Hill and Gully Rider

I’ll bet you that someone who knows the first thing about Jamaican culture could tell me this song means something meaningful. But I don’t know the first thing and I don’t anyone who does. If I did a whole world of context would open up to me when listening to reggae music. As it is, I just think Yellowman is cool and fun and easy to dance to. What his message is, I still don’t know. Yellow doesn’t clarify himself to extend his mass appeal. Does Jamaican dancehall music have the same deep streak of activism that classic reggae does. For that matter, does reggae itself still matter? Or is it just all about good times for tourists since the leading lights have all died? There’s probably a vibrant, outspoken and important new generation of reggae artists flourishing just out of sight, never reaching American markets, but doing their thing and saying what they got to say. And in related news, Yellowman is ugly.

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