Ras Kimono birth name Ekeleke Elumelu was born on 9th May 1958 and died on 10th June, 2018 at the age of 60 years old. He was a Nigerian reggae artist whose debut album Under Pressure released in late 80s, including the single “Rum-Bar Stylée”, was a major hit in the Nigerian music scene. Before he released his solo album, he was in a band group called The Jastix alongside Amos McRoy and Majek Fashek.Ras Kimono was born in Delta State, Nigeria, he began his music career after finishing his understudies in Gbenoba Secondary School Agbor. He joined a reggae band, Jastix Reggae Ital, alongside Majek Fashek, Amos McRoy Jegg, and Black Rice Osagie. His music was greatly influenced by the poverty, inequality, and hardship that he encountered while growing up. He released his solo album Under Pressure on the Premier Music label in 1989, which pushed him to a household name in the reggae industry. The record had hits, including, “Under strain,” “Natty Get Jail” and the huge hit “Rhumba Style.” He later discharged a string of hit albums, touring all over Africa, Europe, and the United States, advancing his image of reggae music.
He won a few honors including the Nigeria Music Awards, Fame Music Awards and some more. In 2010, he was still performing to royal reggae music fan-base of different generations and his music is still played on the radio, all through West Africa. Kimono served a long apprenticeship on the Nigerian music circuit, trying different things with various styles, previously making his late 1980s achievement as a reggae vocalist. Together with his Massive Dread Reggae Band. Kimono released his debut album, Under Pressure in 1989, joined by the well known single, “Rum-Bar Stylee”, this uncovered both a Jamaican and local African impact (the last especially clear in his ‘Patois’ conveyance, as often as possible utilized by Fela Kuti to speak with the urban underclass). His firmly polemical verses delivered collection offers of more than 100,000 copies, and an intense after for his promotion of social change. What’s Gwan demonstrated considerably more fruitful, with the themes chosen including legitimization of weed, and the requirement for Africans to mentally repulse expansionism and its self-assertive limits between clans. Most questionable, he was not disinclined to naming people straightforwardly with the significant influence he saw as synonymous with secondary passage colonialism.
On 9th June 2018 Saturday night, Ras Kimono fell sick at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, while holding up to get onto a trip to the United States. He was quickly raced to the doctor’s facility in Ikeja, Lagos and later transferred to Lagoon Hospital in the Island where he kicked the bucket on Sunday morning.His passing was confrimed by the President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, Pretty Okafor and the Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria, Chief Tony Okoroji.Ras Kimono was married to Sybl, who relocated to the United States of America (USA) with him but did not return with him. They have three daughter
On his return he began a romantic relationship and married to his manager, Efe Okedi, and they have a daughter. Efe Okedi died on 23rd September 2018.His daughter, Oge Kimono, is also a legendary reggae artiste. She moved from Europe back to Nigeria to revive reggae music.
“I thought it was time for me to come back home, having garnered enough experience in the international scene. I decided to return to Nigeria to pay my dues like every other person. I don’t believe in jumping the line, I am not the kind of artiste that rides on my father’s name to get a break. I believe in working hard and I have been putting in all my efforts to make the difference. Currently, I am not signed on to any label. Whatsoever I am doing now, I am doing it out of my own pocket. I am trying to see how I can revive reggae music in the country. In as much as we do expect to get a return from our sweat, money is not the first thing I see when it comes to music. What I see is getting the message across to the people. Coming back home, I realized that reggae was on the lull. Young people like myself are not even ready to identify with the genre because they believed it is not profitable. So, they want to be on the fast lane and make quick money. Fortunately, I also know a couple of youths who are into reggae music but do not have the platform and push for their music to be heard. That is what Oge Kimono has come to do. I have come to pave the way for those who have been silent for a long time, and of course, to bring reggae music back to where it was previously.”
Ras Kimono Albums
1989: Under Pressure
1989: We No Wan
1990: What’s Gwan
1990: Rub A Dub