Rhythm 'n' Roots

Musical Explorations.

Apparently there was some kind of release by Diplo? Switch? Something to do with lazers? Most hyyyyyyyyyped album for a wee while (in blogging circles at least.)

Musically? The album is fidgety. It is moves from reggae to electro from dancehall to "lazer." All well and good for the genre surfing pair but it is a strange mix and from streaming the album, I am not blown away. Though there are some irresistibly danceable tunes on there but tracks like Keep It Goin' Louder and Mary Jane are a let down and, to be honest, I have been more of a fan of the countless remixes of Hold the Line than the original. Well, sure it will be lapped up by all hipsters (see Guardian's review.)

A slightly sour note to the whole super-mind blowing project is the inclusion of some artists from the Jamaican dancehall scene who, in the past, have released songs with strong, and often violent, homophobic lyrics. A few examples:

  • Mjor Lazer - Bruk Out feat. T.O.K. & Ms. Thing

T.O.K - Chi Chi Man: (slang for a gay man) which includes the lyrics:

From dem a par inna chi chi man car.
Blaze di fire mek we bun dem!!!! (Bun dem!!!!)
From dem a drink inna chi chi man bar.
Blaze di fire mek we dun dem!!!! (Dun dem!!!!)

  • Major Lazer - Pon De Floor feat. VYBZ Kartel

Vybz Cartel: Dropped from the MOBO awards in 2004 for his homophobic lyrics (songs such as "Batty Bot Fi Dead", "Faggot Correction" and "Guns Like Mine")

"Kartel buss one inna batty bowy spine"

  • Major Lazer - Can’t Stop Now feat. Mr. Vegas & Jovi Rockwell

Mr Vegas song: "Bun Chi Chi Man"

  • Major Lazer - Mary Jane feat. Mr. Evil & Mapei

Mr Evil (aka Dr Evil): "J.A. Don't Like Gay" and Batty Boys Need to Stay From Me

"I bought dis A.K to spray on all gays..
Including OutRage! whose fightin all our deejays
Gunshots for all you faggots, I really hate you maggots.

Perhaps Diplo and Switch should have chosen their collaborators not just on their dancehall credentials. These and more can be found here. Homophobia is illegal in Jamaica and as well as violent attacks on gay men over the past few years, in February this year, a member of the ruling party demanded life imprisonment for homosexual conduct and the banning of gay organizations, causing outrage by organizations such as Human Rights Watch.

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