Famed Jamaican reggae artist Lieutenant Stitchie already had a lengthy career as a dancehall reggae artist beginning in the late 1970s. His first album hit in 1987, and he released 7 full-length albums and nearly 50 singles (yes, 50!) all before becoming a Christian. As the story goes, he was on his way to perform in Montego Bay, but was injured in a car crash. Against the advice of doctors, he proceeded to perform anyway. After the show he was given a Gideon’s Bible and as a result of reading the Bible in his hotel room, he gave his life to the Lord.
After his conversion, Stitchie (born Cleveland Laing) stopped performing in the dancehall style and instead opted for Gospel reggae (although he has sometimes dabbled in Gospel dancehall, as the vocal stylings on our song today will show). He has received multiple accolades in Caribbean Gospel music circles, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Cornerstone Christian University in Orlando, FL largely due to his contributions to Gospel Reggae music. He was inducted into the Jamaican Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2016. After his conversion in 1997, he continued recording music but now with his Gospel beliefs at the forefront, and released another
I first became aware of Lieutenant Stitchie when he released music through Lion of Zion Entertainment (American label, founded by Mark Mohr of Christafari). Sadly I had no idea of his deep history with reggae in his homeland of Jamaica. Our Song of the Day today features “Shopping,” a snappy dancehall number with a humorous critique of consumeristic materialism.