Cut 'n' Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music

Cut 'n' Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music

Cut 'n' Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music

Cut 'n' Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music

Excerpt

In his book There Ain't No Black In The Union Jack (Hutchinson, forthcoming), Paul Gilroy has suggested that music functions within the culture of the black diaspora as an alternative public sphere. Sometimes a reggae toast or a soul rap might consist of little more than a list of names or titles. Naming can be in and of itself an act of invocation, conferring power and/or grace upon the namer: the names can carry power in themselves. The titles bestowed on Haile Selassie in a Rastafarian chant or a reggae toast or on James Brown or Aretha Franklin in a soul or MC rap testify to this power. More importantly in this context, the namer pays tribute in the “name check” to the community from which (s)he has sprung and without which (s)he would be unable to survive. The speaker or singer's individual voice is drowned beneath the sea of names which it summons up around itself.

There are many people without whom this book could not have been written. I would like to thank Albert on the door, Bonk, Mikey, Steve Gibbons, Pete King, Martin and Simon Fuller, Norrie Davis, Paul, Vron and Marcus, Greg, Rosa and David, Sam Rosenberg, Iain Chambers, Roy Bailey, Geoff H, Su Fawcett, my mother and father, Charlie Luck, Griff, Ken Brown, Clinton, Alan Bayes, Larry Grossberg, Red Rum, Clare, Patrick and Edward, Van Cagle, Dave Darby, Polly M, Prudence, Vic Lockwood, Maggie and Trevor, Mo, Peta Legat, Serafina, Steve Bonnett, Richard Madgwick, Paul Swinson, Jessica Lucy Pickard, Jordi Rippoles, Winston at the Three Crowns, Kathy K, and the Golden Eagle (the one that flew away).

I would also like to thank all the singers, musicians, producers, engineers, djs and microphone artists who make the music this book is about. A special word of thanks to: The Skatalites, James Brown, Toots and the Maytals, Ranking Ann, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Big Youth, Jerry Dammers and the Specials with Rico, Don Drummond, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Peggy Lee, Sly and the Family Stone, Etta James, Miles Davis, Afrika Bambaata, the Soul Sonic Force and the Zulu Nation, Howling Wolf, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Shirley Brown, Gene Vincent, Gregory Isaacs, Dion, Exuma, John Coltrane, Dennis Brown and

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