Making Sense of Skinhead Reggae, part 1

Breaking a two weeks or more-long silence in which this zine unwritten is actually being written again, today’s post will [attempt to] thoroughly discuss the phenomenon of skinhead reggae, how it developed, and what it developed into [but will not be able to finish itself in this single post].

Of course, there will be YouTube links to various track uploads, to color what I’m talking about and explore the many variations of related things that and how they are connected.

If you’ve been following my music column (or just generally the postswritten to this zine thus far), you’ll notice my current interest in a variety of aspects of Jamaican music, dancehall culture, and language; and, from varied time periods, from ska, to rocksteady, roots reggae, and the dancehall music of today, I have written about these eerily similar sound system crazes — all connected, very much similar in ways so much that they are sometimes seen as being indistinguishable (easily described by the word reggae, for example) while also nothing remotely alike in any form.

I’m excited about this post because it inherently involves the story of how and why I have hated skinheads since I was 15 years old, not as someone who is ignorantly only aware of the existence of a skinhead as synonymous with a white nationalist, but as someone who has seen their effect on a subculture I was once very a part of — that is, Bush-Era street punk in South Texas — and resisted the threat of what they represented at what were places I went to and considered my spots to hang out, where the music was a form of street punk I could relate with, and the people were all mostly, more or less like minded enough to have peace; until the resounding and in unison war cry surrounded you.

“Oi!” That’s when you realize they are massive, you are alone, and if you are not aligned with them (and you’re god damned right we fucking weren’t), then you have to resist the pressure that is placed on you to be like them — to transmogrify for the sake of a so-called unity and join in crews they will never admit are very much like gangs. If you will not do this, you are on fragile ice. You can either run or you can fight them, and there is never just one of them. They are massive or they are not at all. If you’re a fifteen year old punk rocker, you keep your head down — or you don’t, you know, because you’re a punk rocker of fifteen years — and you will either run from a beat down or you receive them. You might even decide to engage in violence yourself, because you have a zero tolerance policy for fascism in your scene, and you kill it wherever you see it the same as they would kill you.

I’ve thus far only introduced and outlined the things I need to discuss to illustrate the points I want to make clear and the things I want to connect, acknowledge, and use to hold the conclusion I can finally make about the skinhead phenomenon, which at fifteen years old, not knowing the distant history and how far the skinhead had traveled and how it had molded him, I could never make but finally can. So, I’m going to split this into thee parts as this is quite complex.

On Skinheads, Their Good Taste in Music, and the Folly of their Utter Ignorance
(is that really the title I’m using? Whatever… that’s the title.)

1.) The Spirit of ’69 – This portion will require many of us to pretend that we have never heard of a skinhead and understand how the origins of the culture are quite interesting, seemingly harmless enough, and little known to most people today who associate the word with white nationalism — which for this portion, we’ll have to hold off on talking about to explore skinhead reggae (which I happen to think is actually great music), and how the blending of the Jamaican diaspora with British, cockney people resulted in a seemingly positive racial exchange and a “reggae fever” marked by shaved heads and otherwise very particular, uniform, and sharp dress style.

2.) If the Kids Are United… – Next, I’m going to have to explain how skinhead culture crossed paths with punk rock after 1969 had passed and how neither culture would ever be the same after that, resulting in a list of new genres that come about from an unintentional recipe for hatred and violence laid out when the skinhead and the punk rocker will unfortunately take politics to the streets, and experience a less positive attempt to assimilate together. Also, this will address why skinheads may have been less like-minded with Jamaican diaspora as the 1970’s came closer to the 1980’s.

