With the launch of the new Half Pint Music site, I wanted to take a moment to recount a brief history up to this point.
I came to reggae pretty late along in the game. As a high school freshman in 1991, I bought my first reggae album and it wasn’t until the next year that I first heard Half Pint’s music. I was listening to “Raw Deal,” a hip-hop show on WPRB in Princeton, NJ and in one of the few times that I can remember on the show, they played a few reggae tracks. One of those was a hip-hop remix of Pint’s “Substitute Lover,” which I took to immediately. Near where I lived, reggae pickings were slim, but with the help of a local music store, I managed to get Pick Your Choice and Victory on cassette and put them into heavy rotation on my Walkman.
By the time I entered college in 1994, Pint topped my list of favorite artists. In early 1996, the original Half Pint site was born, hosted on a college web server and title “Level the Vibes” (which was also the name of a reggae show I hosted on the college radio station). It was nothing more than a fan site—it featured a modest discography, some pictures, and sound clips. During my junior year, a lot of reggae sites began linking to the Half Pint site and I expanded the discography bit by bit.
At that point, I plunked down serious cash (by college student standards) to Ernie B for loads of import 7″‘s, 12″‘s, and LP’s. My Half Pint collection was growing and I had grand plans for the site, so I began a total redesign. As this redesign was being put in place, I got an e-mail from someone who said they were Half Pint’s manager. He said he wanted to talk with me about the site.
I was a bit skeptical, but soon I verified that it was indeed Half Pint’s manager Loyal Haylett and we agreed to make “Level the Vibes” the official Half Pint web site. I’ll never forget calling Half Pint for the first time—it was quite a thrill, especially knowing that this kind of thing would become commonplace.
The craziest moment for me came in 2001, when I married my girlfriend of seven years. Half Pint attended our wedding and sang “Giving/Sharing” for our first dance as well as “Have a Little Faith” later in the evening. It was something I would never have even been able to imagine a few years earlier. You can see pictures and hear the audio of his performances on the extras of Pint’s Live in Jamaica DVD.
Half Pint is an incredible talent, but he’s also an incredible personality. It’s rare to find someone so true and so, for lack of a better word, “real” in the music industry. He’s one of the most positive guys I’ve ever met, always smiling, always laughing. The spirit of Jah is in him, and it truly is a blessing to know him and work with him.