Mac351 From reggae to afrobeat [draft]

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Mac351 From reggae to afrobeat [draft]

  1. 1. FROM REGGAE TO AFROBEAT: PROTEST, POLITICS AND POP MUSIC #mac351  @rob_jewi2   1  
  2. 2. Bunny  Wailer  (The  Wailers  -­‐  1963-­‐1974)     2  
  3. 3. My  music  is  protest music,   music  protesHng  against  slavery,   class  prejudice,  racism,  inequality,   economic  discriminaHon,  denial  of   opportunity  and  the  injusHce  we   were  suffering  under  colonialism  in   Jamaica.    We  were  taken from Africa where  our  fore-­‐parents   were  kings  and  queens  and   brought to Jamaica  on  ships   as  slaves,  where  we  were  stripped   of  our  names,  our  language,  our   culture,  our  God  and  our  religion   3  
  4. 4. But  music  is  the  soul  of  Africa  …  and   this  they  were  unable  to  conquer.    […]     Every  twist  and  turn  of  Jamaican  music   of  the  last  forty  years  has  reflected   what  has  been  happening  to  the   people,  either  poliHcally  or  socially,   and  oYen  it’s  the  other  way  around,   with  the  music  and  sound  systems   influencing  the  country’s  poliHcs.        -­‐-­‐  Prince  Buster  quoted  in  Bradley,   2000:  xv.   4    
  5. 5. Overview   •  History  of  reggae   –  Role  of  ska  and  rocksteady   •  Global  impact  (Bob  Marley)   •  Reggae  in  Britain   •  Afrobeat  (Fela  KuH)   5  
  6. 6. Reggae  =   Ska   Rocksteady   Roots   Dub   Dancehall   Raga   6  
  7. 7. -­‐  -­‐  -­‐  -­‐  -­‐  Prince  Buster  –  ‘Independence  Song’   Lord  Creator  -­‐  ‘Independent  Jamaica’     Al  T.  Joe  -­‐    ‘Independence  is  Here’     Derrick  Morgan  -­‐  ‘Forward  March’     Joe  White  and  Chuck    -­‐  ‘One  NaHon’   7  
  8. 8. 8  
  9. 9. 9  
  10. 10. ‘Ska’  represented  a  musical  cross-­‐breed   between  a  fiery,  indigenous  culture  and  black   US  music     -­‐  Chambers,  1985:  154   10  
  11. 11. 11  
  12. 12. 12  
  13. 13. Marcus  Garvey's  words  come  to  pass  (x2)     Can't  get  no  food  to  eat,   Can't  get  no  money  to  spend,  Wo-­‐oo-­‐oo   Can't  get  no  food  to  eat,   Can't  get  no  money  to  spend,  Woo  -­‐oo-­‐  oo     Come,  li2le  one  and  let  me  do  what  I  can  do   for  you   And  you  and  you  alone   Come,  li2le  one,  wo-­‐oo-­‐oo   Let  me  do  what  I  can  do  for  you  and  you   alone,  woo-­‐oo-­‐oo     He  who  knows  the  right  thing   And  do  it  not   Shall  be  spanked  with  many  stripes,     Weeping  and  wailing  and  moaning,   You've  got  yourself  to  blame,  I  tell  you.   Do  right  do  right  do  right  do  right  do  right,   Tell  you  to  do  right,  Woo  -­‐oo-­‐  oo     Beg  you  to  do  right,  Woo  -­‐oo-­‐  oo   Where  is  Bagawire,  he's  nowhere  to  be  found   He  can't  be  found   First  betrayer  who  gave  away  Marcus  Garvey   Son  of  Satan,  First  prophesy,   Catch  them,  Garvey  old   Catch  them  Garvey,  catch  them  Woo  -­‐oo-­‐  oo   Hold  them  Marcus,  hold  them  Woo  -­‐oo-­‐  oo   Marcus  Garvey,  Marcus  Woo  -­‐oo-­‐  oo     13  
  14. 14. June  22nd    1948   Tilbury  (Essex)   14  
  15. 15. 1960s  –  Ska  and  rocksteady   Jamaican  independence     a  decade  of  strong  economic  growth     •  strong  investments  in  bauxite  mining   •  tourism     •  manufacturing     15  