3.) Post-Skinhead Ignorance – This will be a final conclusion, in which I consolidate my experience with American skinheads as a punk teen in the 1990s/2k into my adulthood, well-read self who happens to currently be pretty into first wave ska music, which… only the skinhead can be said to still feel that way about first wave ska in the same way. In the homeland of ska, ska music is outdated. And I mean, it’s been outdated since before I was born. It’s hardly even referred to as itself by many, because it’s just early reggae that hasn’t for a long time been done without being more reggae than ska (not probably since about… 1969). That said, I will ultimately have to conclude how skinhead culture has always been intrinsically predisposed towards a development into a complete militancy powered by an embrace of ignorance… about everything; and why skinhead culture should not be celebrated just because they understand ska music, (which is amazing, [and much better without skinheads in it.]).

And yes, I have totally just published a postwritten where I outline the post yet unwritten. I know. I’m utterly insane. If I were a professional writer, or if I had the desire to produce myself in the way that one does, I would set this document aside and use it as a rough draft and outline to do the piece, which I will say is big enough to warrant this kind of outlining if not this kind of editorial.

But I don’t do that. I don’t edit or manufacture myself. I don’t enjoy doing it. I don’t want to. Often times the typos you find are ones that I overlooked in the drafting of the document and have become well aware of and have intentionally left them as is.

I suppose I don’t sound like a too stereotypical obsessive or compulsive person, do I? If you’ve read the psyche column at all, you might follow what I mean from there. I sort of do have the capacity to spend my entire life editing a document for no reason, in which no amount of corrections or do-overs will ever produce a thing that doesn’t require further editing or abandonment.

Choosing to leave myself manufactured, raw, as-is, one take to get the shot, whatever happens type of “artist” has never been an easy decision to make. I wanted at one time to leave a masterpiece on the world. I no longer do. I want to leave myself, flawed as I am, content and happy to die with my imperfections.

So I made a typo. Shrug. It most likely doesn’t matter, and so… if I’ve lost you and you aren’t following this foreword into the next posts that will come. So be it. I will gladly have you read, or listen, or watch; I’m not afraid to show myself. But… I’m not willing to destroy the beauty of the world’s ugly things left as they are, so that you lot can be the celebrated artist that is all you really care about anyway isn’t it?

That’s okay. Social acceptance and approval is a natural human thing to seek out to some degree if you are a healthy enough person, I should think. But… it is of little interest to me in terms of my non-art, which I will continue to create in a long winded way for the sake of itself — shamelessly.

It’s kind of getting to the point where all the columns (categories) that I’m using seem to intersect, even if they focus on one topic more than the others. Part of me would like to redesign the organization, stop using the categories the same way, but…

Logic tells me there is no need for that.

Otherwise, I have an outline of what I’m going to write. I have several albums in mind to share as I talk about various things. I want to continue writing this zine, even if it takes me a long time to come back to it sometimes.

If I save this as a draft, it will become lost forever. I will forget that it was important maybe, or that it was ever a thing I planned to do. The organization of it will prevent it from ever being published at all.

Maybe taking my time between entries isn’t so bad. Maybe it will be more manageable for me to actually read them again, and have it as such that of the many points I wish to make, the fewest of them will in the end be unmade entirely. My early LiveJournal blogs of daily postings suffered from an overflow of  things that were never worth organization. There was less management of any thought that I had, which is why I was never able to write anything but of my sadness and my glory like a teenager with a diary.

I don’t want to write for a sense of daily therapy. I want to say specific things in a highly unconventional way. I want to make my points, and I want to leave them at least in the open to be unmade.

I’m going to make a point to get back to this project in the next few days — not weeks or more.

I will ever have to apologize for the fact that… if you are interested in me at all, you will always have to wait for me to come back I’m afraid.

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bloodclaat selassie

So… This post is going to talk about music (specifically, the change from reggae to modern dance hall). After all, I can only obsess about so many things {read – one thing} at a time), but the aspect of the music that it will address is also somewhat heavy and polarizing. I would hope that if you disagree with me, that you are not put off from reading my thoughts. However, I am familiar with your ilk, and I know that some of you will be put off.

So be it.

