Since he was a boy taking martial arts lessons, Jahbar I has known Tarrus Riley. He remembers the singer referring to him as ‘Karate Kid’. The two share the mic on ‘Starz’, Jahbar I’s latest song which he co-produced with his father, Melbourne “Dusty” Miller, for their Guerilla Lion Records.
‘Starz’ is driven by the rocking beat of ‘My Guiding Star’, a hit for The Heptones at Studio One in 1969. “It’s an honor to share the ‘firephone’ with Tarrus, I been listening to his music for years. One of my favorite songs of his is ‘Larger Than Life’…dat song really bring mi through a lot of things,” said Jahbar I.
He added that Riley has checked on his progress over the years, even inviting him to perform on his Christmas show, Tarrus Riley and Friends, six years ago. The uptempo ‘Starz’ is a statement of empowerment aimed at young people who may have given up on a life of substance. According to Jahbar I, its message is, “Every youth is a star.”
His father plays drums on the song, accompanied by Mitchum “Khan” Chin on bass, piano and guitar, keyboardist Robbie Lyn, saxophonist Dean Fraser and trumpeter Okeil McIntyre.
Miller, Chin and Fraser were members of The Firehouse Crew during that band’s 1990s heyday. They were house band for producer Philip “Fatis” Burrell’s Xterminator Records, playing on hit songs by Luciano, Sizzla and Jesse Jendah.