Let’s go back…
Here’s a little bonus peeps…the story behind “Legacy” the song.
Once upon a time, a long, long time as dancehall revved up its rpms (but only 16 years ago in normal time), singer Richie Stephens and deejay Mad Cobra combined to leave a Legacy.
It was not so much a legacy of smashing number one, although Stephens tells The Sunday Gleaner that Legacy hit the pole position in a few Caribbean countries. But following on Cobra’s Flex, which topped the US Billboard’s rap singles charts in 1992 and also went into the top 10 on the R&B charts, Legacy was definitely not a huge hit.
However, along with Shabba Ranks and Maxi Priest’s Housecall, Legacy stands as one of the most prominent examples of the singer/deejay combination format from an era when major labels were readjusting their perceptions of Jamaican music from dreadlocks and one drop to bling and computerised rhythms.
And a high-quality music video which has stood the test of time is a regularly played visual reminder.
Stephens told The Sunday Gleaner that the pledge to a lover and second single from Cobra’s Hard To Wet, Easy To Dry Columbia Records album “is my song. It was a song I wrote and recorded at Penthouse”.
It was done for Specs-Shang, to which both himself and Cobra were signed, and this is what led to the collaboration, which Stephens had no idea of until it had actually been done. “Cobra was under the same management as I was. One day, Specialist called me, and told me that he had put Cobra on the song. Cobra’s album was coming out at the time, so it was only natural to put it on the album.”
“I did not have a problem with it. We were brethrens, all under the same management.”
And when he eventually heard the song, Stephens was very enthusiastic. “Specialist played it for me in his car. He said ‘Richie, hear this’. And I said ‘that bad’, because you know Cobra is one of the best deejays,” Stephens said.
He smiles as he remembers the origins of Legacy, “When you’re young and you feel like you have a girl and you are so in love. I was writing it with a particular girl in mind.” He laughs as he throws back his head and sings “I would die for you, I’d go anywhere for you” and says “youthful kind of thinking”.
“Big statement that, ‘I would die for you’,” Stephens said and laughs even harder.
And in his part, Cobra chants “ova yu legacy gal me no stop cry, hoping praying to be your guy”.
Legacy was complemented by a video which got extensive rotation in the early 1990s and continues to be shown to this day. Stephens says: “One of the good things about that video is that it was big budget, done on film. That’s why it stands out to this day. It was done on 35mm camera.” It was sot in Portland, Portmore and St Mary over three days, some memorable beach scenes included in the end product.
Richie Stephens, who went on to be signed to Motown, says Legacy “really created an impact for me and Cobra. We performed it a couple of times back then. I haven’t done it lately”.
Original article can be read here.