Words by Max Glazer—
For a decade and then some, Federation Sound‘s Max Glazer has been known all over the world as a great dancehall DJ. But back before that he was a hip-hop journalist, penning memorable articles on people like Big L for the great but somewhat forgotten ’90s magazine, On The Go. We gave Max his old pen back so he could take us back to the days when hip-hop and dancehall were blending together in new and exciting ways, and Bobby Konders and Salaam Remi were coming together to make classics with NYC Badmen like Mikey Jarrett and Burro Banton.
In the early 90s I liked hip-hop a lot. I also liked reggae a lot. When people started combining the two, my brain pretty much exploded. Nobody did it like New York dancehall pioneer Bobby Konders. Bobby has been on the radio damn near forever bringing reggae to the hip-hop masses on New York City’s major urban stations (currently Hot 97). Times were good and the streets were lined with cars sporting glowing neon undercarriages.
Mikey Jarrett was already somewhat of a veteran in 1992 when he joined forces with Bobby Konders to record “Mack Daddy.” The actual production duties were handled by a young Salaam Remi and the result is a classic boom-banging marriage of Jamaica and New York. The video is full of NYC roof tops, shearling jackets, spandex and lingerie. Mikey Jarrett kills it with the one leg up dance move and sharp white suit. For a brief moment he even goes Big Daddy Kane, wearing a blue silk pajama set. I always especially enjoyed the scene where he’s DJing into a handheld lamp (the kind with a 10 foot cord and hook that you hang underneath your car while changing the oil). The satisfied look on Bobby Konders’ face at the end of this video is priceless.
The next major shot in Bobby’s hip-hop/reggae clip was his 1993 version of Burro Banton’s often re-voiced classic, “Boom Wa Dis.” This was first released as a single on the Massive B label and then made it’s way onto StepSun Records’ NYC Badmen album. As the lead single, “Boom Wa Dis” got it’s own video. This one uses the classic old white people vs. scary black people theme, only this time around it’s scary Jamaicans. Burro kicks his way through a giant American flag wall and proceeds with his “aye aye ayeayeaye aye” lyrics and is soon followed by a crew of sexy gals and New York rudeboys turning things into a strobe-lit basement party. Old dudes get lap dances… bogle and butterfly dancing happens. The white people get scared and eventually retreat to their limo. I think it’s pretty clear who the NYC Badmen are here.