Oswald Priest, better known as Mad Lion, is a dancehall, ragga musician
and rapper. He frequently collaborates with fellow hip hop artist
KRS-One — most recently on a DVD promoting the Temple of
Hiphop. The recipient of the 1994 Source award as Reggae Artist
of the Year, he has inspired similar-sounding recordings by such
artists as Ini Kamoze, Capleton, and Rayvon.
Priest was born in London. Shortly after moving to Brooklyn,
New York, he met reggae performer Super Cat at Super Power Records.
At Super Cat's suggestion, he adopted his professional name, an acronym
for Musical Assassin Delivering Lyrical Intelligence Over Nations.
He blended ragga and hip-hop, and went on to work with KRS-One, with
whom he worked throughout the 1990s. His earliest success came
in the mid-1980s when he applied his hip hop rhythms to Shabba Ranks'
hit single "Jam". His début single "Shoot to
Kill" was successful in New York and he reached a wider audience
with "Take It Easy", which became the title track of his
début album in 1994. He later appeared, along with Queen
Latifah, on Salt-N-Pepa's 1997 album Brand New. In 1997 he topped
the US reggae chart with "Carpenter".
Launching his own label, Spinners Choice, Mad Lion was working on
his debut album when he met and convinced KRS-One to work with him.
The collaboration proved fruitful as Lion's single, "Shoot to
Kill", sold more than 1,000,000 copies. His next single "Take
It Easy", did even better, exceeding the 3,000,000 sale mark.
After releasing the album Real Ting in 1993, Mad Lion made countless
guest appearances on such albums as The New Jersey Drive and D&D
Project, compilations, and produced a tune for Born Jamericans. His
second album Ghetto Gold & Platinum Respect was released in 1997.
Three years later, his third album Predatah or Prey, which also included
an interactive game, arrived.
He also appeared in the music video for Craig Mack feat. Notorious
B.I.G., Rampage, LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes - "Flava In Ya Ear".
Mad Lion's other collaborative projects consist of working with
Puerto Rican producers DJ Playero, DJ Tony Touch, DJ Nico Canada & other
Puerto Rican Reggaeton artists that were flourishing around 1996.
Mad Lion was featured on a track in which he did a duet with Puerto
Rican Reggaeton artist Mexicano 777 on the track titled "Guerreros" which
was a Dancehall fused Hip-Hop track that was featured on the "Boricua
Guerrero: First Combat" album produced by DJ Playero & DJ
Nico Canada. Mad Lion also collaborated with Puerto Rican Reggaeton
artist Rey Pirin on the track titled "Guerrillero Borincano" which
was a gritty Hip-Hop track that was also featured on "Boricua
Guerrero: First Combat". Not being the only Jamaican Dancehall
artist to be featured on "Boricua Guerrero: First Combat",
Mad Lion was joined by Jahdan & the Black Hearted Skavengerz
who did a solo on a Reggaeton riddim titled "Many Many More", & the
duo Curly Valentino & Demos Demarco made an appearance on the
Hip-Hop track titled "Razor Sharp" with Mexicano 777. Mad
Lion soon lent his rapping skills to that of the DJ Tony Touch & DJ
Nico Canada produced mixtape titled "Guatauba", where he
laid down a freestyle on a Reggaeton riddim. Again, Mad Lion was
joined by other Jamaican Dancehall artists such as Mad Cobra, who
did a freestyle on a Hip-Hop riddim, & The Black Hearted Skavengerz
appeared doing a freestyle on a Reggaeton riddim.
Take It Easy (1994), Nervous
Real Ting (1994), Nervous
Real Lover (1995), VP
Ghetto Gold and Platinum Respect (1997), Nervous
Predatah Or Prey (2001), Warner Bros