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Tappa Zukie

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Kingston, Jamaica

Tapper Zukie (or Tappa Zukie), born David Sinclair, 1955, Kingston, Jamaica, is a highly influential reggae DJ and producer.
Tapper was the nickname given to him by his grandmother in his youth, while Zukie was the name that came from his friends’ association as a young boy, their gang called “The Zukies”.
In 1973 his mother, worried by Zukie’s tendency to get into trouble, sent him to England to stay with some relatives. Producer Bunny Lee arranged with UK-based entrepreneur Larry Lawrence for him to undertake some recording sessions and live shows, opening for Jamaican DJ pioneer U-Roy the day after his arrival in London. Zukie’s first release was the single “Jump & Twist”, produced by Lawrence. Around this time he also recorded material for Clem Bushay which would later form part of the Man A Warrior album, issued in 1975.
Zukie returned to Jamaica, cutting “Judge I Oh Lord” for Lloydie Slim and “Natty Dread Don’t Cry”. Taking some rhythms from Bunny Lee and Joseph Hoo Kim he toasted over them at King Tubby’s studio, these forming the album MPLA (released in 1976).
The Man A Warrior album had gained Zukie a cult following in the UK, and he returned there in 1975, releasing the track “MPLA” as a single, which was sufficiently successful for Klik to issue the album of the same name in the UK. One notable fan of MPLA was Patti Smith, who gave Zukie a support slot on her UK tour and contributed sleeve-notes to his 1977 album Man From Bosrah, Zukie playing an integral part in the Punk-Reggae crossover happening in London in the late 1970s.

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