A man with a message, Big Youth arrived on the music scene in the wake of U-Roy, Dennis Alcapone, and I-Roy, but quickly established his own style, threatening to eclipse them all. The consummate cultural toaster, the DJ ruled the dancehalls across the '70s, and although his career flagged in the next decade, he returned with a vengeance in the '90s, and continues to have an impact on both his own nation and beyond. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, on April 19, 1949, Manley Augustus Buchanan had his moniker long before he had picked up a mic. He was named Big Youth by his co-workers at the Kingston Sheraton hotel, where the tall teen was employed as a mechanic. Initially, he toasted to himself (the DJing equivalent of air guitar), but eventually he took the chance of picking up the mic at a few parties. The enthusiastic response he received prodded him to perform at dances, and by the late '60s, he had a small, but avid following. This fan base swiftly grew and as the new decade arrived, Big Youth was now DJing regularly at Lord Tipperton's sound system, quickly becoming the top DJ for the outfit.