Weaving a seamless blend of reggae and hip-hop, Mad Lion (born Oswald Priest) created one of the most influential sounds of the past two decades. The recipient of the 1994 Source award as Reggae Artist of the Year, Mad Lion has inspired similar-sounding recordings by such artists as Ini Kamoze, Capleton, and Rayvon.
A native of London, Mad Lion was raised in Jamaica. Shortly after moving to Brooklyn, NY, 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. Mad Lion's earliest success came in the mid-'80s when he applied his hip-hop rhythms to Shabba Ranks' hit single "Jam." He later appeared, along with Queen Latifah, on Salt-N-Pepper's 1997 album Brand New.
Launching his own label, Spinners Choice, Mad Lion was working on his debut album when he met and convinced producer KRS-One to work with him. The collaboration proved fruitful as Mad Lion's single, "Shoot to Kill," sold more than 100,000 copies. His next single, "Take It Easy," did even better, exceeding the 300,000 sale mark.
After releasing an 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. ~ Craig Harris