Born in Rocky Point, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica, Cocoa Tea was popular in Jamaica in from 1985, but has become successful worldwide only since the 1990s. One of his most famous songs is "Rikers Island", which was later put into a ragga version by Nardo Ranks entitled "Me No Like Rikers Island" (featured on Dancehall Reggaespanol) which was released the same year as the original "Rikers Island". He also gained fame with the song "Young Lover". He gained notoriety in March 2008 after releasing a song titled "Barack Obama" in support of the US Presidential candidate by the same name. Cocoa Tea's song "Jah Made Them That Way" from his 1984 album Rocking Dolly interpolates "Human Nature" by Michael Jackson and "Answer Mi Question" by Dillinger.
He initiated the annual New Year's Eve events Dancehall Jam Jam in 2003; It ran until 2009, with plans to resurrect it in 2015.