Judge Dread by Prince Buster - Roots of Rap

March 28, 2020

Judge Dread by Prince Buster

Judge Dread by Prince Buster
Judge Dread by Prince Buster is a classic court room drama in Jamaican style. The track was part of the album Judge Dread Rock Steady that was released in 1967 on Blue Beat.

Prince Buster

Prince Busters real name was Cecil Bustamente Campbell (1938- 2016). He was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer. From being a talented boxer he got the name Prince. Buster came from his last name Bustamente. The records he released in the 1960s influenced and shaped Jamaican reggae and ska music.

Judge Dread

In the mid 60s ska transformed to rocksteady that had more emphasis on the drums and the bass Rocksteady appealed to the rudeboys -young street corner hoodlums and gangsters and they were often the topic of the songs. In 1967 Prince Buster took a hard stance against them. Prince Buster created a mythical character: Judge Dread. This was a super-tough Ethiopian magistrate who handed out ridiculously long sentences to those rudeboys. Judge Dread has a rocksteady rather than ska rhythm making it easier for Buster to speak over it in the persona of this magistrate sentencing three rudeboys to hundreds of years behind bars. And if you listen closely, you can hear  Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, as one of the rudeboys on trail.
Order, now my court is in session, will you please stand?
First, allow me to introduce myself, my name is Judge Hundredyears
Some people call me Judge Dread

Source: Allmusic, Factmag, Reggaelicious, Wikipedia

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