Blakk Wi Blak...k...k...k

For almost a decade, Mutabaruka has been one of Jamaica’s top dub poets, matching terse, witty declamations and slinky reggae in a mix aimed at both your mind and your booty. Blakk Wi Blak…k…k…k is another solid foray into the steaming musical jungles of artful dread. Mutabaruka’s agenda is large: ”Great Queens of Afrika” lays out role models for black women, ”Dispel the Lie” tries to correct the image of Rastafarians as blissed-out spliffheads, and ”Letter to Congress” rails against the double standards of America’s antidrug policy (”Now wi gettin u coke and crack/I wonder…is it because wi blakk?”). Mutabaruka also draws from a larger musical palette than most of his peers, using everything from vintage ska to atmospheric New Age jazz to make his points. The prize here, though, is ”Junk Food,” a pulsing funk vamp that lambasts the ice cream stands luring people away from good, healthy Jamaican ”granny food.” This song in particular showcases a rare artist whose tough smarts and sense of groove never lose sight of each other. A-

Blakk Wi Blak...k...k...k
  • Music