Music News

Eek-A-Mouse

In his youth, Kingston-bred reggae star Ripton Hilton threw away tons of money at the racetrack, betting time and again on a sorry nag named Eek-A-Mouse. But the one time he decided not to wager on the beloved hay-burner, it actually won -- earning Hilton a permanent rodent-type nickname among friends. It later became his identity as a DJ and dancehall toaster. (It's also his one acting credit for the cameo role as Fat Smitty in 1991's New Jack City. ) He's been performing since he was fifteen, and Eek-A-Mouse, now 47, remains an odds-on favorite among sun-splashers worldwide with his unique blend of raw musical talent, social commentary and bubbly irreverence. Standing six and a half feet tall, with a husky patois that splits the difference between Cab Calloway and Al Jarreau, the Mouse created sing-jaying: simultaneous singing and deejaying, punctuated with signature scat-based nonsense like "dem-di-dem" and "biddy-biddy-beng." The oddball freestyling vocal delivery turns odes to Trenchtown, Jamaican beetles, black cowboys and ganja-smuggling into celebrations. Hilton even proposes building castles for the homeless and breathes fresh life into Led Zeppelin's pseudo-reggae "D'Yer Mak'er." Are you Eek-sperienced? -- La Briola
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John La Briola