Linton Kwesi Johnson is the originator of a style of writing that came to be dubbed (bad pun intended) "Dub Poetry". The pic on the left is my illustrated version of The Man..
He began writing in his early 20's, when he joined the British Black Panthers:
"That's where I learnt my politics and about my history and culture," he has said. "That's where I discovered black literature, particularly the work of W.E.B. DuBois, the Afro-American scholar who inspired me to write poetry."
Together with his arranger and producer Dennis Bovell, he has produced some of the toughest, most critical and touching music in reggae.
Here, some of his songs, my favorites:
-The brutal "Sonny's Lettah"
- the happy-despite-the-lyrics -Di Good Life", about the state of socialism , as well as its corresponding dub version, Dubbing For Life"
- a sardonically catchy critique of "buppies",The Black Petty Booshwa,"
- then we have Indapendent Intevenshan,"
and finally, a sweet ass "Guayanese Dub."
I got to see him this week, reading at the 16th annual Medellín Poetry Festival. A strange surreal happening, I was able to meet him, briefly. A wiry, proud, overly serious and yet brilliant man.
This is his website and his own record label, where you can purchase all of his music: http://www.lkjrecords.com/