Every week resident FADER selector Eddie STATS runs through dancehall riddims and other artifacts from the ghetto archipelago.
Inventing genres has become kind of a running joke in this space but definitely one of my favorite things in life is connecting the dots between music from different streams and ending up with something that exists in its own world. Even more gratifying is seeing artists with oceans between them arrive in the same place on their own, like when the Native Tongues in NY and the funky dread/buffalo posse types in London jointly reinvented the direction of rap music and r&b without even necessarily being aware of each other, either because they were plugged into the same root-system of influences or because there was just something in the air in 1989.
Download: Ghetto Palms 2000Tone Blend
Jovi Rockwell, “Rizzla”
Diplo X Santogold, “Guns of Brooklyn”
BLK JKS, “Lakeside”
Sizzla, “Solid as a Rock” (acoustic version)
De Tropix, “Badname”
The Magistrates, “Colour Coordination”
Like Norman Mailer said in Faith of Grafitti, “plants talk to each other,” and I can’t help but feel like there is something similar going on now with the re-emergence of a sort of punky-reggae, 2-tone aesthetic in the world of DJ-driven music.
The most perfect example might be the cover of The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton” that Santogold put down for her Top Ranking mixtape with Diplo but I see the shit everywhere I look these days, a whole generation of kids who grew up listening to punk, reggae and electro all mushed together and don’t even think of them as separate things, really. 77Klash and MIA take this framework in a more aggro-electronic direction, while artists like Natty or Vampire Weekend or BLK JKS work it into their acoustic or indie sound, but it all seems like part of a singular moment, if not a movement.
Even Jamaica, which is traditionally kinda grudgeful about the hybridization of it’s trademarked sound, is seeing the emergence of a new generation of artists with a punky edge, from Natalie Storm to Terry Lynn. For this mix I included longtime favorite uptown rebel Jovi Rockwell (newly signed to Epic) and one drop king Sizzla. Jovi has always brought a Gwen Stefani/Alanis Morrisette rockstar vibe to her hooks and Sizzla is just so raw with his shit that he’s kind of an honorary punk, like Lee “Scratch” and Prince Far-I were for the original Clash generation. De Tropix might be the ultimate standard-bearers of this moment, and I know from talking to Cherry B that she considers Pauline Black from The Selecter to be a major influence. Magistrates, on the other hand, are more like the Commitments than the Specials: basically some London blokes making D’Angelo or Prince-ish r&b but with a very loose and lo-fi edge. But there’s still something very Clash-y about it, and “Colour Coordination” seemed like an extension of the 2Tone philosophy.
Anyway, before any more examples pile up, I am calling this shit: 2000Tone! And with less than a week til election time we could do worse for a motto than “Paint the White House 2Tone!” Vote and Live! (please God, it’s me again, Eddie…)