Friday, 30 May 2014

REWIND: Capleton - 'Tek It Off'

Between the years of 2003 and 2008, I became tired of the increasingly dull indie scene of the time. My musical world suddenly became centred around punk and reggae, coinciding with a 2003 holiday in France where I bought a reggae magazine called Riddim. It came with a free CD featuring stuff ranging from dub, roots and the heavier dancehall stuff. This bullish, commanding thumper from Capleton was on that CD and remains one of my favourite ragga selections. I feel a bit uncomfortable listening to this particular artist (and a lot of other Jamaican acts) due to the amount of ignorant homophobia found in his lyrics. His manager has argued that some of the controversial lyrics have been mistranslated and do not actually refer to gays. However, Capleton himself admitted that through his Rastafari faith he believes that a homosexual lifestyle is not right, but has insisted that terms such as "burn" and "fire" are not to be understood in the literal sense "to go out and burn and kill people", but as a metaphor for "purification" and cleansing. So that makes it acceptable? Capleton and other artists allegedly signed the 'Reggae Compassionate Act' (RCA) in 2007, an agreement for Jamaican artists to drop hateful lyrics in their music. 'Tek It Off' may feature the term "batty man", but on the whole seems to be an ode to a female companion who "wants it hard" apparently... Despite the utterly filthy content of the lyrics, I'm still going to play this one on next week's RW/FF Radio, since nobody will be able to understand the words anyway!


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