But for all his innovations, Dread admits that becoming reggae's renaissance man wasn't the plan. "The singjay style was a fun thing I did at [King] Tubby's [studio]," he explains. "I just did one song, and it went to the top 20. So the next go inna the top 10 and the next go inna the number one. So it was a fun thing."
Fun is an understatement for Dread's early albums. His 1978 debut, Dread at the Controls/ Evolutionary Rockers, was a tour de force that included bizarre jingles Dread created for his radio program, while his latest, Rasta in Control from 2002, is almost somber in comparison. Strong reflective numbers such as "Great God of Glory" and "Sacrifice" rightfully portray Mikey Dread as the well-deserving elder statesman of roots reggae.