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Where Have All The Rastas Gone?



Steel pulse photo link  




Once upon a time it was impossible to go into Manchester or Liverpool city centre without seeing crews of rastas. Nowadays it's a rare thing indeed to see one and if you do they will inevitably be one of those elderly Burning Spear types with baldy heads and lifeless grey locks and beards. To paraphrase that old Slaughter & The Dogs record, 'Where Have The Rastas Gone''  And when we say Rastas we don't mean any of the following :



Swampy photo link




* Crustys - white rastas were a joke when that lad from Scritti Politti , Boy George and Hayzi FanfuckingTayzi decided to get their preposterous locks done in some misguided attempt to claim some kind of cultural affinity with Jamaican herbsmen. They're still a joke now; the eco-warriors of middle England like to pretend that they're spiritually bonded to the earth with their long thick locks and their stinky clothing. I reckon real rastas would rather have a smoke with a BNP skin than these whoppers. Let's face it, rastas hate the very notion of multi-culturalism just as much as any Daily Mail bigot. You stay away from our culture whitey and we'll stay away from yours OK'



Milli Vanilli Link - http://www.crushkill.com/archives/milli.jpg


* Milli Vanilli Types


Ie black male models and 3rd rate Euro pop nonentities who simply by dint of being black attempted to claim some allegiance to their rasta brethren by getting Bo Derek extensions and singing meaningless lyrics that hinted at some vaguely conscious notion of being nice to each other and respecting whales, dolphins, Eskimos and other cuddly endangered species.


Jazzie B link





* Funki Dreads


Look Jazzie B's a cool fellar and all that and yeah at the time, that Funki Dread style was refreshing and unique fusing rasta with modern urban fashion but this wasn't real dread was it' Soul II Soul were like some kind of American motivational cult, helping you to become a better you because there's only one you after all. To a funky beat. Soul II Soul wasn't a band, it was a corporate lifestyle insta-identity for clueless rich kids who wanted all the benefits of consumerism but still ached to be y'know in touch with themselves by getting a Doctor Alban barnet and checking out Buddhism for beginners. Twats.  


Don Letts link




* Don Letts




Respect to the lad for his locks and his attempts to teach The Clash about reggae but have you heard a posher rasta than our Don? I reckon I'm more familiar with Trenchtown than him and I've never lived outside Runcorn.



Nah, when we say rasta we mean of course'.


Burning Spear (young) photo link




Burning Spear (before)



And after


Burning spear old photo link






We mean Toshy and Bunny  and (but not sell out Bob)


Bunny and toshy photo link




Yabby You


Yabby you link




And of course David Hinds from Brum's very own Steel Pulse, the Handsworth Revolutionary who caused my old man to spit his shepherd's pie out in outrage when he clapped eyes on his foot long vertical locks on Nationwide in the late 70s. 


David Hinds link






Perhaps like Steel Pulse themselves the Rasta's roots message got ignored by young black kids now turned onto the excitement and vibrancy of hip hop culture rather than the lethargic vibrations of dub and Ras Tafari leaving a cultural and generational vacuum. Unlike in JA where new young militant artists such as  Sizzler kept the original spirit of black consciousness alive, maybe the rastas of Britain retreated ever further into their physical and spiritual plantations of the inner citys. Or maybe they all just bought waistcoats and ended up like Aswad.









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