IN late May when the Toronto Raptors defeated the Milwaukee Bucks to make the NBA finals against champions Golden State Warriors, Jamaican deejay General Genius was confident they would become the first Canadian franchise to win basketball’s storied championship.
That they did, winning 4-2, with three of those victories coming in Oakland, Golden State’s home turf. At every game, crowds in Toronto rocked to Raptor Foot, General Genius’ dancehall salute to the Raptors.
In his late 40s, General Genius has lived in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough since 1985. He is now a minor celebrity thanks to his novelty single which was released this month. Complemented by a stomp dance, Raptor Foot took off in Canada last month after a reporter from CTV News Toronto spotted him and friends performing the song and dance in downtown Toronto.
“His name is Sean Leathong, and he’s an anchor with CTV News Toronto. I saw him filming us and he came over and asked if I had a card; I didn’t, so I gave him my number and he said he’d be in touch,” General Genius told the Jamaica Observer.
The next day, an excited Leathong called him. “He said, ‘your video has gotten over 400,000 hits. You’ve gone viral!’ Then my son called and said, ‘Dad, what did you do? You’re all over the place!’,” General Genius recalled.
He was then invited to get the crowd pumped at Jurassic Park (aka Maple Leaf Square) in downtown Toronto for game four of the finals, which took place in Oakland. The Raptors won 105-92 to take a 3-1 lead.
Raptor Foot is easily the biggest song General Genius has done. Born Bob Turner in Spanish Town, he grew up in Independence City, Portmore, and attended Kingston College up to third form, when he migrated to Canada.
Initially, he did the sound system rounds in Toronto but little recording. For five years General Genius operated Flavaz Paradise, a restaurant in Scarborough; after it closed, he returned to music and cut a number of songs including Original Poke Woman, Lighter and Rob Ford.
Since Raptor Foot took off, General Genius has been featured on CTV News Toronto, and in mainstream publications like Now Magazine and the Canadian Press. He is looking to capitalise on his new-found fame.
“I see a bright future…my lawyer and I are looking to copyright the song, the dance, etc. We would like to present it to the Raptors for them to use it and if they agree, who knows what can happen,” he said.
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