Let’s talk about Rastafari, which we often imagine when we think of Jamaica over here in the States. But you didn’t know, in the ska era, this dread head culture was not as popular or yet established. When the 70’s came and ska fell out, roots brought a lot of new themes. Many of them were positively aimed, with less commentary on criminal violence, but… I will argue that not all of the themes are positive. There is often commentary made with a different kind of violence; that is, the constant objective superiority and moral elitism inherent in all Abrahamic religions and most of the reformations that is asserted to the extermination of other ideas.

To be honest, the songs about bloodclaat Selassie would be fucking laughable if not for the fact that it’s so sad, that Abrahamic religions were brought to slaves on colonies where they were deprived in education and placed in positions of spiritual desperation.

I mean like, as a modern atheist of Britain’s spread of white people into the world, I just can’t help but see  those religions as ideas that are not needed and unnecessarily negative when the benefits of religions, spirituality, and the lack thereof are possible without it. If you can’t wrap your mind around that one, let me know and I’ll give it a second thought. But I’ve pretty consistently and strongly felt that way for a while.

And so, I can overlook a song that’s about coping with poverty and invoking the name of a story meant to help them only because… I do not blame them for their lack of educations. I blame my ancestors and how greedy the human race (of all colors, one) is, seen in its alphas males and females.

Of course people of the Americas, England, Australia, Canada (and all people who are inside whatever else, still British) do not receive the same understanding in the appreciation of their arts. If you’re from London or from NYC and your music is produced in 2017, then you cannot praise the name of Yahweh and earn my respect.

The word Christ is a huge deal breaker that makes you basically like… (and this is not hatred of you, but for your ideas that you cannot let go of and burden others with) …you’re faced with not looking at yourself as the chosen holy righteous who get love from the wonderful god that all others are wrong and Satan worshipers to be burned with their books so that any possibility of our god not being thrust down your throat is impossible.

That vile book that you call, “the good book,” is like a book of death and horrible things to illustrate that god intentionally made you so that he could watch you fuck up and then be forever in debt to him as the little bitch who better do what I say or… it won’t be good. Then… Because that makes so much less than zero sense, over time the religions had to reform so that now God is a guy who’s totally changed and feels like you’ve died and suffered enough for petty, petty shit. Shit that makes you be like, “Do we really even want this guy in charge?” No.

Thankfully, life is much better than made somehow okay with God to say so. No, life is good because man (and woman) have the power to make their life mean whatever they would make it be. That no man is correct is the blessing we all have. We can live our lives ourselves and not disturb the integrity of our ideas or anyone else’s ideas.

And so, I do enjoy the themes of reggae that express positive vybz and an outlook on life that feels good about it self… because I truly feel that way, but I don’t have to place myself in a light of goodness that must be cosmic or the world is too painful to endure. I can seek out “good” things, things that benefit mankind, like the reform of your religions again to admit there are usable parts and other parts to be omitted. (See, unlike you, I wouldn’t exterminate your culture. But you’re going to allow mankind to progress in science, philosophy, and the possibility of non extinction without smoking out the world with your ignorance — and pitifully weak spirits).

But… I say this as a white person who knows that we need to remember that… our educations, even our working class educations, and our history of “whatever it is we do that’s so great”, does not make us more correct in how we live or think than others who we see as wrong. This includes the three unholy religions of Abraham (as I affectionately call them). See, what’s correct, true, holy, or righteous are all concepts that are not necessarily unquestionable. See, in the interest of positive vybz, it’s better to force yourself to experience things that you are unfamiliar with and possibly make you uncomfortable, permit them, possibly take interest or not, and live without offense taken or made on others of different values, for the understanding that… none of us are correct, we could never possibly know for certain any thing. The Socratic admission that one is not wise is somehow wise, similar to how…. evil doesn’t exist and only things that proclaim they are most good are the most awful.

