Friday, March 1, 2024

Fatman always about the music


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There was something in the music that consumed Irvin Fatman Weekes.
It was in the further pursuit of that music that his 30-year entertainment career came to an abrupt end last Monday morning. His tragic death at age 47 sent shock waves across the country and the entertainment fraternity, in particular.
Fatman was gunned down around 2 a.m. while at Londy’s Bar, Wharton’s Gap, St Michael. He had reportedly gone there to see about playing music at the bar. He played music and karaoke at two other places of entertainment.
His cousin Corey Oliver, with whom he shared a house since childhood, said Fatman would even “bring a note in ’e sleep” at times.
After battling injuries from a vehicular accident, which left him with steel in his leg and having to walk with the assistance of a cane, and other health challenges in recent years Fatman is now in eternal sleep and possibly making music for the angels.
The sudden loss devastated Oliver, leaving him in uncontrollable shakes and trying to figure out “why a good man gone fuh nuh reason at all”.
“The man just cool, keep tuh heself. Do ’e own music and ting. If he got anyting to spare he would give anybody. Loving man. Good courteous man. Man cool. Don’t interfere wid nuhbody. Just keep tuh heself and do ’e music, right thru. Fatman used to sing all thru the day. Just like rehearsing and ting. He just like music,” Oliver said.
Kid Site, who would have shared many stages with Fatman, said he learnt to perform from competing with his Revo-dub-a-lution rival. Fatman came to attention in 1983 after performing in the first national competition produced by David “Prophet” Clarke.
“He was always a cool fella . . . He was always jovial; he was always cool. I would say he was like the pioneer of dub chanting in Barbados. He started out as a rival and then we became very good friends,” Kid Site said, adding that Fatman was so impactful that he was able to obliterate Gunny Ranks who was one of the more popular acts of the day.
A pioneer in more ways than one, Fatman took his dub to the Richard Stoute Teen Talent stage in 1984 and won with originals Barbados Island In The Sun and Liberty.
He continued to make his presence felt in that competition, performing a few weeks ago at Divi Southwinds and was scheduled to perform this Sunday.
Fatman was also an accomplished dancer, and won several competitions by performing the then popular Bogle and Butterfly dances.
But while Fatman made in-roads in dub and dancing, he will arguably be best remembered for singing in the trio 1 000 Pounds Of Blubba with Biggie Irie and the late Mighty Whitey. They brought the hits Rub Yuh Belly Pon Me and Fit For Life.
The Fit For Life hit was the source of some ribbing between Biggie Irie and Fatman a few months ago when they were hanging out. 1 000 Pounds of Blubba became less relevant in recent years, since all three had lost weight for various reasons.
A still shocked Geoffrey Biggie Irie Cordle told the WEEKEND NATION the news “hit me like a bullet”.
Cordle said he knew Fatman had some challenges because of an accident but he was getting back to himself.
“It’s just really sad. I’m just coping with it trying to remember the good times. ‘Cause Fatman was always a jovial, humble, cool fella. He had [no] qualms about anything, nothing really bothered him,” Biggie Irie said, adding that it was always good fun to be with the late entertainer.
“It’s just very sad that an icon in this dub industry has been snuffed out through gun violence,” he added.


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