With all due respect to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz– in this sludgy powerful reggae riddim with a Malcolm X sample I hear a call for structural violence… Because that’s what’s happening to the music (and the words in it): the Roots Radics dub version kicks out this time-worn riddim’s walls to let in psychic/studio space.

“Turn the other cheek revolution” – the DJ cut brings in a hint of ambiguity, leans (slightly) towards the post-Mecca El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz worldview. Malcolm’s full sentence was, of course: “There’s no such thing as a turn-the-other-cheek revolution.”

Structural violence as freeing up discursive space. This can happen in many ways, like when you usher unseen narratives into visibility (Toni Morrison’s early work as an editor bringing black women’s writing to a mainstream readership in the 1970’s is an awesome example); communicating across a hostile silence which didn’t serve y/our purpose, or – dubwise – inserting a silence which does.

(& i love 7″s for their combination of brevity and effort – after 3 minutes, you need to get up and stop the record. This mp3 loses that.)


Roots Radics – Cuss Cuss riddim



  1. On the eve of Barak Obama’s Inaugeration as 44th president of the United Sates and on this day dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr I wanted to share this mix I did years ago for my then radio show as a feature for Black History Month. It features Martin Luther King Jr.’s two famous speeches with backing music by Funkadelic, Ennio Morricone (as reinterpreted by John Zorn), Patterson (Mo’wax) and Miles Davis. It runs approx 55 mins. It’s a meditation of sorts.


    It is in ogg format.

  2. Sick song. Do I detect an allusion to the Holgate scandal in the “turn the other cheek” reference? Touchy post on the PR world, but a shame to see it disappear. Despite over-biting commentary, it was the best dialogue I’ve read among artist, journalist, fan and PR staff! I’d suggest bringing the post back in a different form, perhaps…

  3. dont worry crito… dude asked for 2 weeks… the dialog was indeed amazing, as were a serious handful of very illuminating emails i rcvd in response.

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