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Black Judah – an unusual combination

When you hear of a musical duo that is part Jamaican and part American, you probably think that the Jamaican will be the deejay while the American sings. This is not the case for Black Judah.

The duo comprises a Jamaican singer, Sugar Black, whose birth name is Patrick Hall, and Caucasian deejay Dylan Judah, whose birth name is Dylan Hyde.

Each had an interesting story before they formed the duo in 2004. Sugar Black was a recording artiste who worked with Penthouse Records. He was also was signed to Tony Rebel’s Flames Production since 1995. During this time he formed linkages with artistes like Ras Shiloh, Tony Rebel, Garnett Silk, Lebanchuleh and Jah Mason. He was also part of the Jah By My Side Tour, which ended prematurely in 2000.

Mixed feelings

He left Rebel’s camp and removed the locks he once adored as a result of his feelings following an incident involving Rebel and another artiste. He left the Jamaican music scene to get a fresh start.

Dylan Judah was also a Rastafarian but decided to cut his locks as well. He was a musician since age 16. He was part of a popular ska band in California called CIA (Caught In The Act) in which he played the drums and produced. The band opened for Bunny Wailer and The Skatalites. They even worked alongside fellow band No Doubt. He was also part of a reggae group called Cannons, in which he was a singer.

Dylan Judah might not fit the image of a typical Caucasian male but he is happy with himself. “As a Rastafarian, it doesn’t matter if you wear designer clothes or a robe ’cause I still have the same Rastafarian mind frame and heart,” he said.

“Most people said that I thought that I was black. They used to say ‘Why I think I was Jamaican?’ But I continued doing my music despite what people thought,” he said.

It was the love that Dylan had for Jamaica that really brought the duo together. Dylan Judah says that before he met Sugar Black he liked his song Heavens Declare. Ras Shiloah who is a good friend of Sugar Black also performed an acapella version of Dylan Judah’s Jah Glory at the Ojai Reggae Festival that caught Sugar Black’s attention. They were eventually introduced to each other by Ras Shiloah.

After the introduction and Sugar Black began living and working in the United States. They started performing together on various shows in California. It was later suggested that they start the duo.

They say it has been going great since then as they complement each other. This is evident in the songs they have done together, like Mercy Please which has received airplay in Jamaica. They have also done Seh Yeah which features Elephant Man.

The duo also performed at numerous events in the United States of America and are determined to make their mark on the Jamaican market. “Jamaica is the hub for everything. We get good reception in California but I have the hunger to come back and conquer Yard,” said a passionate Sugar Black.

They believe this will be possible through the promotion of their album ‘Roots World Order’ which is almost complete and will be released soon. They say the album is a combination of cultural, hard-core, dancehall, reggae, and ‘girl friendly’ tracks. They have signed with a record label in Japan for the distribution of their album.

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