"The industry won't allow me to retire" Mr Lexx taking a fresh approach for the new year

"The industry won't allow me to retire" Mr Lexx taking a fresh approach for the new year

Monday | January 2, 2023, | 12:29 AM

‘I’m just looking at my children and at the world and thinking about things in a fresh way,’ Mr Lexx told The Gleaner.

Veteran dancehall hitmaker Mr Lexx is looking forward to a fresh start after what he called a “rough rollercoaster” year.

Almost a year ago, the Billboard-charting deejay and songwriter was rushed to Andrews Memorial Hospital, where an emergency surgery had to be performed because of a collapsed right lung. The life-threatening ordeal happened 10 minutes into a performance where the deejay explained he held his poker face and tried his best to conceal what was happening until he could not anymore.

“It was painful, but I’m happy to report that I have not had to be on any medication or be dependent on any sort of chemical treatments or therapy, [so] giving God all the thanks for that,” Mr Lexx told The Gleaner.

He added, “As my lifestyle changes, I do not smoke any more …I consume a normal diet and just try to do what I have to. It (2022) was a rough year for real; I laughed, I cried, but I laughed again, and I never fold.”

Mr Lexx, whose ambitious, adventurous, entertaining and endlessly creative performance style earned him three decades in dancehall, had announced a looming retirement from recording music in 2022 with the prospects in the film and theatre space looking more promising and fun, he said. Now he’s singing a different tune.

“The industry won’t allow me to retire, my friends won’t allow me to either and trust me, I tried to. Persons still appreciate me performing, and that makes me feel good. It’s just that after spending a whole 30 years of my life and thinking there were other areas I could explore, it sounded like the right decision.”

Born Christopher Palmer, the entertainer, who was raised in the Mountain View community in Kingston, has cleared a trail with a blazing track record of hits like Let Those Monkeys Out, Cook, Halla Halla, Clothes A Nuh Yuh Problem and Full Hundred. Sporting a different attitude, Mr Lexx is riding the professional wave. He expressed contentment and relief to know that his songs are classics people, young and old, still request to hear.

He performed at Gulf View Hotel’s Prelude - A New Year Weekend Ball and at Eastern Extravaganza to celebrate the start of 2023, but the entertainer said that, unlike previous years, he has not made any resolutions this time around.

He shared, “If anything, I been thinking about the past year deeply, and also this one, I just want it to be a good year, but I have no resolutions because I think I want to go with the motion of the ocean and see where it takes me. I’m keeping my head above water in all of this because I’m very enthused that it will be a better year. I feel good. For the holidays, my family had a dinner, and I was able to see persons I had not seen in a long time … the hotel was welcoming, and you know Mountain View is my place, so it was all great. Last year may have started on a scary note, but we closed the curtain on it in a memorable and thoughtful way.”

Resolutions aside, Mr Lexx has a burning desire for dancehall to experience a transformation with the next generation of acts. While others in the industry have expressed concerns about the recent crop of emerging deejays and the content being released, he believes that it is only “generational”.

“I’ve always tried to explain that every generation comes with a change; a new song, varying styles, their own slangs and dances, and they listen and consume differently. It’s just that the last two or three times changed for the worst, and it unfortunate to say that, but hopefully, the next change will be better,” he said. “Each generation of artistes need something as an example; it can be discouraging when we try to give the young artiste advice, and then dem say we need fi go sit down, but we can’t stop. One person or one group can’t change what we are seeing. It has to be an entire generation get up and say let’s take things back to basic or try remix things to meet halfway.”

Mr Lexx is also considering mentorship and starting a programme of his own, but for now, he has focused all mentoring on the ‘Palmer clan’. He is the father of seven.

“My eldest is 27 years old; I have a 26-year-old, three children who are 22 (please don’t judge me, 2000 was a good year), then a 19-year-old and the youngest one, Logan, will be nine. I only have one child living out here, but all of them have demonstrated some form of interest in the arts. The group called The Yutes are my two oldest sons, and they have collaborations with Masicka, Tarrus Riley and Govana – they are doing their thing – and I like that they are not riding on my fame. My son, who calls himself Cloud, is also in music recording, and I have a daughter pursuing a degree in fashion designing in college right now,” he said.

“There’s so much I have to give to the industry. I’m just looking at my children and at the world and thinking about things in a fresh way, giving a fresh me,” Mr Lexx continued.

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