King Turbo and I have a lot of history. This Sound was birthed in Scarborough in 1988-1989, and has since then gone on to represent Canada on an international level with one of the most expensive dubplate collections possessed by any Clash Sound (rumored to be worth close to three-quarter of a million dollars!). When I first introduced to the Sound, it was a young Ricky Turbo (Metro) and Andrew (Slingshot) that were masters of the controls. These two entrepreneurs had involuntarily become caught up into a new and vibrant dancehall music scene that was sweeping Canada and North America. With the decision to create King Turbo, Metro and Sling Shot had now planted the seeds into creating a Sound purposed to represent Canada in the world of Soundclash, juggling, and musical edutainment from then until now.
In the years that transpired, King Turbo has grown to become one of North America’s most potent Sounds. But as the King Turbo family grew and contemplated their direction into the future, there were internal issues, and it seemed Metro and Slingshot could not agree about the future of King Turbo. Ultimately, this would result in an internal split and two King Turbos. Ricky Turbo exited from the camp started playing solo, his ‘own’ King Turbo Sound. Andrew would continue with his own King Turbo Sound, backed by Jahmin, Suspence, Otoole, Spex, Fatal, and (later) King Sharpe (and others I may have missed).
As far as the streets were concerned, most of King Turbo’s fans were locked out of what was truly going on behind the scenes during these transition periods. Ricky Turbo has always believed that as co-founder of King Turbo, nobody had the right to stop him from playing under the King Turbo name since that truly belonged to him and could never be taken away. Describing Ricky Turbos’ plight as ‘bitter’ may even be an understatement, but with a limited collection of King Turbo dubs, has been able to carry the King Turbo torch here and abroad, taking dates in non-conflicting territories that his former crew would not follow.
At present, it may appear that Ricky Turbo has been content with the slice of the pie ‘given’ to him, but that is the farthest thing from the truth, because Ricky has been witnessing the other side of King Turbo, and he is not impressed with the way the ‘man dem’ has been dealing with ‘his’ King Turbo Sound. Some may argue that ‘why’ should he care, but deep down, division or not, break up or not, feelings or not, Ricky can’t help but care, which is why he can no longer hold back his disgust with the present state of the ‘other side’ of the present day King Turbo. You’ll hear it all when you listen to this Podcast, as it seemed this show offered some kind of physiological counseling for Ricky Turbo, who poured his heart out on the mic.
Andrew, on the other side, has been marching his King Turbo Sound forward into the present. He has stated before that there is only ‘one’ King Turbo, and although he hasn’t been able to stop it, has never been happy with Ricky Turbo still to this day, playing his sound under the auspices of the King Turbo name. Despite what Ricky Turbo might feel or claim, when one talks to Andrew, they hear a different story, leaving one wanting to pull out their hair because in the end, there’s nothing one can do to make these two men agree. So frustrating!
So while Ricky Turbo continues to make noise abroad, and concentrates on carrying the King Turbo torch primarily in foreign markets, Andrew, with little opposition from Ricky, has positioned his King Turbo Sound to reap the benefits here, backed by great radio publicity with DJ Spex keeping the King Turbo brand alive with his constant on air plugging of King Turbo, endorsing them as Canada’s “number one sound” when hosting his radio shows on commercial stations Flow 93.5 FM and presently G98 FM in Toronto. Fair or not, he get’s to play the latest and most classic King Turbo dubs at leisure to the delight of the massives, and other Sounds in Toronto are not in the position to do this.
But wait there’s more, while Spex controls the commercial FM reggae airwaves, Andrew has seeds planted in King Turbo’s community radio program, where classic King Turbo dubs are brandished on their Morning Ride Radio Program, heard weekly on Toronto’s CIUT FM. As far as DJ Bookings – King Turbo would take juggling dates and even the odd clash now and then, but gone is the Ricky Turbo styled agenda of aiming to make King Turbo a clash sound of the future. Still, King Turbo has been loved by so many, and even today, the city is theirs for the taking, if only they could get it right and be fearless and competitive in the Sound Clash arena – perhaps easier said than done.
In a classic ‘battle’ of the two King Turbos, it seems that in this modern day, Ricky Turbo, standing alone, has rebounded to make enough noise as a selector to now be catching the attention of the Canadian and American markets, especially in New York and here in Toronto This hasn’t been the case for Andrew’s King Turbo Sound of late. Despite being backed by a financier who spends more money than Mighty Crown when it comes to dub cutting, the King Turbo fan base has been fed up with the lack of progress for Turbo in the Sound Clash arena. Today’s King Turbo Sound Clash fans are saying ‘forget the politics’ and ‘gimme the war!’, but Andrew’s King Turbo has struggled to find a mic talker who can replace Ricky Turbo, and the old King Turbo loyals are speedily disappearing with an old generation going out and a new one coming in. Until an ample MC is found for Andrew’s King Turbo, it will appear that Ricky Turbo will have the last laugh as he’s forced to watch a King Turbo that he is not a part of limping through the present. The massive however, are not laughing – they’re fed up and are no longer asking but demanding that ‘the real King Turbo please stand up’!
I hope you enjoy this Podcast. I found Ricky Turbo to be a lively and exciting guest. When it comes to having something to say, Ricky Turbo had the most things to say as compared to any previous guests, and his King Turbo dubs were brought to life with good introductions and speeches in between. People in the Chat Room were not their critical selves, cheering on Ricky Turbo, asking King Sharpe to “quit”, and describing Ricky as the ‘answer’ and ‘missing link’ for their dreams of there one day being only one King Turbo with founders Andrew and Ricky at the controls. Ricky talked the talk, and was not shying away from dissing any sounds he wanted to while answering any questions asked, including the accusation that he had smoked crack during a stage in his past, and what it would take for he and Andrew to start working together again.
Big up Ricky Turbo for appearing on Sound System Fridays. Politically, this was a good move for him – the massive deserved to hear the ‘Ricky Turbo side of the story’, as it’s never been told before. A special thanks to recording artists Elijah, Mally Bless and Nkrumah who performed live on Sound System Fridays and brought great vibes to the show. These three artists had made appearances on Sound System Fridays before, and all delivered excellent performances. Big up Shane and Chocolate as well, who helped with it all and took a few pics for me too! And big up all of the massive who passed through ReggaeMania even though I didn’t get some of your names. Enjoy the Podcast.