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mms
29-03-2005, 06:48 PM
why is it that rich white people go for reggae so much and with such superficial fervour.
at the very good channel one night the other evening my good friend simon became quite infatuated with a group of young ladies dressed in full queen of sheba rasta lady clothing and headresses, they looked very serene and out of time and he was very excited so he talked to them. One of them was black the others were white and it turned out they weren't really adepts of rastafari but liked the clothes and the music and came from chelsea and wealthy backgrounds.

i dunnundertand the trustafarian thing, why do they choose reggae, i've nothing against it but it a bit fascinating. why is it roots reggae that attracts people and definitley not something like ska?

roots reggae is such marmite music, divides opinion, however everyone likes a bit of ska except probably them, even bonehead skins like ska!

gumdrops
29-03-2005, 06:58 PM
replace reggae with any other genre in the subject line and you have the demographic of dissensus in one go!

mms
29-03-2005, 07:13 PM
replace reggae with any other genre in the subject line and you have the demographic of dissensus in one go!

hardly, you should meet some of these people, common as muck, and im not just talking about me!

3underscore
29-03-2005, 10:30 PM
I think this reflects my point on Stelfox's "world music" thread. It is anything to seem a bit more cultured, normally tapped onto having recently been travelling while the rest of the world has been working. Normally you will look into the deepest, darkest eyes at the mention of double seven, least of all anything a bit more adventurous.

I am a miserable cynic, btw.

mms
29-03-2005, 10:35 PM
I think this reflects my point on Stelfox's "world music" thread. It is anything to seem a bit more cultured, normally tapped onto having recently been travelling while the rest of the world has been working. Normally you will look into the deepest, darkest eyes at the mention of double seven, least of all anything a bit more adventurous.

I am a miserable cynic, btw.

its weirder than that, it's some odd replicant thing i think.

3underscore
29-03-2005, 10:42 PM
I think - "why not ska?" is a difficult question. I can't see them having any problem listening to Jackie Mitto if you put it on, or a hell of a lot of other stuff.

If you are talking "why not suits, skinny ties and pork pie hats".... :p

martin
30-03-2005, 11:47 AM
even bonehead skins like ska!

If a white rich kid is trying to come across as sophisticated, politically conscious and open-minded, they're not going to get that message across to potential new friends and admirers as easily if they slam on "Loch Ness Monster" or "Skinheads Don't Fear".

But I have to disagree a bit, as I think ska's become just as much a fascination for middle class ex-goth journos who like wearing Fred Perrys and playing a bit of 'Liquidator' while flicking through 'Zoo' and adopting fake Dennis Waterman accents (their girlfriends remain, however, solidly prim and proper - they know what sides their wheatgrain slices are buttered on)

And also, I knew someone who was a complete racist but he loved Culture, Jnr Murvin and Linton Kwesi Johnson

Randy Watson
30-03-2005, 12:26 PM
also, I knew someone who was a complete racist but he loved Culture, Jnr Murvin and Linton Kwesi Johnson

Ron Atkinson? :)

martin
30-03-2005, 12:37 PM
Ron Atkinson? :)

Thanks, you've just made me laugh at work, and now everyone's gawping at me going "What? What?"

mms
30-03-2005, 09:22 PM
weird isn't it, i went to a leaving do a month or so ago for this girl who is going to brazil to become a teacher, one of the things she's teaching is capoira that hardcore brazillian dancing stuff, she's teaching it to brazillian kids, how fucked is that? She's from Dorset.

Omaar
31-03-2005, 04:57 AM
Yeah there's quite a bit of that going on in Wellington, NZ too. Especially with respect to roots reggae. I think the appreciation of roots stuff has a bit of history here in NZ, and from what little I know it's been a part of contemporary Maori culture since the 70s which is cool. But for some time now its been one of the dominant genres in Wellington . So there are lots of white middle class males who produce this roots reggae emulation which apart from sounding pretty naff is just simulation without any authenticity or attempt to do anything interesting with the music. Mostly anyway.

I'm also irritated by the way this subculture bandies around all these slogans about one love etc but has no willingness to engage seriously with any political issues. It seems like it's all just for show.

Plus the fawning devotion exhibited by fans of this scene seems to resemble some kind of blind religious fervour.

