Five Questions with ... Mr Lexx
No dancehall artiste was as true to form throughout the decade of his emergence than the artiste formerly known as Lexxus. He emerged in the ‘90s with a throaty style of delivery, catchy lyrics and an attitude to win the hearts of female dancehall lovers, and has for long boasted of being “the prince charming” of the genre.
“I have always been a ladies’ man even before me buss. I am a favourite in the females’ good books and it is owed to my personality, which is not going to change any time soon,” Mr Lexx told The Gleaner. “A one prince, enuh, me ah di prince; the rest ah dem ah princess,” he continued jokingly.
With habitually egocentric lyrics, the dancehall ring was always open to an earful of this entertainer’s character, and a character he is – his style teetered from seriously lyrical with tracks like Divine Reasoning to broad-stroke punchlines and blunt creativity in Let Those Monkeys Out and Cook on the drop of a dollar coin. If a single word could describe his output, it would be ‘fun’, as Mr Lexx harmonised acting and dancing on stage with his command of the microphone. He could possibly hold the dancehall world record for being the deejay to say the most females names in a song – if there was ever such an award. With his latest project, the seven-track Touch Down EP, Mr Lexx is reminding foundation dancehall fans of his talent. Mindful of his age, though only 46 years young, he frequently states that he doesn’t want to get old before putting out another project. He said, “Well, the fact is that I been around for longer than a minute, but I don’t want to spend my whole life doing this. In the near future, I want to go into TV. I’m focused on getting my projects ah road. I was planning on doing a special for DVD before COVID-19 come and ruin everything. The idea was a 30-minute stand-up comedy special about things that have happened to me. Still, I don’t know what the future holds for me.”
The decade from 2000-2010 was a big transition for dancehall veterans, and for you, who had to deal with a lot, including legal battles and community service in the US. What lesson did you learn, and how did you apply it to the following decade of your career to secure your place as a household name?
As public figures we are vulnerable to a whole bunch of things, and sometimes we make mistakes; after all, we are human. I have learned to put the past behind me and move forward with a philosophy to stay happy, no matter the situation in life. I try to stay happy and learn from every experience. The world is not perfect, people are not perfect, and things happen. I can’t say or tell the young artistes what to do to overcome their personal challenges, but in order to become a household name, look beyond the negative and create wholesome music. That’s what I did, and I added to the songs I made, that were relatable and got embedded in our culture.
You are influential to many younger artistes. When you look at the culture of dancehall now, are there elements of it that you can point to where you say, “I invented that” or “I popularised that”?
Before me buss, ah one artiste dem did buss ah year. Before me, it was Zebra, and before him was Vegas, and I believe I came and change that whole approach. I carried the whole ah me fren dem on the scene and show that five, six, seven man can hot one time. Whole heap ah artistes can hot one time. I believe I changed the flow, with the little rap-deejay flow, “Hey yo, sonny, first of all gimme me money” and with that bass tone. I think I did a few things worth mentioning.
Where’s the first place you’ll be travelling to when the world opens back up?
The first place I’ll be travelling to is the US. I really miss my children and I haven’t been there in a while. I can’t wait to see them.
Is there a Mrs Lexx? And how important is vulnerability and trust to you in your love life?
I do have a girlfriend. Trust is a very important thing still, and I trust her. I am not one of those men that sits down and worry if my woman ah do this or my woman ah do that. Whatever she tells me, ah dat me ah work wid. Vulnerability and trust are very intricate components in a relationship and I respect that she came into the relationship knowing I am an entertainer, a favourite amongst the ladies, and she trusts me, too.
What five songs are in your daily playlist?
Well, it’s a diverse list, but my currently in the top five are: Lock It Down, one of the tracks from my Touchdown EP which features Robbyn Goode; Don’t Waste My Time by Usher; Rockstar by DaBaby; Unfaithful Games by Teejay (me love dah tune deh, it’s possibly my favourite tune by this deejay); and I just added Lighter by Shenseea and Tarrus Riley. Shenseea is a bad artiste, enuh, she can sing fi real. The combination of the two artistes makes it a good listen.