This is a topic I think about a lot because I listen to not just ska or reggae. I also listen to modern reggae dance hall, which is basically just a more hip hop version of reggae with what I would call more often less “roots” themes. Modern dance hall artists are more produced in the way of all modern pop music genres everywhere — they have several faces, they’re very manufactured, and based around capitalism — in almost exactly the same way as the American rapper, but with a history of roots reggae that is… well, modern dance hall might like to think it was still pretty roots, but nuh. It ain’t as roots as say… the roots, for what that’s worth. But it’s still characterized by reggae riddims.

For example, these are two songs by Popcaan — a very yute-ful sort of yute — and, one of them coming from 2016 and the other 2017, you will pree what I mean to say about the stereotypical dance hall prince (as I call them). There would be argument in Jamaica about who was the dominant dance hall artist after the fall of the World Boss, but as far as to who is the king of spreading Dance hall out of Jamaica, it is undeniably Popcaan.

This is most likely due to his association with the artist, Drake, who mi a tell you dis straight up: I’m not sure if I’ve ever once listened to one of his songs. I just know he’s popular I guess? I don’t know, man, I listen to strange shit too much to have time to waste on top40 on purpose (which, isn’t always bad or anything. … but yeah, nuh time fi that inna real life. If I’mma listen to shamelessly manufactured pop music, it’s at least going to be from an interesting island somewhere else.

[That is of course what I like about Dance hall — it’s foreign qualities. Rude boys, ska people, and and 70’s skinheads might drop their haw to hear me say that I liked modern dance hall and ska in the same sentence, but… I have an open mind, and that’s what I’m trying to really get at in this post as I criticize what you possible believe about your own cosmic correctness]

Anyway, in Never Sober and in Where We Come From, you’re going to notice more similarities to a rapper than to Bob Marley, in the ideas expressed. This is how I mean it’s not roots.

But I will say for it… that it’s what made me fall in love with Patwah speech in songs. I find that it’s far more pronounced than I’ve ever heard coming from Jamaican music, which I still cannot understand why that is, Maybe it’s in my imagination because I can think of no reason for that that makes any sense. For example, you can follow the thoughts of Bob Marley easily. Were you able to follow Popcaan below? I definitely didn’t understand a word he said at first. It’s possible that Bob was just a bit more educate than Poppy (lol).


Interestingly enough, modern dance hall and ska dance hall are similarly unlike reggae in the same way; the rude boy is now the badman. The Rasta is somewhat less commonly seen emphasized if at all. Most go for a look that says, “I have money,” not, “I am close to God.” And, in ska and in modern dance hall, the needing (or having) of money and the possibly (and certainly) going to jail and narrowly avoiding death and how difficult it is to get by with so much violence going on are all the most common themes.

(Although I would say, in the ska days, there were less fake ass little bitches pretending to be bad and it was more real ass people addressing the real problem where rude boys and police were a constantly dangerous combination at any sound system)

When a dance hall artist names god or whatever, it’s usually to express that he has the favor of that god by virtue of his money. It’s very rarely ever more spiritually complex than that, like in roots.

And lastly, what’s really odd… is the track by Prince Buster called 10 Commandments

Either one of two things are happening in this sort of joke track, and possibly both: 1) Prince Buster, in 1967, was framing Christianity in a comical absurdity that was intended to make one ask, “How is it that we even take this book seriously” ; or, 2) He was using the “good book” to validate his militant sexism and belief that man should utterly dominate the woman in every way possible.

And the latter is most possibly my least favorite characteristic of Jamaican men. And I’ll conclude that, I think it’s for the best that we stop celebrating the dangerous, destructive religious ideas of Abraham. Case in point. I will not tell you what good is, but I can tell you what it is not. This is not good.

And though I feel that way, I still enjoy the music that celebrates the ignorance of the “Holy Land,” because I must not make the mistake of being as forceful with an idea of my correctness as they have been and still are.

A beautiful song and some inspiring notions… and yet, invoking the name of that awful entity from the old books.

over-thinking or just hella thinking?