Backjob
31-03-2005, 06:51 AM
weird isn't it, i went to a leaving do a month or so ago for this girl who is going to brazil to become a teacher, one of the things she's teaching is capoira that hardcore brazillian dancing stuff, she's teaching it to brazillian kids, how fucked is that? She's from Dorset.

I dunno, this is presumably something that involved a lot of active commitment and action on her part, can't really lump that in with buying a woolly hat and some king size rizla...

(I mean I don't know the girl, but I'm assuming she must be pretty good at capoeira to be teaching it, right?)

mms
31-03-2005, 09:42 PM
I dunno, this is presumably something that involved a lot of active commitment and action on her part, can't really lump that in with buying a woolly hat and some king size rizla...

(I mean I don't know the girl, but I'm assuming she must be pretty good at capoeira to be teaching it, right?)

absolutley she looks good as well as i'm sure she wouldn't mind me saying. the point was she is going to teach brazillian kids something she learnt off Brazillians who have come to London, it's some strange full circle.

but these women i'm talking about also looked wonderful in a studied way, very otherworldy, quite brave to dress like that but these are superficial commitments after going so far and a bit unexplainable, maybe that adds to the mystery, maybe it's like wearing an empty weetabix box on your head because you want to, but it should surely mean more.

Pearsall
01-04-2005, 12:14 AM
I'm with Polz.

I read a book about Francophone Africa a couple years ago that was written by an English businessman and one of the guys he met on his travels (in Senegal I think, but it's been a while) was a guy who was totally enthusiastic about Wales, to the extent that he had learnt Welsh and decorated his home with all kinds of Welsh memorabilia. Which is unusual for West Africa, but fun.

Eccentricity is cool.

michael
01-04-2005, 12:25 AM
Yeah there's quite a bit of that going on in Wellington, NZ too. Especially with respect to roots reggae. I think the appreciation of roots stuff has a bit of history here in NZ, and from what little I know it's been a part of contemporary Maori culture since the 70s which is cool. But for some time now its been one of the dominant genres in Wellington .
Yeah, just a touch. ;)

Re: the connections with Maori culture, on Katchafire's website (http://www.katchafire.co.nz) they used to say that NZers bought the most Bob Marley albums per capita outside Jamaica and that about half of those sales were to Maori. Statistically got to be completely impossible to verify, but the idea doesn't seem at all surprising.



I'm also irritated by the way this subculture bandies around all these slogans about one love etc but has no willingness to engage seriously with any political issues. It seems like it's all just for show.

Yeah, the local radio station that holds a big day time reggae party on Waitangi Day (which is also Marley's birthday) copped a bit of flak for saying this year they were actively opposed to having political content at the day.

Omaar
01-04-2005, 02:47 AM
Yeah, the local radio station that holds a big day time reggae party on Waitangi Day (which is also Marley's birthday) copped a bit of flak for saying this year they were actively opposed to having political content at the day.

yeah an activist friend told me that on the day of the 'one love' waitangi day bob marley birthday thing some activists asked if they could announce on stage that there was going to be a demo at the governor generals's house .. about treaty of waitangi/foreshore issues? - I don't actually know what the protest was about. Anyway the 'one love' people wouldn't even announce it over the PA. If it was over treaty stuff, that seems to make that stance even more dumb considering reggae's history in NZ.

Is this the Ethno-Tourism/Murs thread or the rich whites n2 reggae thread?

DJ PIMP
01-04-2005, 03:04 AM
they used to say that NZers bought the most Bob Marley albums per capita outside Jamaica Same for UB40/UK :)

mms
01-04-2005, 08:57 AM
i saw a documentary some years ago about ghanaian girls (in ghana) who were totally into bollywood films and indian dancing (with the eyes and the hands) so what does this make them?

in discussions like this i always get the feeling that white people will have to pay indefinitely for the heinous crimes of their forfathers. So ok, some white people like reggae and capoeira. Some of them will be posers, some off them will genuinely love it and some of them will be somewhere in the middle. The same thing with the wiggaz or whatever they are called, white suburban fans of gangsta rap. I see that it might be interesting that people love or say they love something that is totally not of their world, but why has it always have to be about white people, most of the time with some hints to the fact that white guys cant dance, dont have soul or whatever.

When the discussion was about Living Colour (remember them) it was always about that black rock artists were discriminated against, that rock originally was a black thing. (Jimi Hendrix) It was never like "who do these guys think they are, messing with our white heritage" (and i'm glad it wasnt) Non white people also like things that are not (or supposedly not) of 'their' world. That might be interesting as well



thats not what i am saying, i haven't criticised any of them anywhere,
the story started about a group of women that (bravely ) replicated rasta dress codes but not belief systems and came from wealthy backgrounds. i like reggae but i'm not a rasta or anything and i'm not about to beat myself up for being white and i don't expect anyone else to unless they want to.
i also made the point of asking why it is that rich people who wish to deiviate from their cultural baggage have made a point of using reggae as a carrier, so much that there is an expression to describe them ie trustafarian.
as for the capoeria girl i think that is just a very strange example of cultural exchange.
i think your sort of grumpy defensive argument has got the wrong end of the stick really .

droid
01-04-2005, 10:22 AM
Tried to post this yesterday, but the site was down...


why is it that rich white people go for reggae so much and with such superficial fervour.
at the very good channel one night the other evening my good friend simon became quite infatuated with a group of young ladies dressed in full queen of sheba rasta lady clothing and headresses, they looked very serene and out of time and he was very excited so he talked to them. One of them was black the others were white and it turned out they weren't really adepts of rastafari but liked the clothes and the music and came from chelsea and wealthy backgrounds.

Ive never really understood how white men/boys can buy into the cultural and religious side of reggae, (apart from smoking weed ;) ) seeing as rastafarinism inherently excludes most non-blacks and anyone not from the 72 nations of the Tribes of Israel, but the white girl-turban+robe-rasta business is well freaky. Ive seen a lot of them at festivals and gigs (sometimes with black 'rasta' boyfriends), and Ive often wondered what on earth would attract them to a religion that discriminates against them on the basis of race, and is, in some ways as oppressive as fundamentalist Islam in its treatment of women?

It never even occured to me that they might just have been a bunch of poseurs!

luka
01-04-2005, 10:40 AM
i was at one of those bobs birthday/waitangi day things, in glen innes, in auckland. this is just an aside
by the wahy
it was pretty weird. all the gangs were out. they were riding big harleys through the crowd. they had leather waistcoats with gang patches on the back over bare chests. they had tattoos. the little aprentice kids were milling around i remember one of them being given a black power chain and it just transformed him. he started strutting around like he was ten foot tall. freaky day really. i did like it though. there was loads of little kids too collecting shellfish from the riverbanks. those gangs are so old skool. they're on a 50s thing.

mms
02-04-2005, 09:35 PM
I'm not grumpy, i only raise the question why it is, that always when these kind of questions are raised, it is about white people liking non white music. As i said in my post i understand that this is an interesting question. I don't see why it is ok to talk about maoris liking reggae on this thread (not really rich white people i'd say) and mine is not a valid question. The thing with the maoris actually is exactly what i'm talking about, non white people liking something that is at first glance not of their world

ok sorry but im not really talking about white people liking music not by whites, that would be silly! ;)

ripley
02-04-2005, 11:29 PM
Droid, I don't think white women and white men are treated exactly the same within rasta scenes..

Though it's hard to say what the "rules" of rastafarianism are, since there's no central text and no Pope-type figure. Although this doesn't stop most rastas from speaking very authoritatively about what is really rasta , actually I would say a central tenet of rastafarianism is speaking authoritatively about whatever you think it is - contructing your own meaning (including a few key terms and practices) and perhaps embodying some aspects of it.

But I think far more rastas are open to white women joining or hanging out around rastas/rasta culture than are into white men joining.

A lot of weird stuff about gender, control, sexuality, and baby-making in there a lot of times.. i.e. white women's social and sexual participation is seen as non-threatening (and non-racially dominating, as I've several times heard arguments about 'spreading' black power through babies with white women), where as white mens' social and sexual participation is seen more often as threatening or potentially detrimental to black power.

as far as why white women might get into it, even if they're "poseurs" you can include in there the appeal of the dignity and often less-overtly sexualized headwrap look - remember womens' style choices at reggae clubs, as far as how you want to be treated by people there, are pretty narrow and specific.. As far as the appeal of the ideology.. I think that's a bigger question. Isn't it always a mystery, why people put up with ideologies (or aspects of ideologies) that oppress and dengirate them? or no mystery, if you get close enough to understand them?

Martin Dust
03-04-2005, 06:29 PM
I'll try to explain how I got into reggae but while I've never really got deep into the culture, I do respect it. John Peel got me into reggae and as a budding bass player it made perfect sense, as did, in many cases the lyrics, I was a punk at the time and I knew my parent would hate the music as well :) I got chased by the same racist dickhead skinheads and was only safe on a night out in punk/gay/reggae clubs.

I remember going to see a very early Aswad, Linton and Yellow Man at a rasta club, I was the only white person there, and I don't mind saying I was shitting myself. For the first time ever I felt out of place and for all my front (and believe me I've got some) I didn't understand what I feared. Anyways, I had a good time and an older timer took me under his wing and kept me supplied with cones, I was very ill when I hit the cold air and spewed for England, they all pissed themselves and I've never really smoked since. I still feel like an outsider but reggae made sense to me and still does. I've never understood why someone would try to be something they are not but I went to gigs as I normally dressed and was accepted, maybe because I didn't bullshit...




Tried to post this yesterday, but the site was down...



Ive never really understood how white men/boys can buy into the cultural and religious side of reggae, (apart from smoking weed ;) ) seeing as rastafarinism inherently excludes most non-blacks and anyone not from the 72 nations of the Tribes of Israel, but the white girl-turban+robe-rasta business is well freaky. Ive seen a lot of them at festivals and gigs (sometimes with black 'rasta' boyfriends), and Ive often wondered what on earth would attract them to a religion that discriminates against them on the basis of race, and is, in some ways as oppressive as fundamentalist Islam in its treatment of women?

It never even occured to me that they might just have been a bunch of poseurs!

luka
03-04-2005, 06:37 PM
oh, new zealand people, what about that jewish midget with dreadlocks down past his arse?
what's his name again? mighty mouse?

mms
03-04-2005, 06:54 PM
I'll try to explain how I got into reggae but while I've never really got deep into the culture, I do respect it. John Peel got me into reggae and as a budding bass player it made perfect sense, as did, in many cases the lyrics, I was a punk at the time and I knew my parent would hate the music as well :) I got chased by the same racist dickhead skinheads and was only safe on a night out in punk/gay/reggae clubs.

I remember going to see a very early Aswad, Linton and Yellow Man at a rasta club, I was the only white person there, and I don't mind saying I was shitting myself. For the first time ever I felt out of place and for all my front (and believe me I've got some) I didn't understand what I feared. Anyways, I had a good time and an older timer took me under his wing and kept me supplied with cones, I was very ill when I hit the cold air and spewed for England, they all pissed themselves and I've never really smoked since. I still feel like an outsider but reggae made sense to me and still does. I've never understood why someone would try to be something they are not but I went to gigs as I normally dressed and was accepted, maybe because I didn't bullshit...


well when i was growing up in cornwall there were loads of white men with dreads into reggae, they had reggae sunsplash down there every year in the 80's and ninetees and i remember macka b commenting on the number of white dreads down there.
There was a soundsystem called toxic soundsystem with white dreadlocked selectors and black mc's. it still runs and is pretty good. i tihnk the guys there are very aware of the difference (and the simularities) between themselves and rasafarians, they have to be, quite often they compete against them in clashes. But then we're talking about Cornish boys and there are very few non white people in cornwall, understanding or misunderstanding of people from other cultures is a fairly abstract thing most of the time.

what ripley said about the effect that dressing like that even tho you are a poseur strikes true, its dignified and less overtly sexual for sure, but also slightly fascinating and otherworldy too.

michael
03-04-2005, 10:59 PM
oh, new zealand people, what about that jewish midget with dreadlocks down past his arse?
what's his name again? mighty mouse?

Mighty Asterix? He's a reggae vocalist based in Auckland, dunno what he looks like.

Martin Dust
03-04-2005, 11:03 PM
There is something in what you say, I think the first time I saw locks on a white person was in a punk club around the time of early Culture Club, and rich they had to be as it did cost a fortune and, indeed, on white girls. With dance music having no uniform I suppose it was to be expected, maybe that's just to simplistic.

Martin Dust
03-04-2005, 11:04 PM
What do you all make of people like Westwood then?

mms
04-04-2005, 07:19 PM
What do you all make of people like Westwood then?


well i guess i'm glad he exists, very glad infact, tapes i got sent down from london of capital rap show changed my life as did toxic soundsystem , less so nowdays tho. :D

same as those rasta carriers, at least they are change agents in someway.

luka
04-04-2005, 11:00 PM
mighty asterix, yeah, i saw him a few times, he's liek i described him, receding hairline too