Nov 29, 2014
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Posts tagged: Harry Belafonte

Toppa Top 50: Fifty Great Jamaicans

Words by LargeUp Crew—


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Daylight Come: Harry Belafonte Interview & HBO Documentary

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton, via NY Mag

Tonight at 10pm, HBO will be airing Sing Your Song (trailer below) a documentary on folk-singer and movie icon Harry Belafonte, who you may not have realized was a boss. In addition to recording the first million-selling LP in record industry history (Calypso, 1956) and revitalizing Lil Wayne’s platinum career, he was also arguably the main force behind the scenes of the 60s civil rights movement, funneling his platinum-before-they-had-platinum music career directly into Mississipi’s famed Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the activities of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King was a personal friend and Belafonte was not merely a bankroller but a confidante and powerbroker, meeting with MLK and Bobby Kennedy on a daily basis at the height of the movement’s most fruitful years. Fatefully, he also convinced Bobby’s big brother JFK to airlift a planeload of Kenyan students to the U.S. in 1961–on that plane was Barack Obama Sr., the father of our current president. You can get more on Belafonte’s amazing life-journey in this interview with NY magazine’s Joshua Jelly-Shapiro after the jump, plus another great interview and info about the doc on HBO‘s site.


Six Foot Seven: MLK, Jr. and Harry Belafonte


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Bananas Clip: Lil Wayne x Harry Belafonte

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton


If you are on your rap grind you probably hearda this new-brand Weezy track which is burning up the webosphere but we couldn’t let a weird interpolation of Caribbean folk music go un-blogged. In a nice tiki-trap companion piece to Theophilus London’s King Cole impression, Bangladesh chopped up Harry Belafonte’s Coconut Grove classic “Banana Boat Song,” which of course is an authentic Jamaican folk tune, originally sung by dockworkers back in the Banana Republic days. Since Bangladesh is the creator of “A Milli”–another weird patois interpolation–we can expect that a) it will be a hit and b) if it is ‘Desh will make a career out of chopping up odd soundbites of nation language (or imitations thereof).

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