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Stabroek News

Kenyatta Hill keeps the voice of Culture alive
published: Sunday | January 21, 2007

Adrian Frater, News Editor


Kenyatta Hill, during his performance at Tru-Juice Rebel Salute 2007, in St. ELizabeth, last week Saturday. - Claudine Housen/Staff Photographer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Of all the singing children of reggae stars, there is one thing that is unique and distinctively different about Kenyatta Hill, the son of the late Joseph 'Culture' Hill.

He sounds exactly like his dad.

The similarity between father and son was so obvious in Kenyatta's dazzling performance at Tru-Juice Rebel Salute 2007, at Port Kaiser, St. Elizabeth, two Saturdays ago, that MC Mutabaruka was force to state categorically that "this man sound more like him father than any of the children of other artiste."

After Hill belted out the song Two Sevens Clash, a lady in the VIP section was so impressed by the 'sound-alike' delivery of the well-known reggae masterpiece that she turned to a companion and remarked "Culture body might be dead, but his voice nuh gone nowhere. What a bwoy sound like him father."

loved, respected his dad

In explaining his effortless move to centrestage following his father's death and his emergence as a replacement for the man who led the group, Culture, for over two decades, the youthful but seemingly self-assured Kenyatta Hill said it is all due to the great love, respect and admiration he has had for his dad all his life.

"He taught me well. He prepared me well for this," said Kenyatta, who shares his father slender build and stage mannerisms. "He was a good father who shared his knowledge with me, and as an obedient son, I listened attentively and learnt well."

Beside the regular father and son discussions, Kenyatta also spent a lot of time on the road touring the world with his father, during which he learnt the intricacies of connecting with an audience and giving them what they want.

"I toured the world with my father for the last 11 years of his life, and while I never performed myself, I learnt what it was like to be out there singing and pleasing the people," said Kenyatta.

"Since he is no longer around to do the work himself, I feel it is my duty to carry on the work. I know that he was preparing me for this."

In addition to his unmistakable Joseph Hill sound, Kenyatta has added another dimension to the similarity in the way he dresses on stage. Like his father, he wears high boots, close-fitting army-style pants and matching shirt and pants _ all very neat and well put together.

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