So, it might be pretty universally considered a wrong move by bloggers, webmasters, and content creators online, to post an entry and then immediately follow it with the next entry after a spell of resting stillness marked with a mind like this one writing. And, it doesn’t bother me because I don’t care to present myself in such a way that I will generate a following ideally. I’m going to do what I do, and while I appreciate any interest in my writing, I can’t change how overwhelmingly intense I can be sometimes. If you can’t keep up with me, that’s not a big surprise to me. A lot of people can’t. And while I do have to keep that in mind when I deal with people, I’m not doing so as a writer. It doesn’t matter to me if my presentation isn’t conducive to being easily consumed. I’m doing it because I want to and this is how I do it.

So, as you can see, whether I’m tired or not, I have the capacity for thoughts that don’t stop. It’s a complex thing because… if my mind would chill out, I would rest and have a more comfortable, easy day of wakeful moods and so forth. But I enjoy the thinking. I enjoy the long way of saying a thing. And it’s good that I do, because… I couldn’t do it any other way if I wanted to.

Let’s see. I’m going to put on coffee… or something. Let’s think of how many hours I have left before -waking up-.

Five hours and twelve minutes. … I’m sitting up in my bed. I’m going to try lying flat with my feet on the ground for a moment.

Typing this paragraph some minute after the last, it was orgasmic to stretch out the arch in my back and release the tension of my body that just sits back up again to type on the laptop, strain my eyes longer with the reading lenses (all I’ve ever known) that aren’t enough anymore, and indulge in the mood uplift that music can bring to the weary.

But, I’m having second thoughts about that… coffee, which I Really might still make. Do I really allow myself to accept that I’m not sleepy and can’t sleep, despite the severe tiredness, the same problems on recent nights, and how much less brutal it would be if I slept a single hour (but of course, ideally two; three is too unrealistic to consider.)

If I take the Benadryl, I’m going to feel like anticholinergic ass for the next hour as I slowly become more distant and unable to focus, which will put me into a state of perturbed dreams most likely and result in an extra amount of confusion when the alarm finally occurs to me and I’ve managed to do something about it, pop out of the dream I instantly can’t remember but know was utterly mad and quite the annoyance. And on top of the extra, it’s going to be extra-extra because there aren’t enough hours for the drug to run its course. I’ll have to wake up under the effect of it, drag myself up, and somehow get to work without showing up late as fuck or no call no showing before I realize that it even happened.

These are the very critical concerns of an insomniac… At a point, does sleeping become more dangerous to attempt to squeeze in? Because let’s just be honest with ourselves. It’s not going to happen in the amount of time I have between my last night’s close and my this morning’s open shift without some form of pharmaceutical action. There are some awesome things I could have to take at times like this that would make this a lot simpler to get through, but I don’t have those things. What I do have is the pill I have always had to fall back on when I had to.

And then there’s the possibility that the Bendaryl will have wrought all of its side effects on me all night and into the morning, and I will still get out of bed having felt like I didn’t completely fall into zzz’s even once.

So, you can call it over-thinking. A lot of people think that about me. But these are things one has to think about, I would think. Or do they not have to and this is the only reason I’m not able to feel sleepy in spite of such tiredness? Could I just let it be that this was very simple, lie down, (not even take the wretched pill), and go right to sleep? I’m sure it’s a bit more complicated.

I don’t always feel like this, as I’ve said. There are times I have the opposite problem, where I can’t will myself to want to do anything but lay in my bed and snooze away the free moments. And it’s definitely a cycle of opposite problems that lead to the other problem. Being over exhausted eventually results in a hibernating torpor that groans to momentarily reach out of and drag itself to the moment where it can go back. That has its own difficulties.

And the cycle just goes and goes and goes.

It’s more complicated than I (and especially you) realize, but it’s been slowly (or rather rapidly, maybe) driving me crazy and killing me for years.

