Jamaican dancehall icon, prolific crossover vocalist, Kendrick and Kanye collaborator: Agent Sasco, AKA Assassin, tells his story.
Growing up in rural Jamaica, Agent Sasco (also known as Assassin) used to lie in bed at night and feel the walls and roof of his home shake from the pressure of the local reggae soundsystem clashes — that’s what drew him to the music and made him want to get on the mic as a dancehall DJ. Decades later he’s become one of the most recognizable Jamaican voices of the past few years. His thundering presence on on Kendrick Lamar’s “The Blacker the Berry” and on Kanye West’s 2013 dancehall-inflected “I’m In It” helped him climb the charts and break into mainstream US rap culture in what seemed like a lucky instant. He’s worked with Caribbean music superstars such as Mr. Vegas, Lady Saw, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Capleton and Elephant Man; released several solo album and been featured on hundreds of singles; and founded Boardhouse Records, furthering music by Tony Matterhorn and Busy Signal. As a student of his craft and a lifelong champion of Jamaican music and culture, Agent Sasco has a deep understanding of his work and the power it has to bring people together, speak to injustice and heal.