LargeUp TV: On the Move with Jamaica’s No-Maddz

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Words by Jesse Serwer, Video and Photos by Martei Korley—

Even if you don’t know their name, you may already be familiar with No-Maddz from their role as “the World’s Fastest Band” in Usain Bolt’s Puma commercials, or recognize group members Sheldon Shepard and Everaldo “Evie” Creary from their starring roles in Storm Saulter’s Better Mus’ Come, the most talked about new Jamaican film in a generation. Originally formed for the purpose of competing in dub poetry competitions (which they invariably won), the quartet, which also includes Oneil Peart and Christopher “Birdheye” Gordon, are hardly limited by the constrictions of that discipline. A comedy troupe meets bohemian improv band, their vibe is more Monkees than Mutabaruka. Whatever you call them, they’re the most unique band on the island of Jamaica right now.

For our latest LargeUp TV episode, creative director/co-founder/photographer/DP Martei Korley caught up with Messrs. Shepard, Creary, Peart and Gordon as the sun rose one morning on Wickie Wackie Beach in Jamaica’s Bull Bay. The group lounged in the bush—literally—and played us their theme song “Sort Out Yuh Life Jamaica” and “Rize Above Profanity,” better known as the “Poo-pooka-poo” song from their Puma commercials. (Read about the meaning of it in our 2011 interview with No-Maddz).

Watch the webisode below, and scroll through to see some of Martei’s photos from the shoot.