Rebel Reggae Jungle Party
Expect some bass-heavy rebelliousness at Wilkswood Roots Reggae 2019 as the man of many aliases, Congo Natty, brings his unique blend of dancehall, jungle, house and techno to this year’s main stage.
Congo Natty (Michael Alec Anthony West) was born 1964 in Islington, London and is perhaps better known as Rebel MC, the jungle producer and toaster who went on to record some UK singles hits with the group Double Trouble back in the early 80s.
Also going under the monikers Conquering Lion, Blackstar, Tribe Of Issachar, Lion of Judah, X Project and Ras Project, Congo’s career has been following a reggae trajectory ever since. His early 90s albums, ‘Black Meaning Good’ and ‘Word, Sound, and Power’ mashed up reggae, ragga, techno, house and hip hop and featured Barrington Levy, Tenor Fly and Dennis Brown.
Forming the Tribal Bass label, Rebel MC released ‘Tribal Bass’ (1992), which reached number 20 in the UK charts, and the hip house track Demon Boyz ‘Dett’ (1992) and the Oldschool Jungle track ‘Jungle-ist’ (1993). The X Project label followed shortly with the ‘Old School Ting’ (1993) single. As Conquering Lion, West, with help from DJ Ron and Jumping Jack Frost, released the sound system mash up ‘Lion of Judah/Innah Sound/Dub Plate Special’ (1993). With vocals from Supercat, Conquering Lion’s ‘Code Red/Phenomenon’ (1994) caught the attention of 4th & Broadway who re-released the track along with ‘Rastaman/Word, Sound and Power/Code Black’ (1995).
Tribal Bass gradually mutated into Congo Natty, and West himself released some material under this name, before settling on the Conquering Lion name. However, this was not the last the world heard of Rebel MC. Despite his continued success with his new style of music, West released the single ‘Junglist’ (Congo Natty, 2004) under the Rebel MC name, and followed this up with a greatest hits album Born Again (Congo Natty, 2005). In 2013, he released the album Jungle Revolution, featuring the likes of General Levy, Top Cat, Tippa Irie, Tenor Fly and Nanci Correia.