'While nuff ah right and rahbit; we write and arrange’: deejay lyricism and the transcendental use of the voice in alternative public spaces in the UK

Henry, William Anthony (2020) 'While nuff ah right and rahbit; we write and arrange’: deejay lyricism and the transcendental use of the voice in alternative public spaces in the UK. In: Memory, Migration and (De)Colonisation in the Caribbean and Beyond. University of London Press, London, UK, pp. 59-79. ISBN 9781908857651

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Abstract

“While nuff ah right and rahbit; we write and arrange”, is taken from a statement made by the British deejay, Trevor Natch, on the London based Diamonds the Girl’s Best Friend, Sound System in 1984. The suggestion was that during that historical moment, many deejays were content to either rely on gimmicks when chatting on the mic, or they were content to pirate (copy) other performers. For this reason, there was a dichotomy that placed those types of performers, ‘pirates’, at one end of the deejay spectrum, and the ‘originators’, who prided themselves on research and composition, at the other. To make this aspect of the culture known, the paper will present an understanding of the centrality of these types of lyricism that were, in essence, far more than forms of resistance, but were in fact forms of linguistic, cultural antagonism. Significantly it was the practised usage of ‘oral skills’ in the British deejays’ take on patwa (Jamaican language), couched in Rastafarian and Garveyite sensibilities, that underpinned and ensured the perpetuation of these politically driven, vernacular cultures. By focusing on samples of this lyricism, the paper will argue that these types of expressive musical culture, combat the imposition of a Eurocentric ‘alien’ worldview on African peoples on an Outernational level, across Gilroy’s ‘Black Atlantic’.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sound Systems, Garveyism, Rastafari, patwa, black history, education, alterity.
Subjects: Social sciences > Communication and culture
Music
Social sciences
Depositing User: William Anthony Henry
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 14:32
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 14:32
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/6759

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