The Other Tommy Lee: Meet Dancehall Reggae’s Next Superstar
Dancehall reggae's next big thing brings horror-core to Kingston.
He’s not the guy from Mötley Crüe, but Jamaican dancehall deejay Tommy Lee has a thing for tattoos just like him. The art that adorns the 24-year-old Lee’s skin represents human duality, but his music depicts the darker, scarier and downright spooky side of ghetto living in his Flankers neighborhood in Kingston, Jamaica. While Vybz Kartel — dancehall’s hottest if not most controversial star — sits in a jail cell on murder charges, Lee is his heir apparent. Lee chats his street tales with bi-polar vocal inflections that switch back and forth from sinister calm to maniacal shrieking. The signature style which he describes as “goth” and raw visuals like the NSFW clip for his tune “Psycho” have made him a Jamaican sensation.
Photographer Alexander Richter went to Kingston for a week with his Sevens Clash collaborators (designer Anthony Harrison and writer Sean Stewart) to document a number of subjects, Lee being one of them. The story “The Ballad of Tommy Lee” takes us into his world and gives us a glimpse at the circumstances that created this eccentric artist. Check out the story in it’s entirety over at Sevens Clash and the video for “Psycho” below.