  16. 16. [Rude boys]  were  mostly  unemployed  and   had  taken  to  carrying  German  ratchet  knives   and  handguns.  They  could  be  anything  from   fourteen  to  twenty  five  years  old  and  came   from  all  over  West  Kinsgton.  And  above  all,  the   rude  boys  were  angry.  CondiHons  in  West   Kingston  had  hardly  improved  with  the  passing   years.  Rather  than  buckle  under  to  a  life  spent   doing  menial  work  or  no  work  at  all,  the  rude   boys  took  to  the  street  and  to  crime -­‐  Hebdige,  1987:  72   16  
  17. 17. Rudies  in  court,  now  boys,  rudies  in  court   Rudies  in  court,  now  boys,  rudies  in  court     Order!   -­‐  Now,  this  court  is  in  session,   And  I  order  all  you  rude  boys  to  stand  !   You're  brought  her  by  a  verdict  for  shooHng  and  raping,   Now  tell  me,  rude  boys,  what  have  you  to  say  for  yourselves  ?     Your  honour,   Rudies  don't  fear,   Rudies  don't  fear  no  boys,  rudies  don't  fear,   Rudies  don't  fear  no  boys,  rudies  don't  fear,     Rougher  than  rough,  tougher  than  tough   Strong  like  lion,  we  are  iron   Rudies  don't  fear  no  boys,  rudies  don't  fear,   Rudies  don't  fear  no  boys,  rudies  don't  fear  :/     Rudies  don't  fear  no  boys,  rudies  don't  fear,  fe  real   Rudies  don't  fear  no  boys,  rudies  don't  fear,  bad...   17  
  18. 18. Reggae  is  transmogrified  American  ‘soul’  music   with  an  overlay  of  salvaged  African  rhythms,  and   an  undercurrent  of  pure  Jamaican  rebellion.   Reggae  is  transplanted  Pentecostal.  Reggae  is  the   Rasta  hymnal,  the  heart  cry  of  Kingston  Rude  Boy,   as  well  as  the  naHvised  naHonal  anthem  of  the   new  Jamaican  government   -­‐Hebdige,  1976:  140-­‐1   18  
  19. 19. 19  
  20. 20. [Reggae  ceased]  ‘to  signify  an  exclusive  ethnic   Jamaican  style  and  derived  a  different  kind  of   cultural  legiHmacy  both  from  a  new  global   status  and  from  its  expression  of  what  might   be  termed  a  pan-­‐Caribbean  culture’     -­‐  Paul  Gilroy,  1993:  82   20  
  21. 21. An  ‘Africa’  which  lay  dormant  and  forgo2en   inside  the  language  of  the  white  Master.  Read   between  the  lines  the  Text  could  be  made  to   deliver  up  this  Africa,  to  free  it,  and  to  restore  it   to  the  ‘righteous  sufferer’   -­‐  Hebdige,  1979:  33   21  
  22. 22. Rastafarianism   22  
  23. 23. Rastafarianism   -­‐  Ras  Tafari  Makonnen   -­‐  Haile  Selassie  I   -­‐  Ethiopian  Regent  1916-­‐1930   -­‐  Emperor  of  Ethiopia  1930-­‐74   23  
  24. 24. 24  
  25. 25. The  Rastas  played  out  the  kind  of  existenHal  absurdity  in   Jamaican  society.  They  defiled  the  sacred  images  of  the   white  Jesus  as  liberator  through  their  own  theology  of   Haile  Selassie,  and  yet  they  also  offended  the  spiritualist   churches,  which  supported  Jamaica’s  poor,  by  shunning   the  pracHce  of  possession  trances.  The  Rasta  call  for   repatriaHon  to  Ethiopia  was  a  rejecHon  of  poliHcal   involvement  in  their  own  society.   -­‐  Lewis,  1993:  9   25  
  26. 26. Their  refusal  to  imitate  English  mannerisms  –  the   undisputed  sign  of  respectability  in  Jamaican  society  –   showed  a  disregard  for  convenHon.  They  viewed   marijuana  –  a  drug  popular  among  the  working  poor  as  a   palliaHve  to  help  them  endure  labor  in  the  fields  –  as  a   tool  of  illuminaHon  to  make  one  aware  of  the  bourgeois   world.  These  traits  marked  the  Rastas  as  a  challenge  and   a  threat.   -­‐  Lewis,  1993:  9   26  
  27. 27. Bob  Marley  -­‐    1945-­‐1981   27  
  28. 28. 28  
