It’s funny how the hours I leave work effect my radio listening habits.  For quite a long time, I was listening to NPR’/WNYC’s New Sounds — basically everything from avant garde classical like Phillip Glass and Meredith Monk,  to the cutting edge of contemporary world music blending techno beats with African beats and traditional instruments.  It’s how I discovered Guy Buttery, a South African experimental guitarist.  That’s when I was getting off work at 11 pm.  Nowadays, when I get tired of listening to NPR news during the 4/5pm rush hour traffic home, I’ve been listening to Hot 97  — the the NYC hip-hop and R&B station that’s not only well regarded within those genres, but quite infamous for publicity seeking rappers shooting at each other outside their offices (Read: The Game and 50 Cent).  On Hot 97 Jamaican DanceHall has been commanding my attention.    It fascinates me how a culture that is of the English tongue and other origins has produced a dialect so thick and complicated, that it’s really hard for anybody other than the speakers of that patois to understand what the hell is being said.  So, for example, here is a Bounty Killer song, and I don’t have a Jamaican Patois to Standard American English  translation dictionary handy….  I also hear the word “faggot” at the end of this, but before I put my PC boots on and get to stomping homophobia, I don’t know 1) What the hell this song is actually about due to the linguistic and cultural differences, and 2) I still don’t know what the hell he’s actually singing about,: “jus mek a duppy with me nine, nine?”‘

I’m sure if I tried reading a transcript of the lyrics, instead of listening to this song 549.5 times, I could piece it together a lot easier…..

Advertisements