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Yellowman on cancer and crooks


Reporter Tanya Batson continues her interview of deejay Yellowman. We have been through childhood and family, the state of the dancehall and touring. Today, Yellowman speaks about cancer and the 'samfie' people who have crossed his path. The interview series concludes in The Star tomorrow.

TB: Getting back to a more personal level ... tell me about your bouts with cancer.

Yellowman: Oh yes... well... It don' affec' mi performance, but sometimes ah have to tek treatment, some a di time y'know. Is not like Bob own dat grow, grow, grow right through di body, y'know. Mi affi jus only deal wid it before it get worse, yuh know. But it tek long fi get worse, but me deal wid it before it get worse.

TB: Okay, it hasn't affected your performance, but what about personally? Just hearing that you have cancer can be a pretty traumatic thing.

Yellowman: Personally?

TB: Yes. I mean, it must take some strength of character, or will, to go on.

Yellowman: No, no, it nuh really stop me y'know. It don't really stop, me. Because if it did stop me, mi wouldn' tour again. But as weh mi seh, mi try deal wid it before it get out a han'. But it no really stop di performance an di strength dat mi have still, it don' really stop it, y'know. Because I remember di firs' surgery mi do eena a private hospital in New Jersey. Di doctor tell me dat I only have three year fi live, an see it, mi still livin. Belief kill, belief cure, y'know.

TB: When was that?

Yellowman: That was in 1982

TB: I don't suppose you ever went back to that doctor.

Yellowman: No, no, no, no. I wan' tell you dat hospital did... aahm.. weh yuh would call it? Go out a business. But, y'know, I never really tek weh di doctor seh, y'know, because I don' listen to doctor. Di only time ah listen to dem is when deh seh, awright turn over, or lie down wi gwine do di operation. But in term of life, doctor can't predict my life. Is 'less dem have a plan, y'know. Is 'less dem have a plan fi kill me an den... y'know. But it don' really affec, y'know.

Di only time it get serious is wid di family. Yuh know like if me a go do a surgery, mi tell dem mi a go tek treatment an dem start draw up y'know. An a wonder, y'know. But when wi go doctor an doctor seh no is not nutten fi yuh holla about, fi yuh scream bout y'know, dem get back comfortable.

TB: So you've had two forms of cancer right?

Yellowman: No, jus' one. Just the tumour. It jus... sometime it jus come up everywhere eena yuh body, y'know. Mi jus affi jus deal wid it before, y'know.

TB: On the note of things you've had to deal with. I do remember a few years ago, actually it was probably up to last year, there were stories about your being ripped off by someone. How has that turned out?

Yellowman: Well it don' turn out 100 per cent. But di only good part a it, a get di van, y' understand. But di odda part is not 100 per cent. Im still owe mi $700,000.00 which di lawyer an im still dealin wid. So das how it work out. But if we want wi cyan carry im back to court, but di lawyer say it don' really necessary right now, y'know.

TB: Have you had many more experiences like this where people try to swindle you?

Yellowman: Yeah man. Plenty, plenty. Even before dat ting. Yuh have politician rob mi, you have managers, yuh have lawyers. Everybody, y'know. Yuh have people who deal wid dish, dem rob mi to.

TB: You mean a satellite dish?

Yellowman: Yeah man. Even when mi go legal. Dat is di time when dem rob mi, when mi go legal. So y'know.... Yuh have a certain lady who really hurt me, in terms of rob me y'know. She mek mi lose two house an mi neva recover from dat yet. So, y'know mi have a bitterness 'gainst har. I don' care weh no bady wan' seh... So, is just life y'know.

TB: So, in light of the fact that you have so many people trying to steal your money, what kind of provisions have you made for your family, in terms or insurance or investments, that kind of thing?

Yellowman: Well, I have tings set up fi dem like, if anyting happen, dem cyan get all mi publishing, all mi royalties. An a plenty of dat out dere fi mi yuh know. Wid di robbin an cheatin wid mi money y'know a whole heap a ting come up in mi head. But y'know di family is di one dat let me diverge from even hurtin somebody because dem tek mi money, y'know. So is a good ting mi have di family. Becaw, y'know, if a didn have di family, all who rob mi, maybe dem wouldn' even here, y'know.

In tomorrow's Star: Retirement, professionalism and reality.

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