Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
When his father Garnet died Fabian Smith, now 21 years old, was old enough to have formed permanent memories of him. Among them are his father disciplining him, Garnet eating dinner and also brushing his teeth, as well as in a car with his father driving.
"Is very simple stuff. I mean, as a five-year-old you not going to hold a serious conversation with anybody," he said.
However, he has a memory that indicates his father's state of mind that, although not specific, is not simple. Smith remembers that in the last days of his father's life "him never so happy. Him did upset".
Simple or not, though, Smith says "all them things seem like a dream now".
Protecting the legacy
The immediate circumstance facing Smith is that he has a responsibility to manage his father's affairs, which means handling the promotion and protection of Silk's image and extensive catalogue of music.
"Is the least me could do. That is a part of me birthright. You can't willingly leave it just so. You have to govern the thing. Him not here in the flesh, so we have to govern the thing. That's the point of having children," he said.
Smith was unwilling to divulge details of the plans, which he said "is just a second away from materialising. The project is in the initial stages. I reach out to some people and them reach out, but a lot of it don't confirm yet".
And although he is young, Smith is confident that he is capable. "Me know me have a lot to learn, but me is not the average 21-year-old," he asserted. He also said "mi never always have this feeling of responsibility. When you young all you want to do is play games and run up and down. Mi did know is my father thing that, but mi never have this feeling of responsibility."
Smith concedes that he became steeped in Garnet Silk's music relatively late in his young life. He raps under the name Deuce Califa and told The Sunday Gleaner that he was heavily influenced by the Americans Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, especially the latter.
"Tupac was like me substitute for me father," Smith said, explaining that his father was dead and Tupac was the embodiment of the music that grabbed him. "It sound childish," Smith said, but states that for him Tupac "run things" in those years of his life.
In an interview with The Sunday Gleaner, published on March 11, Smith said he started his rap journey while in first form at York Castle High School in St Ann. He said "one day mi deh school and mi see two youth a battle (rapping) inna di schoolyard and from that mi start write lyrics." He started taking on rap rivals when he was about 15 years old.
He has recorded Written In The Stars, Blu Campaign and My Life, a collaboration with Hard Eaz.
Smith says that he has encountered criticism for rapping, not simply as a contradiction to his father's roots-reggae sound, but "just being a Jamaican. I don't pay any attention to it. Music is just music. Hip-hop and reggae coming from one place".
Since he started listening keenly to his father's music at about 14 years old, Smith says his favourite's include Every Knee Shall Bow, Death Go Away and a track that "I think is Mighty Mike have it", that song about a man making a long distance call.
"To me, once the message and the intention on common ground. The talent come from the same ground. Is two talent, but the message is the same.