Popular British MC, born Anthony Henry, London, England, 1965, better known to Reggae fans as Tippa Irie
Tippa grew up in South London where there was a strong sound system culture. He began performing locally aged just 13 and by 15 he was MCing with King Tubby?s sound in Brixton (not to be confused with the Jamaican King Tubby) This was at a time when many talented UK MC?s appeared on the scene with what became known as their ?fast chat? style of delivery. Leading the charge were Peter King, Philip ?Papa? Levi, Smiley Culture, Daddy Rusty, Daddy Colonel, Sandy, Asher Senator and Tippa himself and together they helped the mighty Saxon Sound International become the UK?s number one sound system. Sessions often took place at the Dick Shepherd Youth Centre in Tulse Hill, South London and in 1983 three live albums, ?Live At DSYC? captured the excitement. These albums had a huge influence on a whole generation of young Reggae fans, proving that this new wave of UK MCs could hold their own with their Jamaican counterparts ? and just in case anyone still had their doubts, Papa Levi became the first British MC to top the Jamaican charts with ?Mi God Mi King? the following year
In 1984 Saxon recorded a live album, ?Coughing Up Fire? for the Greensleeves label, who then signed Tippa as a solo artist. His first recordings sold well but nothing could have prepared him for the surprise success of ?Hello Darling? in 1986, a catchy little tune that became a UK pop hit and earned Tippa an appearance on Top Of The Pops. His next recordings failed to reproduce his success in the pop charts but he went back to his roots for the well received ?Two Sides Of?.? album the following year
He then joined up with Jamaican MC Papa San to record the well received ?JA to UK MC Clash? for the Fashion label. He also toured extensively with his friend and long-time sparring partner Pato Banton, which included an appearance at Sunsplash in Jamaica
Two albums for Island Records followed before establishing his own Shock Out Production Company with singer Peter Hunningale. They built a studio in South London and recorded an album together. As the Jungle scene exploded in the early 90s Tippa worked with Rebel MC and recorded for his Tribal Bass label
In all Tippa has recorded twelve albums to date and has had a string of number one hits in the reggae and pop charts including ?Hello Darling?, ?Raggamuffin Girl? (featuring Peter Hunningale), ?Stress? (featuring Lloyd Brown), ?Superwoman? (featuring Winsome), ?Baby I've Been Missing You? (featuring Janet Lee Davis) and ?Shouting for the Gunners?, a song recorded for the Arsenal football club which became his second single to enter the UK pop charts ! His latest project is entitled 'Think Twice', featuring the likes of Frankie Paul, Pato Banton, Peter Spence, and Rapper Robert.
Tippa Irie will always be remembered as one of the UK?s originators and for his massive contribution to MC and sound system culture