22/12/2016

Bam Bam, What a Bam Bam

"...you loafing around the studio and Desmond Dekker telling the man to give you a break, and he give you the break because he hear the hunger in your voice before he even hear you sing. You cut a tune, but not a hit song, too pretty for the ghetto even then, for we past time when prettiness make anybody's life easy. Wee see you hustle and trying to talk your way twelve inches taller and we want to see you fail. And we know nobody would want you to be a rudeboy anyway for you look like a schemer." (James, 2015, s.8)

"But one hit can't bounce you out of the ghetto when you recording hits for a vampire. One hit can't make you into Skeeter Davis or the man who sing them Gunfighter Ballads." (James, 2015, s.9)

"The dream didn't leave, people just don't know a nightmare when they right in the middle of one." (James, 2015, s.8)

"More people start moving to the ghetto because Delroy Wilson just sing that 'Better Must Come' and the man who would become Prime Minister sing it too. Man who look like white man but char bad like naigger when they have to, singging 'Better Must Come.' " (James, 2015, s.9)

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I discovered Marlon James' "A Brief History of Seven Killings" a year ago, without even paying attention on "Winner of Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015" sticker on the cover. Things that matter was the bird on the cover (mine was the Riverhead Books edition), reminds me so much of Doctor Bird Records logo.  As a Jamaican music enthusiast, I smirked so many times as I read so many musician names that I admired. Names above were only the beginning.

If you were getting along so well with Pamuk's My Name is Red and A Strangeness in My Mind, 700-ish pages of Seven Killings would be a breeeeezeeee. Landmines are on self-adjustment to patois and Jamaican slang (if you've been listening to Max Romeo the entire way, I think you've got it covered). So, are you ready to switch your F-word curse to bumbaclot?

Meanwhile I will leave you to Delroy Wilson "Better Must Come" and Toots and the Maytals "Desmond Dekker Came First" (extra: google up about the funny stories behind the competition that inspired Maytals to make this song)

A true dem nuh know it's a fram creaaatiooon.



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