Sound system commander and MC extraordinaire, the ‘Incredible’ General Levy is without doubt one of the UK’s most treasured ragga artists. A veteran within the urban music scene, he’s the home-grown rhyming talent with the symbolic voice, still frequently heard through speakers and subwoofers across the nation today.
Born in North London in 1971, Levy spent his early childhood growing up around the vibrant borough of Brent, in Wembley and Harlesden. Immersed into a rich and diverse community, comprised of various cultures from West Indian to European, Asian and African, the budding artist quickly found a passion for music, with a specific love and respect for reggae and dancehall.
Aged just 14 years old, the soon to be general began writing his own lyrics and sought to create a sound system collective. Inspired by the live sounds captured on his vast accumulation of Jamaican dancehall tapes, of which he was an avid collector, The Third Dimension was born. The first of many sound systems the MC would later go on to join. Amongst those was TipperTone Sound, a North London based crew that helped to promote Levy as a serious MC on the UK circuit.
As his reputation within the scene continued to grow, earning recognition for his unparalleled non-stop flow, he began to gain the attention of various imprints and renowned producers. His first studio project eventually came about after TipperTone co-founder and former BBC Radio One DJ Robbo Ranx approached the young MC, offering to assist him in the production of some of his first recorded tracks – ‘Tell Me Why’ and ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’.
He would later pen a deal with infamous producer Gussie P’s label Fashion Records, a cornerstone of the independent UK reggae scene, through which the pair would unleash several of Levy’s most favoured dancehall records, including ‘Breeze’, ‘The Wig’ and ‘Champagne Body’. The MCs debut full length ‘Double Trouble’ and award-winning sophomore record ‘Wickeder General’ later followed also via Fashion Records, featuring collaborations with the likes of Jamaican Reggae superstar Capleton, Junior Dan and Janet Lee Davis.
Levy’s ever-increasing popularity, strengthened by his charismatic persona and fabled live performances, hadn’t gone unnoticed and in 1993 major label FFRR Records stepped in. The label re-issued the Wickeder General album as ‘Wickedness Increase’ in the same year, promoting a wealth of new sales.
Since then, the general has consistently endeavoured to provide quality sound system anthems, from his collaboration with M Beat on what is undoubtedly his most famous single ‘Incredible’ (We’ve all seen Ali G Indahouse right?) to his latest release, 2020’s ‘Good Love’ featuring London party starters, Reggae Roast.
After over three decades in the business, he’s not showing any signs of slowing, featuring on tracks with a new generation of MCs such as AJ Tracey and Novelist, with events already booked in for 2021 including our very own Highest Point!
Last year he took the imaginary roof off at The Dell and you can witness this legend of sound system culture performing live at Highest Point again on Friday 14th May.
Tickets are now on sale at Skiddle.com
Image credit: General Levy