Sunday, 3 July 2016

Oliver: Tony Rebel - Rude Boy Soldier (9 February 1992)

Once again, visitors to this blog are invited to visualise their favourite sport here and picture your humble blogger desperately trying to keep up with the flow of a singjay on a dancehall reggae record. This is especially pertinent on this cut from Tony Rebel.  Is it a call up to would-be rude boys to take to the streets and bring down the government? If you transpose that to the UK, it paints alarming mental pictures of 2-Tone fans rioting in ill-fitting suits and porkpie hats.  Or is it an attempt to get the stressed Everyman to lay aside their working cares and surrender to the pleasures of music and the identity/conformity of the Rude Boy aesthetic?  In the first 10 seconds of the track, Rebel tells us that he wants us to listen to him, but also to keep skanking (dancing).  By the end of 30 seconds, there is a call for respect to law and order, while challenging barriers (or is it a call for barriers to go up?). The track appears to be a fusion of Anarchy in the W.I meets the principles of Hulkamania - actually not such a stretch, given that Rebel demands reading the word of Jah, and Hulk Hogan asked Hulkamaniacs to say their prayers.  Ultimately, I think it's a call to Jah, rather than revolution or relaxation, but the fact it offers so many different interpretations marks it out as a splendid piece of music.

Video courtesy of TheMrE1974.

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