Gully Bop – Genuine Music Artiste or a One Hit Wonder?

Robert Lee Malcolm, more popularly known as Gully Bop, was born and raised in West Rural St. Andrew, Jamaica and later relocated to Grants Pen, Kingston, Jamaica. He is a testament to never giving up on your dreams, as Robert knew that he wanted to be a Deejay.

“Deejay (alternatively spelled DJ) is a term in Jamaican music for a reggae or dancehall musician who sings and “toasts” to an instrumental riddim. Deejays are not to be confused with disc jockeys from other music genres like hip-hop, where they select and play music. Dancehall/reggae DJs who select riddims to play are called selectors. Deejays who are more likely to sing are sometimes called singjays,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deejay_(Jamaican).

Gully bop

Photo courtesy of jamaicagleaner.com

He tried that profession in previous years, but he did not accomplish much, as he only performed in Sting in 1992 and Reggae Sunsplash and struggled for twenty years to survive as a freelancer who did odd jobs and errands for his community.  Although he was a freestyler, he never sought to record music and in 2012 a New York based producer heard his talent and recorded him, but it was a one-hit wonder.

2014 marked the year that he was to fulfill his dreams even though he experienced much trials and tribulations. He was noticed by a post on Facebook, where a phone recording went viral and received many rave views on the social media site. Soon enough an Atlanta based company presented him to the world as a musician via YouTube and uploaded mix-versions of the song that first got him recognition on Facebook.

Gully bop

Photo courtesy of jamaicatakeout.com

The video received eighty thousand views within twenty hours – the start of his career. Regardless of his appearance and his brands of being a mentally challenged man, he is to date one of the fastest growing rising stars in the history of Dancehall. His manager, Shauna Chin, at that point decided to upgrade Gully Bops appearance, which only increased his likeability, performing and appearing on numerous television headlines and on Reggae Sting 2014.

“While viewing the video, I was in awe of how talented Gully Bop was and then I proceeded to watch some of his interviews on YouTube. What struck me about Gully Bop was his positive approach to life and the fact that he was living in the moment and as he claimed, this was ‘his time'” Dr. Williams, the dentist who decided to fix Gully Bop’s teeth free of cost, said to the Jamaican Gleaner. “Given Gully Bop’s new image, it is only fitting that he has nice teeth to match. After all, our smile is the most distinct facial feature,” Dr. Harriott, the other dentist who also took on the project, said.

Isaiah Laing of Supreme Promotions told 18 Karat Reggae that, “Selectors are playing more Gully Bop than any other artistes. He is getting more radio rotation than any other artists. Promoters and producers are requesting him more than any other artists. This is not a fad, Gully Bop is real and he is here to stay.”

In an online article entitled ‘Gully Bop passes Vybz Kartel as most popular in dancehall’, it is said that Gully Bop’s popularity indeed skyrocketed, passing Vybz Kartel to be the most popular dancehall artiste currently. Due to his constant media attention, Gully Bop has taken the world by storm with a “viral video, minor surgery, car accident, dental appointments or relationship fiascos” the article reports.

“From the depths of the gully to the heights of Jamaica’s reggae and dancehall stages, there seems to be no stop for the meteoric rise of Gully Bop and his rags to riches story.” – Article excerpt ‘Gully Bop passes Vybz Kartel’

He has hits which include:

º   Dem Nuh Bad Like Me

º   Dem RunLife Too Sweet

º   Body Specialist

º   Beg a Gyal

º   Miss Goldie Goldie

In 2015, he is slated to tour the countries of the Caribbean, Europe, United Kingdom and the U.S.A. He is also teamed up with an American company in order to launch his own clothing line which will be released in spring 2015.

Gully Bop is grateful that he has been given the opportunities to make his life better. He has vowed to help others that are in the situation he was in twenty years ago and has told everyone he has encountered to never give up on their dreams.

Loop News has put together some facts about him:

  1. He first performed at Sting in 1992
  2. He is 50-years- old
  3. He has three children; two girls and one boy
  4. Before making music, he fixed fans, televisions, radios and washing machines to make a living
  5. He got the name “Country man” after moving to a place called “King Western” and people around him regarded it as rural Jamaica
  6. He got the name “Gully Back” because people always heard him saying he has “gully juice in a gully back”
  7. He has no record label and no management
  8. Years ago, he also performed at shows such as Reggae Sunsplash and Beach Bash

By Alexandra Daley

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