Review: Linton Kwesi Johnson – Bass Culture

Linton Kwesi Johnson – Bass Culture is one of the more well known dub poetry albums from the reggae genre. The bass fits in with the dub production perfectly. Many of his poems are politically charged and have signs of cultural consciousness. Bass Culture is a widely respected dub poetry album favored by fans of dub poetry across the planet.

Reggae Fi Peach was a cry for justice for anti-fascist and anti-Nazi protester Blair Peach, a New Zealand teacher and campaigner who was killed with a crushing blow to the skull during a rally in Southall, West London, England in 1979. A theme of rebelliousness can be felt.

A police report found that a blow to Blair Peach’s head had been struck by a member of the Special Patrol Group (SPG) using an unauthorised weapon. The Special Patrol Group was a unit of the London Metropolitan Police who were implicated in the death of anti-Nazi protester Blair Peach. His family settled out of court after they were given a small cash settlement. However no person was charged for the crime.

Everywhere you go it’s the talk of the day. Everywhere you go you hear people say that the Special Patrol Group are murderers. We can’t make them get no furtherer because they killed the teacher Blair Peach. Blair Peach was an ordinary man who took a simple stand against the fascists and their wicked plans. So the Special Patrol Group beat the life out of him was until they were done. But his memory lingers on. Blair Peach was not an English man. He came from New Zealand.

Oh ye people of England. Great injustices are committed upon this land. How long will you permit them, to carry on? Is England becoming a fascist state? The answer lies at your own gate. And in the answer lies your fate.

Ingland is a Bitch exposed how deep institutional racism is rooted within the UK that is better known as the United Kingdom. The song showed how Caribbean people were facing racism from employers and residents. Between 1948 and 1971, Caribbean people from countries located in the Caribbean sea were encouraged to come to United Kingdom to work and live there.

Linton expressed his true feelings about how the United Kingdom’s racist policies in this song. This showcases his political consciousness of course.

Independant Intavenshan is one of his more politically charged poems on the album which showcases his political consciousness. The song is about independent intervention of political parties in the United Kingdom. A hard groove is used.

Linton expressed his true feelings about how the United Kingdom’s Liberal Party has no heart which is why he has developed such a distrust towards the Liberal Party as well as the Tory Party. He feels the conservative Tory Party has no heart either.

[Verse 2]
The CRE can’t set me free
The TUC can’t do it for me
The Liberal Party them is not very hearty
And the Tory Party
I no feel no party

I rate this album 5/5*****!

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