by Jodee Brown
Though he’s currently embroiled in legal troubles, one of Dancehall’s top lyricists during the 1990s seeks to prove that he’s still game, both physically and mentally to pursue great things within music
Renowned as one of Dancehall’s premiere acts during the early 1990s, Cecil Campbell, more popularly known asTerror Fabulous has become somewhat of an afterthought since delving out classics such as Action (featuring Nadine Sutherland), Number 2 and Gangster Anthem. His partnership with legendary Dancehall producer, Dave Kellyyielded several successes during the 1990s while garnering Terror Fabulous comparisons to fellow Dancehall superstar,Buju Banton as similarities in their vocals and lyrical flow made them household names universally.
However, a falling out between Terror Fabulous and Dave Kelly as well as speculation about his mental health, the internationally acclaimed deejay soon faded out of the spotlight as fans began wondering what would happen next to the highly regarded entertainer.
Though he’s now serving a 90 day sentence after pleading guilty to malicious destruction of property, Terror Fabulousrecently gave a rare interview to Sherman Escoffery ofLargeUp.com where he spoke on his early career, relationship with Dave Kelly and how he’s been dealing with speculation regarding mental health.
According to Terror Fabulous, he first met up with Kelly after leaving school in 1990 and began writing alongside other prominent entertainers such as Frankie Sly, Wayne Wonder and the aforementioned Buju Banton. With his raspy, strong voice and lyrical ingenuity, songs like Action quickly won the hearts and ears of fans worldwide.
For Terror Fabulous, his aim during the early days was to bring a more positive vibe to the quickly developing Dancehall genre.
“When I say ‘show me your hand,’ it means show me your gun hand or gun finger, not the real gun. Because we already know about the gun but we are not promoting that, but the gun done mek already, so if we can turn it into fun and make them leave the gun, it’s a good thing. Nothing really new, just more niceness, more understanding, more Rasta vibe, a Fabulous thing,” he told LargeUp.
Though he and Dave Kelly are not currently on speaking terms, Terror Fabulous still holds high regard for theMadhouse Records founder.
“Well I am in my place and he is in his. Him a gwan build his thing still, and him sound good same way; cause I hear some of his rhythm and I would DJ on them. We haven’t linked in a while, but me love how him doing his thing same way. He knows how to make his own lane,” he said.
Many observers have deemed Terror Fabulous crazy as rumors regarding the deejay’s mental health have spread in recent years. Though those around him, including fellow veteran deejays, Super Beagle and Junior Mitchie say that he’s bi-polar, Terror Fabulous vehemently rejects such assessments, admitting that while he has his issues mentally, he find ways to overcome such spells.
“You see in life, it’s not what you do, but how you do your thing. Anywhere we go; anywhere we end up, we say ‘it’s just life.’ Nuff people go to the doctor and since I have been in high school, I have had a doctor, so, I know who to speak to, and when to speak to them. I have never been diagnosed with that [as being bi-polar] so I’m a bit offended that people are saying these things. It’s not like I have AIDS or like I have a disease or I eat of the garbage. It would be better if people said ‘Sometimes he feels a way.’ Like sometimes I have my moments, but I bounce back ‘cause when man say crazy, those words have meaning you know fire! Crazy people do crazy things,” he said.
In the meantime, Terror Fabulous continues to record two decades after becoming etched in Dancehall folklore. Though he and Dave Kelly have yet to get back on good terms, he’s still attempting to return to the Dancehall/Reggae scene with a vengeance.
According to Terror Fabulous, he’s working with “Edgewater studios, RC1studio and we do some production but Dave and me don’t link up back yet, so that mean it not suppose to happen yet. I have a song with a singer named Andrew Melody and I have one call ‘Mama Cry’ with Super Beagle.”
Check out the rest of Terror Fabulous’ interview on LargeUphere: