Just Wanna Know

Revolutionary Propaganda Organ

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Israelites and Pan-African Apache Riddims

As we were reading an anthropologist write about diasporas, it came up that many of the Pan-Africanists have drawn the comparison of the African diaspora to the Jewish diaspora. Here's a really nice clip from 1970 of the Jamaican ska artist Desmond Dekker at Wembley Stadium. This track "Israelites," which influenced the Beatles' "O-bla-di o-bla-da," charted in the UK and US Top Ten in 1969.

And because we're interested in global pop culture, the search to see how far this track went led straight to Apache Indian, the dancehall toaster from Birmingham whose roots are less Kingston than Mumbai. Still, because he grew up among Jamaicans, his patois when rapping is nearly as thick as Dekker's. In this tribute from 2005, he and Dekker team up to reprise the song for the present day. Sadly, Dekker died in 2006, so this was his last major single.