Fortunately, I’m pretty happy anyway. Sure, sometimes I endure suffering. So does everyone. But I practice acceptance a lot lately — I’m not a Buddhist or anything. This is just what I do and it brings me peace in spite of the strife, in a lot of ways. I try not to let the stress overwhelm me, though I occasionally falter, and feel content anyway in spite of anything that could possibly happen. I try to maintain this. Most of the time, I manage.

If you ever read my blogs or writings or LiveJournals or whatever from some years ago, like… literally anywhere from 2002-2013, you would find everything I did and said laced with anger, sadness, despair, depression; all characterized by wildness of the mind. I suppose that’s subjective, but… Let me just leave it at that.

I deal with a lot of the same issues I’ve always dealt with. In some ways, some of my issues are much worse. I am, after all, older. But the one that is not much worse is that I am not unhappy about things I can’t control anymore. There aren’t things I can’t have that I lament so badly all the time. There aren’t atrocities, tragedies, and horrors I haven’t looked dead on and accepted for what they are without breaking down.

But I deal with a lot of bullshit still. It’s just that… I’m pretty good at dealing with bullshit now.

And part of that skill is the fact that I know that I need to lie down rest my body, let my mind do its thing, and if I have to have my coffee in the morning (I do), I’ll have it. But having it now would be fairly masochistic and not even willing to chance rest.

And so, while I’ve not said everything on the matter, I figure it’s best to let it be at that. I won’t get started on the posts about different types of music, bands, and so forth that I’ve been meaning to write about and intentionally forego sleep with several hours left.

But I’ll tell you this for certain: I’m not taking that Benadryl. If I was going to do that, I should have done it hours ago, like I said in the post from earlier when it was still last night. But there were a lot of reasons I didn’t, as you can see.

I’ll go ahead and end with a random song that I would normally say something about in these posts, but which I’ll let just speak for itself again.

It’s interesting because I’ve come full circle. This is the music I listened to as a teenager, which was influenced by music I never really knew much about, and now am having such a phase that it brings back the memories.

I nearly started going into all these different opinions I have about various waves and elements of ska and blended ska genres. Because, I really want to.

But right now, this post about how hectic my sleep and work life can be is far more prudent to throw out there and end with.

And the funniest part is that I got out of bed to post this maybe some hour later, am about to pour my coffee, and then some. 😛

I hope that someone can relate with the struggles of the mind described, which I admit at times does over think things to the point of interference. But sometimes, things are worth thinking about at length, I think.

‘(healthy body, sick mind; it’s just a matter of time; sick body, sick mind)’

named laughing boy

I haven’t made time to even think about what I would write if I had the leftover energy and attention after everything to really do it. It’s been an exhausting last week, through the weekend, and into this week — the entire span of days has been pretty hectic. Even now that I’m doing it, I’m barely maintaining the concentration to finish one sentence and begin the next. But, I guess it’s not like my body and mind hasn’t been coping with sleep issues for ever. So, it’s whatever.

I just got off work. I have to be back in 8 hours. I’m tired but restless enough to be writing about it. There’s a little pink pill that I probably should take… but that I hate taking so much that I don’t do it, put it off, and sometimes take it a bit too late to not be a groggy mess trying to come out of it and wake up.

It’s just a Benadryl. For desperate need of sleep and allergy relief, I sometimes have to take that awful pink fucker. But I definitely avoid it if I can, even if I need to get the best rest I can get in the shortest amount of time, and I know it’s the best way I have available. It just feels too gross to want to will myself to swallow the thing, and I endure instead being awake.

Speaking of that, let’s not forget my alarm clock needs to be set — now. And there; it has informed me that this is in fact more like seven hours and eight minutes. It’s always good to know the damage.

See… I could possibly lie here in bed all night restful in the body and relatively motionless but still barely awake but for a possible time of unconsciousness that might have been an hour or more maybe? Who can be sure. And if you’re familiar with managing that problem. you know what I mean.

