Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Benjamin Zephaniah ‎– "Dub Ranting" (Radical Wallpaper Records ‎– RAD WALL 005) 1982


Birmingham's own Benjamin Zephaniah was another 'Ranter' on Radical Wallpaper records.Label mate with Attila The Stockbroker, and Seething Wells,he was the only,as far as I know, Dub-Ranter on the planet. According to the man himself on the Patrik Fitzgerald documentary "All The Years Of Trying",it was Fitzgerald's first EP that turned him on to the possibility of Poetry,after hearing "Work, Rest, Play,...Reggae" from the "Safety Pin Stuck In My Heart EP".It was the first time that he heard that a white man could like reggae (not that I'm sure thats exactly what Patrik meant...he was being slightly Ironic methinks),nonetheless,it opened the possibilty in BZ's mind that maybe we ain't so different.And obviously, Linton Kwesi Johnson, was a major motivation to inflict these clumsey poems upon us innocent white kids.So this is his attempt at fusing English Ranting and Jamaican Toasting,which he called Dub-Ranting.This has to be applauded,but.....at the risk of being accused of prejudice, i can't stand it. The poetry is borderline moronic, and the politics....oh,the politics!!...are simplistic at best.
He's at his best when he sticks to social commentary,like describing a riot in progress,very good. "I Don't Like Dat Gurl",is his synopsis of Maggie Thatcher.....oh please!And ,Oh yeah, he didn't like Regan either.
I think that some of these poems are supposed to be funny? If they are, then maybe i don't have a sense of humour?
Nevertheless, he seems like a nice chap,and he's still going at it today,and in the running for the next Poet Laureate,for which he will have an advantage Ironically,'cus he is Black'!


Tracklist:

A1 Now Right Now 2:00
A2 I Don't Like 2:09
A3 Uganda 1:21
A4 War 1:30
A5 I Love 0:58
B1 African Swing 1:19
B2 13 Dead 1:32
B3 Fantasy Poem 1:37
B4 Riot In Progress 3:24


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