Words by DJ Autograph—
Earlier this year, Major Lazer released Free The Universe featuring the dancehall inspired hit “Watch Out Fi Dis (Bumaye)” featuring Busy Signal. The single’s release was accompanied by a video that was shot in Jamaica in a ’90s dancehall style. It immediately gave me flashbacks to the days when Jamaica’s TVJ (back when it was JBC television) used to show music videos as fillers between programs.
One video used back in those days was Lt Stichie’s “The Prescription,” from his Atlantic Records album Rude Boy. On the track Stitchie delivers a tongue-in-cheek request for a girl to ‘fling it gi him’ to cool his temper, as only the Dancehall Governor can. One thing about the video that captures your attention—besides Stitchie playing the roles of a police officer and a disabled man—is the fashion. For the males its bright colors, oversized clothing and the staple open shirt with mesh marina, while the females are dressed in battyriders (the shortest of shorts, to the uninitiated), one-piece spandex suits and other skin-tight fashions. Having been a prepubescent young man at the time, it’s not hard to guess which parts were my favorites.
One of my favorite things about this video is the scene depicting the dance: The women gyrating and dancing with their men, the motorbikes scattered throughout and—last but not least—the pan chicken man, a staple of dancehall culture who is nevertheless rarely depicted in its videos. It all reminds me of growing up in Jamaica, and attending sessions in the ’90s.
If you’re wondering what happened to Stitchie, he found his prescription in the Lord and turned to Christianity in the late 90s and, like his dancehall counterpart Papa San, continues to perform on the gospel circuit.