Apr 16, 2014
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Comedy

Visual Culture: Jamaica Reggae Film Festival

Words by Jesse Serwer

It’s been a big year for the intersection of Caribbean music and movies, from the smart reggae-and-calypso soundtrack in British director Stevan Riley’s outstanding West Indies cricket documentary Fire in Babylon (not to mention its well-drawn connection between the West Indies cricket team’s ascension and the rise of reggae music) to the recent news that Justine Henzell, daughter of the late The Harder They Come director Perry Henzell, will oversee a remake of Jamaica’s most seminal film. Adding to the momentum, this week the Jamaica Film Academy announced the slate for its fourth Jamaica Reggae Film Festival May 23-27.

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Up in The Sky: Ziggy Marley Unveils ‘Marijuanaman’ Comic

Words by Eddie Stats

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Everybody celebrates 4/20 in their own way. You might catch a Collie Buddz show or download a paranoid rap EP and listen to it a hotel room with the shades drawn. Ziggy Marley decided to celebrate it by launching a comic book. The eponymous hero of this new creation is Marijuanaman as you may have suspected, he crashed to earth in his bong-shaped spaceship while on a mission to save his THC-starved home planet. Marijuanaman is the result of a three-way collabo between Ziggy, writer Joe Casey and illustrator Jim Mahfood, who apparently linked up with the Marley scion through artist Overton Lloyd of P-Funk fame. The comic went up on Amazon today and unlike actual Brooklyn botanicals you can watch the YouTube promo below and get a preview of what you’re getting into before you buy:

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Bare Puppetry: Roger Alexis’ Trini Soap Pupperas Gone Viral

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton

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Whether it takes the form of Vybz Kartel virtual piano-duels or Slap-Chop face-offs, it seems YouTube is where Caribbean diasporic culture lives these days. The latest craze that’s caught our attention is the wave of Trini puppet soap operas and soliloquies that have popped up online. In case you haven’t seen them, these are no 30-second sock-puppet one-offs. These are full-scale muppet epics with recurring characters (Whitney and Santana, for two), original soca soundtracks, daggering interludes, scandalous preachers and steamy puppet-sex scenes. We could, of course, throw a bunch of info at you about Roger Alexis, the evil genius who is behind most of these short films and the astronomical number of views they’ve garnered. But perhaps this is one facet of Caribbean culture better absorbed without any context–unless by ‘context’ you mean “weed.” Watch after the jump.

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Throwback Thursdays: Mad Cobra, “Flex”, “Cobrastyle” + More

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton

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Will probably be starting a lot of Throwback Thursday posts off with this phrase, but…remember this joint!? I do. I was in college when it dropped and my West African roommate copped the cassingle and kept it on brainwash rotation in our apartment, a 24-hour Pandora-style channel dedicated to three artists: Fela Kuti, Nigerian rapper Blackky and Cobra. One of my main memories of art school, in fact, is sitting at a figure-drawing easel clashing my classmates in a race to come up with more variations on the hook of “Flex”–Flex / Time to cash checks! (Time to eat Rice Chex, wear x-ray spex, etc.) My boy Patrick officially took the crown when he bust out in the middle of an art history lecture with: Fleeeex / Tyrannosaurus Rex!

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The Punany Monologues: Natalie Storm Talks About Sex

Words by Natalie Storm

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We have been going with this Fashion Fridays thing lately, but today we are going say fuck it and go Dutty Fridayz on you as well. From henceforth on one Friday a month we will be handing the LargeUp reins over to rising dancehall star Natalie Storm, who is now officially our first celebrity sex blogger. We want you to know that we did not solicit these sex soliloquies or pressure Nats in any way–she reached out to LargeUp because apparently she was looking for a forum to get some things off her, um, chest. So without further ado, may we present the first installment in a series of philosophical treatises Nats calls “According to My Vagina” and we call “The Punany Monologues” (We’re just waiting for her to drop an actual dancehall tune called “PumPum Monologue”).

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Fashion Fridays: Shimmy Shimmy x Shabba Ranks

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Pixels cross the Atlantic at the speed of light (or at least the speed of dial-up) while physical package tek the slow boat. Which is why even though dancehall-friendly Shimmy Shimmy blog launched itself as a printed zine called No Ice Cream Sound at the end of last year, we didn’t get our oily fingerprints on it til 2011. But this is not a late post on No Ice Cream Sound (don’t get it jumble; NIS is a fine publication featuring our favorite new wave dancehall queen Natalie Storm interviewed by our other favorite new wave dancehall queen Erin Hansen, contributions from LargeUp UK correspondent Gabriel Heatwave plus a top 15 list of artists named ‘Ranks’ that’s right up our gully–and if you’re in New York you should proceed directly to Deadly Dragon and cop yourself one while supplies last). No, this is an early-out post on the recently announced news that the fools behind Shimmy Shimmy will be printing a 2nd run of their limited edition Shabba tee (did we mention this cat is everywhere this year?) a fine addition to the closet of any dancehall nerd. Word is they’ll be available soon at their online shop, so keep hitting refresh so as to cop the second the pixels say, Go. Cause while we applaud NIS/Shimmy for taking a break from the matrix and re-entering three-dimensional space, airmail does take mad long (More pics of the tee after the jump).

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