But I don’t despair on the matter. It can be difficult to not get enough sleep sometimes and then have to function somehow while you’re half dead and falling asleep finally on your feet. Every moment of downtime is magnetically held to the bed or wherever else is more convenient. I’m actually, as I said, fairly mentally and physically equipped to cope with sleep deprivation. And I really only have the problem for a while before I swing hard the opposite direction and eventually stabilize — and, of course, eventually remember the familiar feeling of the opposite extremes.

So we’re going to play a random song that just occurred to me. Aside from work and Dragon Ball Z and sleep, what I’ve been doing mostly is listening to music again and a lot of it has been 50’s rocksteady, 60’s ska, 2-tone, and the occasional punk band from my youth. And, I’ve been digesting large quantities of this music. Most of the early Jamaican stuff was very new to me. I obviously knew how ska had affected punk rockers and how it emerged in America, but I didn’t really know the roots of it — which is funny, because ska from 60’s is the roots of the roots if you’re referring to the type of reggae.

And… I really like it. There’s so many songs I want to talk about and post but I’m starting to lose my energy. I’m either going to take this pill…. or… I’m not going to. And I don’t have much left in me at the moment. But I never know what’s going to happen, really, as far as that goes. I deal with it without letting it get to me, too bad.

So instead of talking about any of that music, I’m just going to put on the B side to the 1997 album that started my obsession with said band from like 2001-2005, if not longer, because the title describes me rather well.

A manic depressive named Laughing Boy by Modest Mouse.

And oh, how I can still jam this shit hard. It’s been a long time. I’ll see you guys if you come back. I’m just not used to doing this anymore.

ska is the energy

I basically have rude boy ska on 24/7 as I listen to more of it, and try out different names, associated acts, and read about the years the records are pressed and to read them.

I’m not sure yet how to differentiate between the the blended genres of ska and reggae in words yet. I think I might eventually find or understand how to say them, because I can tell the difference in at least two general sub genre, ska and reggae.

Reggae is often the default term, including ska, but there is a significant difference in theme, enunciation and singing voices. At times though, there is always cross over between the elements of reggae and ska. Ska artists often did songs that were less “ska” and I wouldn’t be surprised if more post-ska reggae had elements of ska in it inherently bu virtue of that one leads to the other.

Ska —–> Reggae

Imagine the difference in R&B and trap rap put over the same beat, at different tempos. Ska is “rude boy music” and reggae is “deadlock rasta music”

And like, the Wailers, being Marley’s band, and the people involved in that were largely a part of the ska scene before roots reggae was formed from it. So, as I’ve said, it’s possible to differentiate them, but they are also always a part of each other — ska and reggae.

If the name Skatalites didn’t give it away, this band and most of its tracks are what I’m going to say are the best example of ska as a thing like but different than roots, which is funny because Bob Marley and Wailers, then the Wailing Wailers, were the first to do a rendition of Simmer Down. It was their first success. Recorded in 1963, it basically sums ska up really well

It’s fast and up beat and the themes of the songs largely involve –like it or not– ska being made up of and and surrounded by rude boys, which were basically criminals. (A more common term today in dancehall culture would probably be badman which translates to gangster more or less). The song incorporates elements of jazz heavily to have a spastic quality and there is no slowing down of the guitar with a spiritually smoking weed way of being calmed or at peace. Ska is wild. Roots reggae is not.

Additionally, do this one by Desmond Drekker and his band the Aces, 007 (Shanty Town), recorded in 1967.

Both are about rude boy culture. The first asks for the rudeys to try to relax. The second empathizes with why the rude boy does not relax.

But what I like about ska is the energy that seems draind out of it in the average roots reggae stuff. It’s a similar sound, but with dumbed down horns to do less jazz and a more soulful singing style.

