The I Kong vibe and energy is unmistakable on this extended CD album entitled, The Forgotten Man (Release date: July 14, 2009), this is the latest release by I Kong in what is a lengthy and prolific career that began decades ago and today, I Kong has now reached a place being a part of reggae history. And, personally, Kong is at total peace with everything which is evident in the songs on the new CD.
I Kong’s musical journey began in Jamaica, where he first heard legend Bob Marley music which gave the inspiration to be able to convey his own message in his own music and then to the music world.“Kong is legend. His music is amazing and his new material is the best music he has done to date,” says Don Lichterman, the head of Tropical / Sunset Records. “The most incredible part of me hearing the final work on this new CD is that our first single is actually the 19th and final song on the CD. That is not only a great testament to putting together a great full length album, this is also a great roots reggae CD that every world music fan will have as part of their collection. And, Kong is a legendary artist that will be around forever in the history of music.”
Lichterman (Don) goes onto say that he picked up the Forgotten Man CD and then added four (4) brand new songs recorded by the legendary reggae artist. I Kong also originally released The Way It Is in 1978, which is the only album recorded by Errol Kong, the nephew of the famous Jamaican producer Leslie Kong. Now, almost 30 years after that album release, these nineteen tracks (expanded for this reissue) are being worked as a new album by the upstart Tropical Records. The album's lead track and first single is a brand new song by I Kong entitled, "Are You Lonely For Me Baby," is a quintessential reggae song that is sure to be a standard.
After years of making music and playing endless amounts of live shows being on the road, let alone multiple successful albums in the reggae music scene, and his endless durable work ethic, Kong spent a lot of time writing his music back on the Jamaican island. And, after working with his old record labels and distribution companies in the music industry along with his management and booking agents, he finally found his home at the Tropical Record label (a main subsidiary of Sunset). And no matter how legendary and how strong Kong’s songs are in his career, let alone his ongoing growing popularity every year, getting paid for that work seemed to be a problem for this artist. Lichterman says, “the one thing he will get at Tropical is paid for his work and the way we structured this deal is that he will get paid day one (so to speak) for that work.” Lichterman then goes onto to say that “sales today, mean nothing to me” because he “expects” that eventually, “every artist at Sunset will be multi platinum status and the last couple years have been a complete set up for the rest of our lives.”
Prior to this deal last month, Kong started his own company to handle his own business affairs. He created and founded the Kong Music label with Gee Cee Management founder, George Campbell. And, Lichterman embraced the model for the independent reggae musician. And, the label head proceeded to sign a few artists (Original Black Pantah) through the new label deal. “Considering the landscape of distribution today and considering the reach of the internet for music artists and us Indy labels,