Ras Kimono (real name; Ekeleke Elumelu) was born on May 9, 1958, in Delta State, Nigeria. He started out his career, firstly as a student of Gbenoba Secondary School Agbor. His music was greatly influenced by the poverty, inequality and hardship he witnessed in his early life. Ras Kimono served a long apprenticeship on the Nigerian music circuit, experimenting with a number of styles, before making his late 1980s breakthrough as a reggae singer together with his Massive Dread Reggae Band.
He released his solo debut album Under Pressure on the Premier Music label in 1989, which propelled him to instant continental stardom. The album had hits such as "Under Pressure", "Natty Get Jail" and the massive hit "Rhumba Style".Ras Kimono was a multi instrumentalist who played drums, bass guitar and saxophone.
He later released a string of hit albums including:
We No Wan (1989)
What's Gwan (1990)
Rub A Dub (1990)
Ras Kimono toured all over Africa, Europe and the United States, promoting his brand of reggae music which was popularly known as rub-a-dub. He won several awards including the Nigeria Music Awards, Fame Music Awards and many more.
Ras Kimono suddenly died on Sunday June 10, 2018 after a brief illness. The Rub-a-dub Master has made a great contribution to the development and promotion of reggae music in Africa and beyond. Rest in peace Ras, your music lives on.