Meet the late Nigerian reggae artist Augustine Okeleke Onwubuya, aka Ras Kimono. Ras Kimono (9 May 1958 – 10 June 2018) was a Nigerian reggae artist whose debut album ‘Under Pressure’, led by the single “Rum-Bar Stylée”, was a big hit in the Nigerian music scene in 1989.
Before he released his solo album, he was in a group called The Jastix along with Amos McRoy and Majek Fashek.
Born in Nigeria, Kimono served a long apprenticeship on the Nigerian music circuit, experimenting with a number of styles, before making his late 80s breakthrough as a reggae singer. Together with his Massive Dread Reggae Band, Kimono released his debut album, Under Pressure, in 1989.
Accompanied by the popular single, “Rum-Bar Stylee”, this revealed both a Jamaican and native African influence (the latter particularly evident in his “patois” delivery, as frequently employed by Fela Kuti to communicate with the urban underclass). His strongly polemical lyrics produced album sales of over 100,000 copies, and a fervent following for his advocacy of social change.