  29. 29. I  don't  have  prejudice  against  meself.  My  father  was  a  white  and  my   mother  was  black.  Them  call  me  half-­‐caste  or  whatever.  Me  don't   deh  pon  nobody's  side.  Me  don't  deh  pon  the  black  man's  side  nor   the  white  man's  side.  Me  deh  pon  God's  side,  the  one  who  create   me  and  cause  me  to  come  from  black  and  white   -­‐  Marley  interviewed  by  Webley,  10  May  2008   29  
  30. 30. 30  
  31. 31. Yes,  me  friend,  me  friend   Dem  set  me  free  again   Yes,  me  friend,  me  friend   Me  deh  'pon  street  again     The  bars  could  not  hold  me   Walls  could  not  control  me  now   They  try  to  keep  me  down   But  God  put  me  around     Yes,  I've  been  accused   Wrongly  abused  now   But  through  the  powers  of  the  Most  High   They've  got  to  turn  me  loose     Don't  try  to  cold  me  up   On  this  bridge  now   I've  got  to  reach  Mount  Zion   If  you  are  bull-­‐bocor   I'm  a  duppy  conqueror,  conqueror     CompilaHon  /  1974  /  Trojan  Records   ‘Duppy  Conqueror’   31  
  32. 32. Most  people  think  great  God  will  come   from  the  sky   Take  away  everything  and  make   everybody  feel  high   But  if  you  know  what  life  is  worth,     You  would  look  for  yours  on  earth   Now  you  see  the  light,     Stand  up  for  your  right     32  
  33. 33. That  unHl  the  philosophy  which  holds  one  race  superior  and   another  inferior  is  finally  and  permanently  discredited  and   abandoned;  That  unHl  there  are  no  longer  first-­‐class  and   second-­‐class  ciHzens  of  any  naHon;  That  unHl  the  color  of  a   man's  skin  is  of  no  more  significance  than  the  color  of  his   eyes;  That  unHl  the  basic  human  rights  are  equally   guaranteed  to  all  without  regard  to  race;  That  unHl  that   day,  the  dream  of  lasHng  peace  and  world  ciHzenship  and   the  rule  of  internaHonal  morality  will  remain  but  a  fleeHng   illusion,  to  be  pursued  but  never  a2ained;  And  unHl  the   ignoble  and  unhappy  regimes  that  hold  our  brothers  in   Angola,  in  Mozambique  and  in  South  Africa  in  subhuman   bondage  have  been  toppled  and  destroyed;  UnHl  bigotry   and  prejudice  and  malicious  and  inhuman  self-­‐interest  have   been  replaced  by  understanding  and  tolerance  and  good-­‐ will;  UnHl  all  Africans  stand  and  speak  as  free  beings,  equal   in  the  eyes  of  all  men,  as  they  are  in  the  eyes  of  Heaven;   UnHl  that  day,  the  African  conHnent  will  not  know  peace.   We  Africans  will  fight,  if  necessary,  and  we  know  that  we   shall  win,  as  we  are  confident  in  the  victory  of  good  over   evil.     –  Haile  Selassie  I  speech  to  the    United  NaHons  General   Assembly  in  1963.   33  
  34. 34. 1970s  Jamaica   •  Socially  and  poliHcally  divided   •  Michael  Manley  government  favoured  Cuba   and  developing  world  over  US  and  UK   •  In  1977  Archibald  Dunkley,  the  early  Rasta   leader  wrote  in  The  Ethiopian  World  that   ‘Michael  has  come  to  do  the  will  of  God  for   Rastafarians’  (Lewis,  1993:  69)     34  
  35. 35. 35  
  36. 36. 36  
  37. 37. 1960s/1970s  Britain   Afro-­‐Caribbeans  ghe2oized     •  London,     •  Leeds,     •  Coventry   •  Birmingham.     Unemployment  on  the  increase     TradiHonal  industries  waned       Afro-­‐Caribbean  migrants  and  their   families  were  hit  harder  than  most.   37  
  38. 38. 38  
