also included five Toyan tracks, recently issued as bonus tracks on cd reissue of Toyan's "How The West Was Won".

Overall the Roots Radics and the High Times Band (the dominant session bands during the period 1979-1985) make the best impression, as they provide excellent riddims, including some of them normally not recut in a dancehall stylee like e.g. "Dirty Harry" ("Billy Boyo In The Area") and "Silhouettes" ("Jessat Promotion"). Second best, in comparison with the two youthman deejays, is the more mature and experienced little big man Nicodemus, whose abrasive, lived-in voice makes him sound authoritative. His five tracks are truly worth of hearing as he chants cool and deadly on some awesome riddims. In the end it's a draw for Little Harry and Billy Boyo, although we tend to rate Little Harry's efforts a bit higher. Little Harry's best tunes are "Leggo Mi Queen" and "Harry On The Go" on the "Stop That Train" riddim, while Billy Boyo's strongest performances are "Billy Boyo In The Area" and "Look How She Fat".

This is the first time any of these tracks appear on cd, having only previously surfaced on vinyl. All tracks were recorded at Channel One in 1982/83, produced by Henry "Junjo" Lawes, engineered and mixed by Soljie Hamilton, Errol Thompson and Barnabas.