December 5, 2008, at 1:53 pm

A Darker Shade Of Cussing

You know what it’s like, you hear a tune which you think is great but the artist is talking rubbish. Prince Buster done it with his stupid slack tunes on the Big 5 LP in the late 60’s, top flight deejays like General Echo and Welton Irie done it with slack LPs in the late 70’s/early 80’s and their 90’s counterparts like Cutty Ranks and Ninja Man cut dozens of gun tunes.

Today’s deejays are no strangers of controversy and issues such as glorifying gangsterism and cheap shots at “Battymen” where nothing intelligent is said hardly forward dancehall on the international stage or help sales in an era where record companies are having difficulty staying afloat anyway. Still sometimes the tune is just great…

Not nice productions have just re-licked the Darker Shade Of Black rhythm and (for some reason) have renamed it Cool Shade. Vybz Kartel who is one of the best deejays of his generation (though he chats far more than his fair share on nonsense) has cut two tunes on the rhythm, by far the most memorable is an attack on Bounty Killers Alliance organisation (part of his ongoing lyrical war with Mavado).

I wasn’t sure if I should write about this tune as I’m uncomfortable about promoting some of the sentiments in it but if you can hear past the daft chat you’ll recognise a great great tune.

The original cut of the rhythm is a late 60’s classic by Jackie Mittoo and the Soul Vendors at Studio One, though it’s been relicked many many times since. The original melody is from Norweigain Wood by the Beatles.

Darker Shade Of Black: Jackie Mittoo

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