  39. 39. Ska  music  provided  white  urban  youth  with  a   way  of  recovering  a  ‘tradiHonal’  working  class   idenHty  and  culture  that  was  perceived  to  be   in  decline  or  ‘under  a2ack  from  outsiders’  –   eg.  Asian  immigrants  (‘Paki  Bashin’)  (see   Clarke  1976:  99-­‐102)       •  Joe  ‘The  Boss’  -­‐  Skinhead  Revolt   •  Claude2e  and  CorporaHon  –  Skinhead  ‘a   Bash  ‘em   •  Byron  Lee  and  the  Dragonaires  –   Elizabethan  Reggae   •  Rico  -­‐  Brixton  Cat       39  
  40. 40. 40  
  41. 41. A  ‘militant  consciousness’  of  racial  oppression   and  injusHce  emerged  within  Black-­‐BriHsh   youth  subcultures  during  mid  1970s  against   what  was  perceived  as  ‘a  white  racist  society’   termed  ‘Babylon’  (Brake,  1992:  116-­‐143)       41  
  42. 42. The early 1970s marked the emergence of Rastafarianism. This music was now being produced specifically for British, European and American markets (often in the format of the album rather than the single) through companies such as Island Records to target a much wider audience •  •  •  •  •  Bob Marley and the Wailers - Natty Dread Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry - Arkology Linton Kweshi - Forces of Victory/Inglan is a Bitch Culture – Two Sevens Clash Junior Murvin – Police and Thieves 42  
  43. 43. Rastafarianism  and  reggae  ‘significantly  altered   the  way  in  which  noHons  of  ‘blackness’  and   black  idenHty  were  expressed’     -­‐  Benne2,  2001:    81     Influenced  punk  during  late  1970s  (taken  up  by   alienated  white  working  class  youth).  They   shared    ‘similarly  opposiHonal  stances  against   the  dominant  BriHsh  society’   -­‐  Hebdidge,  1979:    64   43  
  44. 44. The Clash -  White Man in Hammersmith Palace, -  Rudie Can’t Fail, -  Police and Thieves, -  Living in Fame Reggae artists such as Marley also began to acknowledge ‘cross-over’ with punk music with releases such as Punky Reggae Party in late 1970s. Politicised black-white reggae bands such as UB40 emerge 44  
  45. 45. Rock Against Racism, Anti-Nazi League and Red Wedge benefit concerts and albums of late 1970s further consolidated alliance between punk and reggae outfits (Steel Pulse, TRB, UB 40, Culture, Billy Bragg) They ‘galvanised a white following for reggae - empathised with the fundamental politics of its sound and lyrical content’ . It fed into ‘shared local experiences and cross racial affiliations’ - strong left wing university following during 1980s (Bennett, 2001: 83)
  46. 46. This image of multiculturalism contested ‘racist’ identities assigned to ethnic groups by politicians, news media and the National Front. Black and white communities steadily became more harmonised around the ‘shared’ space of local neighbourhoods, streets, ‘dancehalls’ and pubs – Racial distinctions, particularly between young people, become far less important to identities
  47. 47. •  One of the central strategies of New Right in Britain – as in the USA under Reagan and Bush – was to represent the presence of Black British youth as a ‘social problem’ and unemployed white youth as the ‘dangerous classes’ •  Labelled within political and news discourse as a potential ‘enemy within’ (see Brake 1992) •  Posed a cultural threat to British national identity or ‘Britishness’ •  A series of media moral panics in relation to ethnicity in Britain become common place – street crime, welfare, violence welfare dependency etc •  Series of inner city riots between 1980-85 highlighted the plight of disenfranchised inner city black-white youth during period of massive unemployment and social deprivation (see Brake 1992)
