Celebrate Jamaica: Collaboration

Today my friend @DJAutograph chose the Throwback Thursday tune on Large Up, one of his favourites “Anything For You (All Star Remix) —

The audio is a bit low but that’s the best quality video.  DJ Autograph wrote

I started DJing in 1994, a year after Snow’s hit “Informer” topped the Billboard charts in the US. For me, and for many dancehall aficionados, Snow was considered an imposter, a wannabe Jamaican who spoke bad patois while pretending to be a Dancehall Artist.

I remember going to the record store one Friday afternoon in 1995 after my classes were over to do the usual weekend shopping. Teenagers and soundmen from all over Jamaica would converge on Aquarius Records in Half Way Tree on a Friday to get the latest tunes that came in that day. Thirty minutes into sampling the latest releases and one tune catches my attention: Nadine Sutherland giving a roll call of all the artists who have verses on the song and then in comes Snow singing with his trademark style, “I will do any anything just fi you….” Those of us in the store were mesmerized for the next four minutes; we’d just heard five of dancehall’s best DJs of the ‘90s put down five of the best verses I’d ever heard in one song, regardless of genre. The song “Anything For You,” featuring Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Nadine Sutherland, Terror Fabulous, Louie Culture and Kulture Knox (and produced by Salt-N-Pepa/Kid ‘n Play mastermind Hurby “Luv Bug” Astor), became a smash hit in Jamaica, and helped Snow gain credibility within the dancehall fraternity both in Jamaica and around the rest of the world. It’s even in my personal top five dancehall songs of all time.

The video, shot in black and white by famed hip-hop director Hype Williams, is staged in a recording studio and we see all five artists voicing their verses with the engineers at the mixing board. Several scenes show the artists side by side in vocal booth, dancing around and apparently having a good time. What makes this video special is seeing the sense of camaraderie among the artists…that’s something that today’s dancehall could use a dose of.

Thanks, Large Up for letting me post this!

This song is also a favourite of mine.  Love, love, love this collaboration and, in fact I think it’s one of the Dancehall collabos ever. Every time I hear the first strains of the song and that early bassline drop I have to smile.  The vid then comes to mind..scenes in the studio but then the smooth cutaways to scenes on the Jamaican streets.  Perfect.  It was a good move by Snow (or whoever) to get these folks together and drop this song.  

Speaking of collaboration, there’s the We Can Cross It Petition.  Dare I call it a movement? I don’t know who’s behind this initiative but I love it.  I and many others had a grand time laughing at DJ Powa’s refix of Clifton Brown’s news interview about the quite serious condition in Roberts Field, St. Thomas.  The vid was funny, yes, but damnit why is this community having to struggle like this?  Or any other community for that matter.  As the refix became more popular Mr. Brown did many interviews, and frequently folks would only focus on, often ridiculing, his accent.  But as I saw commentary about some of his interviews and saw the footage of folks who canna cross it because of no bridge, I realized that this man was not an idiot or a twanging fool.  I began to believe that he was genuinely interested in getting something done for his community.  It became a little uncomfortable to giggle away at his manner of speech of.  So last night I was glad to come across a RT about the We Can Cross It petition.  I urge you to sign it.  I did.  There’s also a Facebook page and a Twitter account.  Love this kind of collaboration and advocacy by Jamaicans.  Please spread the word.  It may seem like a small thing but demanding action on this issue is an important first step toward demanding accountability and results from GOJ and Jamaican local government officials.

Kudos to the folks behind the We Can Cross It initiative; really makes me happy & proud to see Jamaicans urge working together to fix a problem.

Listen to the refix (again) while you sign the petition.  Only takes a minute!!

One Response to “Celebrate Jamaica: Collaboration”
  1. petchary says:

    Hi Cucumber Juice, once again I am in harmony with your blog…literally. I could not by any means be considered a dancehall fan – but that song I do remember, and how much I enjoyed it! And also, do appreciate your drawing attention to the ridicule of Mr. Brown, and the plight of him, his neighbors and so many others. I have been spreading the word about the petition too, and signed a few days ago… but it reminds me I probably need to tweet it some more too. By the way, thanks again for your retweets and support! Warm wishes (it’s very warm) from Jamaica…

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