San Diego Symphony's second night of the Masterworks season showcased the power of place and personality
Garrett Harris noon, Oct. 13
RIYL: Papa Elliott, Trade Roots, Commander Jackson and Spidaman, Destiny Roots, Major Chris, Revelation Sound, Makeda Dread, Carlos Culture
Inception: San Diego, 1997
Tribe of Kings is a reggae DJ collective. Since 1997, the band has been bringing old school steppers, dancehall, and roots reggae vibes to San Diego with weekly parties in Ocean Beach, Mission Hills and, as of late 2012, North Park.
Tribe of Kings started as a name given to a multimedia project being headed by Jay Dread and Kofi. "It quickly evolved into a DJ group with Jay Dread, Stump I, and Rashi playing records," says DJ Unite. "The first professional gig was Sunday nights at The Dog in Pacific Beach, A small, quality beer oriented watering hole which would move its pool table to make a little room for dancing. Jay asked Unite to come down play records as well, so our original line-up for Sundays was Jay Dread, Stump I and Unite, with Rashi, Dash Eye and Kofi playing some guest slots."
After a two and a half year run at Bar Dynamite, Unite says "Circumstances led us to move our party from Bar Dynamite, to the Gaslamp District. Everything seemed to fall right into place as we agreed to move our party to the Martini Ranch...we actually got to a point where we all felt we needed a bigger place to house our dance. The lines were becoming too long, and we wanted to do it bigger. We made a move from Martini Ranch to the newly remodeled Aubergine."
Then, "We got fired from Aubergine after our best night ever, attendance wise. Apparently someone started firing guns around the corner, and the owners freaked out and fired us."
The group line-up also underwent another big change. "Founding member Jay Dread decided to hang up his DJ hat, and move forward with other ventures (which culminated into him founding 5 and Dime in Downtown). The DJ line-up for the next couple months was Rashi playing classic roots reggae selections, myself transitioning from all roots reggae to filling Jay Dread's void playing the latest dancehall and classic dancehall, and Dash Eye rounding out the evening with more dancehall and winding it down with culture and lovers rock anthems."
Another change happened after a few months. "We added DJ's Peril and Jester to the fold at Bar Dynamite, and a new era for Tribe of Kings began."
As of 2013, the group lineup is Rashi, Jester, Peril, Unite, and Dash Eye.