Words by DJ Autograph
We know Brooklyn-based DJ Autograph for holding down the NYC version of Jamaica’s Brand New Machine party alongside Max Glazer, Wyteboy Chris and the Deadly Dragon crew, but when we recently found out that the Kingston native also does regular gigs as a video DJ, we immediately tapped him for a Throwback Thursday recommendation. We have to say we’re surprised by his pick, but it definitely gets the LargeUp co-sign…
I started DJing in 1994, a year after Snow’s hit “Informer” topped the Billboard charts in the US. For me, and for many dancehall aficionados, Snow was considered an imposter, a wannabe Jamaican who spoke bad patois while pretending to be a Dancehall Artist.
I remember going to the record store one Friday afternoon in 1995 after my classes were over to do the usual weekend shopping. Teenagers and soundmen from all over Jamaica would converge on Aquarius Records in Half Way Tree on a Friday to get the latest tunes that came in that day. Thirty minutes into sampling the latest releases and one tune catches my attention: Nadine Sutherland giving a roll call of all the artists who have verses on the song and then in comes Snow singing with his trademark style, “I will do any anything just fi you….” Those of us in the store were mesmerized for the next four minutes; we’d just heard five of dancehall’s best DJs of the ‘90s put down five of the best verses I’d ever heard in one song, regardless of genre. The song “Anything For You,” featuring Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Nadine Sutherland, Terror Fabulous, Louie Culture and Kulture Knox (and produced by Salt-N-Pepa/Kid ‘n Play mastermind Hurby “Luv Bug” Astor), became a smash hit in Jamaica, and helped Snow gain credibility within the dancehall fraternity both in Jamaica and around the rest of the world. It’s even in my personal top five dancehall songs of all time.
The video, shot in black and white by famed hip-hop director Hype Williams, is staged in a recording studio and we see all five artists voicing their verses with the engineers at the mixing board. Several scenes show the artists side by side in vocal booth, dancing around and apparently having a good time. What makes this video special is seeing the sense of camaraderie among the artists…that’s something that today’s dancehall could use a dose of.