As David Katz’ work often reminds, Jamaican music is born in relationality: to U.S. boogie and R and B in particular. For ground-zero ska, it’s simply a matter of a different accent on the 2 and 4. The figures which populate ska and rock steady songs, therefore, should be no surprise. The lyrics here specify the appearance of Jamaican James Bonds (he already had visited the island in Dr. No, and would do so again and again) and Frank Sinatras. On one level, it’s a typically moral rude boys track: in the end, the police rise with a vengeance and the cheap imitation outlaws “a weep an’ a wail.” On other level, Dekker implies that 007 represents a license to kill in a specialized sense: the right to produce and determine the third world. Truly, the anxiety of influence.
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