linkthink re: hip-hop, reggae, the US, jamaica, and anything else wayne wants to wax on


labor and belabor

an interesting and admirable piece of pro-labor news: recently tego calderon refused an offer to promote sean john clothing, explaining that he couldn't endorse a company that exploits south american workers in sweatshops. some great quotes by tego, too. represente la gente, como siempre. comprende?

also, an old friend of mine has a new piece out on the challenges that dockworkers, and labor unions more generally, face in post-communist russia. liz does some great work in the sphere of the international labor movement, and i like the way she puts a human face on the (literal) trials and tribulations. that is, after all, the bottom line here: human dignity persevering in the face of dehumanizing capital.

and, not to belabor an already tired (which is not to say, resolved) issue, there have been some interesting posts recently regarding homophobia in dancehall:

first, an impassioned argument to stop the bashment bashing.

second, a related approach: a petition signed/promoted/circulated by dancehall fans who maintain their love of dancehall and their disapproval of anti-gay content. (as you can see from this discussion, though, people are pretty ambivalent about such efforts.)

also, shedding light from another angle, here's a bbc/1extra piece in which vybz kartel, macka diamond, capleton, sizzla, and others weigh in on the subject.

i'm wondering whether all of this controversy will soon pass, though. in an interesting musical development, jamaica's dancehalls have seen a resurgence in positive, rootsy vibes over the last year. the rasta youth dem are making their voices heard, and, in general, the messages floating over the newest one-drop riddims are less about the fiyah and more about the 'igher.

along these lines, i've been enjoying a new mix put together (and made available for download) by boston-area selecta and "stout stylist," mad skim. skim describes the mix as "timeless," by which he means that he mixes old and new, and i love the way that the classics seamlessly segue into these new roots movements. skim also gives the mix a nice personal stamp by mixing in a few dub-plates--shouting out himself, his sound (stout style!), and his town (boston!)--and done by the same artists and on the same riddims that he's juggling. a definite download for the reggae lovers out there: organize the vibes!


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