  48. 48. Main Two-Tone act The Specials - a multi ethnic outfit - produced a series of punk-influenced ska cover versions and originals on self-titled first album (1979). Songs also drew links with earlier ‘skinhead’ musical tradition –  Too Much Too Young –  Rudie, A Message to You –  Gangsters Doesn't Make it Alright, significantly, interrogated the ethics of racial assaults and violence against ethnic minorities in British cities, indicting The National Front as a threat to race relations in UK More importantly, second album More Specials (1981) further highlighted political stance of group in alliance with Black-White British working class youth with releases such as Do Nothing, Why? Racist Friend and Ghost Town
  49. 49. The  Specials  –  ‘Ghost  Town’  1981   52  
  50. 50. •  Two Tone also included other bands such as The Selector and The Body Snatchers (all-girl) Concentrated mainly on covers of ska ‘classics’ Too Experienced, Do Rock Steady •  Reformation of band into Special AKA (1983) led to national campaign for the release of imprisioned political activist Nelson Mandela in apartheid controlled South Africa after commercial success of anti-racist anthem Free Nelson Mandela •  National concert followed (1985) at Wembley Stadium raising social awareness of racism in UK and South Africa - arguably helped bring about the release of Mandela and eventual liberation of South Africa
  51. 51. •  Birmingham based multi-ethnic outfit The Beat - who emerged in 1979 relied much more heavily on Jamaican reggae traditions of toasting (rapping), over-dub production and intricate use of brass section. –  Hands Off She’s Mine –  Rough Rider –  Drowning •  Nevertheless the band retained militant stance against New Right politics that celebrated multi-culturalism and promoted a breakdown of ethnic boundaries –  Stand Down Margaret –  Doors of Your Heart
  52. 52. •  In summary, Black-British music was initially bound up with the experiences of second generation Afro-Caribbean immigrants in Britain •  Initially emerged through indigenous Jamaican ska during the 1960s. By the 1970s this genre had began to be specifically targeted at Black and White British audiences within multi-ethnic urban centres •  Fusion of punk and reggae during mid 1970s helped to transform genre (militant political stance) which became popular with white working class British audiences – through shared experience of unemployment, poverty and deprivation – supported new ‘youth based’ multicultural identities •  Success of Two Tone and bands such as The Specials and The Beat marked the emergence of indigenous multi ethnic outfits and explored important concerns for black and white working class youth in post – colonial Britain during the 1980s – provided an influence to later politically committed and militant ‘second generation’ ethnic bands – Asian Dub Foundation •  Initiated the launch of benefit concerts and raising of social awareness amongst ‘white mainstream’ audiences. Street (1992) in Wagg (1995) argues that such ‘events’ mark the final incorporation of resistant and militant forms of music into the mainstream of the culture industry and beginnings of corporate sponsored rock (eg.Band-Aid)
  53. 53. Fela  KuH    1938-­‐1997   Middle-­‐Class  Nigerian   Musician   PoliHcal  acHvist   Kalakuta  Republic   Jailed  for  currency  smuggling   Died  of  AIDS     57  
  54. 54. 58  
  55. 55. 59  
  56. 56.   •  •  •  •  •  •  ‘Reggae  Wallpaper’  D.ST.   ‘Tybee  Umbrella’  Bri2any  Randolph   ‘Rasta’  Naomielise  Harden   ‘Bob  Marley’  Sougata  Ghosh   ‘Bob  Marley’  Luke  McKernan   ‘This  Old  Rasta’  josh  hunter   •  ‘creaHve  commons  -­‐Franz  Patzig-­‐’  A.  Diez  Herrero   60  

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