Capleton Shares How Ninjaman Forced Him To Take Dancehall Career Seriously

Capleton has recalled that it was his St. Mary compatriot Ninjaman who unintentionally forced him to take Dancehall music seriously after the Don Gorgon ‘snatched’ his Long Fi Release lyrics and recorded them whilst he (Capleton) was working full-time at a shoe store in Kingston.

Pointing out that Ninjaman provided huge support and guidance to him at the onset of his career, Capleton joked about the matter in a recent interview on Suncity Radio

The Fireman noted that he had no hard feelings towards Ninjaman, as the Don Gorgon had later shown honesty and gave him his props when introducing him to Xterminator producer Fattis Burrell, telling him that Capleton was the writer of Long Fi Release and was a brilliant artist. Years later, whilst the two were performing together at a stage show, Ninjaman had also told the jam-packed crowd that Capleton was the man responsible for ‘bussing him” as he was the author of Long Fi Release.

In relaying Ninjaman’s antics, Capleton affirmed that at that time, he was not giving the music his ‘full hundred,’ as he was working at Lees Fifth Avenue, in the kid’s department, with music being treated more or less like a hobby.

“You know why me stop work?  Caw Ninjaman steal mi lyrics and mi style, even though him open my eye to business.   Caw it is not a easy ting to hear yuh song playing all over and yuh melody an yuh pattern and is not you doing it.  No, you wi mad,” the More Fire artist said.

“An even dem time deh, mi neva usually tell people seh Ninja steal mi lyrics, caw mi know how people stay enuh,” he said, chuckling. 

Ninjaman, Capleton

In sequentially recounting how Ninja came by Long Fi Release, Capleton said it took place on New Year’s Day in 1989, when he, Shabba Ranks, and Ninja as young artists, were freestyling on stage at an event in Papine, St Andrew, on the African Star Sound System.

“January 1, 1989African Star, a deh suh Ninja get Long fi Release.  Yeh, me an Shabba an Ninja deh-deh an wi a bun di fire.  An one a di time it look like Ninja, him nuh have enough lyrics fi stan up side a me an Shabba, suh him teck di mixing key and start mixing. A suh mi drop Long fi Release now enuh,” Capleton recalled.

“An di man a mix mi, an a mix mi and di man go suh boom, because him a try ketch back di lyrics, him a try trick mi up.  Suh mi a seh ‘Ninja, when you a mix mi, yuh fi mix mi properly… when yuh a mix mi buh mix mi off-key’,” he sang. 

“An di whole place open up, mi a tell yuh,” Capleton said in recounting the stunt Ninjaman pulled in order to memorize the lyrics for Long Fi Release.

Capleton, nevertheless, said that Ninja’s misdeed at the time provided the zeal he needed to go full force in Dancehall, as it was not long after that the Permit Fi Bury artist praised him in front of Fattis during an introduction.

“But as mi seh, good will always prevail ova evil.  Even though him done mi wrong at di time, him still open mi eye to di business.  Him introduce mi to Fattis and seh ‘Fattis a Capleton dis enuh.  Him bad enuh.  A him write Long fi Release’,” he added laughing.

According to Capleton, when Ninjaman made another attempt to snatch his Bumbo Red track, he was forced to spring into action and took the initiative at last and finally went directly to Fattis at Xterminator, to record the song himself.

“Even though him move off a BB Red (Bumbo Red) one a di time enuh.   Yeh, an a suh mi guh find Fattis now.  Suh mi still a show yuh how him still gi mi a push.  Caw mi a seh ‘him get dah one deh, mi naw meck him teck dis enuh’.  Suh mi hunt Fattis after the introduction,” Capleton said.

In another interview with Elise Kelly on Irie FM more than two years ago, Capleton had said that even though his colleagues were pressuring him to take action against Ninjaman for stealing his song, he insisted that he would not and remained friends with the deejay which proved to be one of his best decisions.

According to him, it was while at an event in Ninjaman’s yard that he was not only introduced to Fattis but got the opportunity to study Ninjaman’s technique of singing more than one song in the same melody, which resulted in him having several massive hits. 

“Mi still respect Ninja to a certain level, because he really opened my eye to the business, meck mi si how easy it is and how simple.  And he did like about six or seven songs in the one melody.   Mi hear di man she ‘Long Fi Release’, an den mi hear di man seh ‘Pedal and Wheel’, and den mi hear di man seh ‘Unda Yuh Love’ and den him seh ‘Glad Mi Release’,” he explained.

“Suh when yuh hear mi come an mi seh ‘Woman Mi Lotion, mi nuh lotion man’, dem mun like mi an mi nuh like dem’, ‘God mi love an mi nuh love Satan’, Numba one pan di look good chart’, no, mi a sing more dan one song in di same melody, an di whole a dem hit.  Suh him open mi eye.  Me neva know seh yuh coulda do four, five song inna one melody an dem hit,” he said.

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