Ska is a reggae music that you’re supposed to constantly move to and not stop for any reason. It’s pure and sheer energy that the reggae guitar strumming we know today was invented by, but it wasn’t left to be a calmness. It was sped up to blow horns by and do a constant dance of moving as much as you possibly can in a back and forth way nonstop with variation in how so.

That’s the best I can do and I’m pretty sure I did an okay enough job explaining. Although, I’d like to check out some more tracks from the 1950s, when ska originated, because it seems a lot of these are in the 60s. Also, I can’t even begin to tell you how to define rocksteady, which also came before reggae. So I’ll get to that, too.

Also like, there is an entire other part to this post which diverges into another topic as long as this one, so I’ll save it for another post, though it has already been pretty written.

I’mma leave you with a 1977 singing female reggae duo, Althea and Donna, doing Uptown Top Ranking; and I’m going to post the live video so you can see their performance and how sexy they are. (ha!)

But seriously Next to those rude boy songs, this is pretty calm. But it’s not nearly the type of calm I’m talking about as this

All I really have to say about this song is, I’m not that interested in listening to it and, see what is missing from it?

I’m too much like a ska song to be as much like a reggae song. I’m never calm and I’m always happy anyway., c

tweet manifesto on hip hop

To tweet something is to say a thing with such brevity that almost nothing can be completely said at all; but with the hopes that it will be read by many, you find yourself dumbing down your sentences. Or, at least I do.

In thirteen tweets, adhering to the limitations of Twitter, I speak on the matter of hip hop as it has become today from what it originally was.

1 Hip hop came up originally in the underground, where DJs introduced a new way to blend records and make for a dance party that don’t stop.

2 The place of the MC was an afterthought. The rapper as we know him blew up in that community and the poetry of street truth arose.

3 After decades of hiphop, rap music is no longer an underground movement. The street knowledge and the truth is now a manufactured product.

4 It’s one that facilitates economic gains over anything, so the production no longer nec. reflects the street. The street reflects hiphop

5 Yeah, “I done flipped a bit a work” in my time, too, but… You top40 rappers aint need to flip no work, but never shut up about it.

6 Black ppl is getting shot by police REG-EW-LAR and the prison industrial complex is alive decedent from the abomination, slavery.

7 This is the truth that needs to be said. Mainstream hiphop is an industry of uber-capitalist white men who have taken your voice.

8 See, you used to say wack MCs were anyone that wasn’t you, ‘;cause your style was that fresh. Now wack MCs are boy bands playing thug.

9 and the most realest, real shit out there is few and far between, hidden, lost in the underground, never played in clubs.

10 I’,mma conclude and let this album speak for itself, in the excess of wackness out there, this is fresh. Telephone by @noname ..link next

11 https://t.co/5xTA4Dyu0P … — in spirit, I love hiphop. But MCs are not all as profound as this and I can’t really tolerate the fakeness.

12 That said, I be dancing to any beat, uknow…. I’m not a hater. I’m just saying. A lot of y’all shit be up off an assembly line str8 up.

13 https://t.co/5xTA4Dyu0P … Now make sure y’all play this shit.give it to me 2 times. Telephone by. @noname ; STOP.

I’ll embed the YouTube video from the url above.

And you should also check out her Tiny Desk Concert on NPR Music where she really shows her personality, and is so lovable. Her band is really into it and they all respect each other it looks like. They’re on tour now I think.

rude boys have a go wail

// 007 (Shanty Town), by Desmond Drekker (1967); Kingston, Jamaica

0-0-7, 0-0-7
At ocean eleven
And now rude boys have a go wail
‘Cause them out of jail
Rude boys cannot fail
‘Cause them must get bail
Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail (a shanty town)
Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail (a shanty town)
Dem rude boys get a probation (a shanty town)
And rude boy bomb up the town (a shanty town)

This shit is profound. I’m educating myself in more early ska, rocksteady, and etc. as it was in Jamaica and before exported. I’ll probably be writing about this topic for a bit until I have to get other kicks experiencing, thinking, and analyzing other stuff.