Just Won’t Stop!

Been check’n out Jeff Chang’s Cant Stop Wont Stop. A fresh look at hip hop, graffiti, and break dancing. For all us young’nz out there who grew up in the 1990s on Dre, 2pac, and Biggie and wondered where all these people come from—well… you don’t have to an excuse to keep wondering anymore.

Jeff Chang starts the history of hip-hop in Jamaica. It can only be understood by seeing hip hop as part of a revolt by young Jamaicans against the disappointment of their barely born nation. The JLP’s promise fell flat on its face. The new party, the PNP, led by Michael Manley appeared to be more radical but quickly got into street battles with the JLP supporters. Both parties tore apart Jamaican society to achieve state power. The fighting sent many of the brightest and hopefully youth to an early grave. In this context groups like the Wailers cut “Simmer Down” hoping to cool things down and find a way to bring the nation together. Bob Marley came out with “Smile Jamaica” which I have posted. This music was called Dub music. It would have international audience as more people got to know of what was going on in Jamaica and cuz of Marley’s exile status.

J. Chang describes Dub very well, “Dub had a compelling circularity. It exploded in the dancehall at the moment the tenement yards exploded in violence. Dub was the “B-side” to the soaring violence of the democratic socialist dreamers or the apocalyptic warnings of the Rasta prophets.”

DJ Kool Herc would be chillin and listening to these sounds before he wound up in NYC and made his impact there. Taking Dub and Reggae and adding a NYC twist to it… but that is a another story…

Hopefully I will keep everyone posted as I take a journey back into the history of hip hop and link it up with how Asians have made it their own in the upcoming weeks…

But for now that is all…


No comments: