Saturday, March 22, 2008
Mikey Dread, 1954-2008
I was pleasantly surprised to hear the distinctive sound of Mikey Dread spilling out of storefronts and from market boomboxes when I visited Brixton last week. I hadn't yet learned that the reggae legend died March 15.
While Dread was Jamaican, I'll always associate him with England. It was Dread's work with the Clash brought him to my attention. And he produced acts like UB40 while he lived in London.
I pulled this track from a compilation titled Strictly Rockers, but it's most readily available on World War III, available as a British import. Here's a video of Dread performing the song.
A public bus took me from central London to Brixton. Schools had just let out, and I was secretly delighted to hear kids talking in the accent and using the slang I knew primarily through Dizzee Rascal. In this video, the young lion speaks of his collaboration with the Arctic Monkeys. Whether he knows it or not, Dizzee is deeply indebted to Dread.
(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)