Last week we lost 2 absolute legends- Toots Hibbert & Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Toots was one of a handful of standout artists that really shaped my early obsessive listening habits around age 14- my band in high school even performed covers of “54-47” & “Funky Kingston” with me on drums! Several of his songs and melodies remain all-time favorites that I always find myself singing on walks with the kids or long car rides. His melodies have enough hook to catch a whale, and the rough scratchiness of his voice (coupled with his insanely energetic live performances, which I was lucky enough to catch several times) brought a unique funk and soul element to reggae that seemed like a direct link to the godfather James Brown. His song “Bam Bam” is the embodiment of timeless earworm- being reworked by Yellowman & then Sister Nancy (in on of hip hop’s most frequently sampled sources) as well as the Chaka Demus & Pliers version which helped solidify the dembow riddim as one of the global backbones in popular music. Then there was the news that Ruth Bader Ginsburg (aka the Notorious RBG) had passed. This incredibly strong, fierce, moral force of nature was doing her damndest to live long enough to avoid opening a seat for Trump to fill, fighting cancer and incredible odds with sheer will. Finally it was her time. The void she leaves open, in one of the most lasting positions of our government, has me terrified, but in this moment at least, I just want to thank her for her selfless service. Toots too, cheers to the light you both shared! I’ve got some visual inspiration above from fellow global soul Orly Anan, she has plenty more to feast your eyes on too. Stay up my friends!
OLd LEeCH • September 24, 2020
These cuts are saving my life right now.