MISTER YELLOWMAN: YELLOWMAN Saturday 28 January, 2012

MR_YELLOWMAN_WEB

Debut album from a toaster that won’t cook your bread for your breakfast.

When I was a teenager I watched a documentary that was part of the Rapido strand on BBC2 it documented the history of Hip Hop and was hosted by Dance Energy’s very own Normski. In the documentary Normski looked at the roots of rapping. One of the subjects he examined was a Jamaican style of rapping called “toasting”. Toasting is where a “Deejay” essentially raps over the instrumental of an existing record. A lot of records would be released as a seven inch single with the instrumental of the single as the b-side, for those of you too young to remember. I was intrigued. I loved the sound of dub reggae with rapping over the top.

Unfortunately for me I was 12 in a small town that was home to very few black people and the internet hadn’t really happened yet. My friend Jon and I spent years buying albums that proclaimed themselves to be ‘Dub’. I never got close to the sound I was looking for. I knew that I was looking for The Jack Ruby Sound System but I could never find anything by them anywhere that I had access to.

Then Amazon happened. I searched for Jack Ruby to no avail but Amazon told me that I might try Yellowman. I’m still grateful for that day. Yellowman was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. ‘Mister Yellowman’ is his first album and it’s brilliant. It’s a sparse dub reggae album which Yellowman raps over the top of. Lovely stuff.

Yellowman, so called because he is an albino, has got a fantastic sense of humour (Cocky Did A Hurt Me) and a great style. If you have any interest in reggae or hip hop you owe it to yourself to go and buy this album.

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