This is the seventh installment of Looking 4 the Perfect Beat. For this edition, I decided to take it back to the roots of Hip Hop Culture, Jamaica. Most know that Toastin’ over instrumental dub plates banging out the sound system, is where Emceeing began, along with state side street raps and rhymes that Ali & several ‘Gentlemen of Leisure’ made famous. Jamaican immigrant-Kool Herc brought the culture to NYC and switched dub with Funk breaks over the sound system. Emceeing came naturally.
A lot may not know that Canada has a large Jamaican population…due to slavery and overt racism in the states most Jamaican migrants would by-pass New York and continue to sail further North. Toronto is where the featured Canadian-Jamaican Emcee hails from, or T-Dot: Kardinal Offishall. I don’t have much of his music, but his Dancehall song Maxine which is a semi-cover version of Ansel Collins’-Stalag 17 (Riddim), is very tight indeed.
It has that Sister Nancy-Bam Bam, Chaka Demus & Pliers-Murder She Wrote, Dawn Penn-You Don’t love Me Feel to it…real gutter too though, like unpolished, Soulful, Funky and unrehearsed. It was produced by Yaadmaneverywhere! Not much info exists on the net about him. If y’all know more info on him, let me know. He also produced Kardinal’s other Dancehall rooted tune-Ol’ Time Killin’.
The original cut they sampled for Maxine is technically titled-Stalag 17 is by Ansel Collins (l) on the Techniques imprint. This Kingston, Jamaica native was influenced by infamous Reggae Keyboardist, composer, session musician and songwriter Jackie Mittoo. Ansel was born in Kingston in 1949. He started out as a drummer and moved to keys. He was an original band member of the Invincibles featuring Sly Dunbar. He later worked with Lee Scratch Perry, Augustus Pablo, The Aggrovators, Soul Syndicate, The Mighty Diamonds, Gregory Isaacs, Serge Gainsbourg, The Gladiators, Black Uhuru, and Jimmy Cliff (60s-80s).
He recorded for Joe Gibbs, as well as playing keys for several sessions at the infamous Channel One Studio & Black Ark Studio. He linked up with Dave Barker-Reggae vocalist, to make the band Dave & Ansel Collins. However, his solo instrumental number-Stalag Riddim AKA Stalag 17, that was released in 1973. Ansel managed to put out some solo singles during the late 60s and early 70s. His style of playing merges the bounce of Calypso with the hard rhythms that accentuate syncopated Funk beats. Check out his music, it’s well worth the listen.
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