Words by Saxon Baird
Directed by Scorpio 21 of Kao Arts (whose work also includes the colorful “Tight Skirt” video from Samantha J), Assassin’s “Sekkle an Cease” is the latest in a wave of 2014 dancehall videos inspired by the look and feel of ’90s dancehall sound system party, and it might just be the most on-point one yet. There’s jerk chicken in the back, nuff Guinness, mesh marinas, high-top fades, backwards Kangols and whining gyals in pum-pum shorts (including one in a gold-lamé outfit styled after Dancehall Queen Carlene). Perhaps the most authentic touch of all is a scratchy video quality meant to simulate the experience of watching on a worn, dub-of-a-dub VHS tape—in other words, the way you would have seen a video like this back in the era it’s meant to resemble.
Toasting over the throwback Nuh Fraid riddim from Jah Snowcone (and with a sampled intro from Rory Stone Love), Agent Sasco channels his inner Shabba Ranks in both lyrics and look. Adorned in gold rings, oversized glasses and an arsenal of mesh marinas, Sasco details with his signature guttural flow what it takes to buss up di place, even throwing in some nods to New York City’s once thriving ’90s dancehall scene.
Sasco is the latest to offer his take over the Nuh Fraid riddim which has found new life this year after originally appearing as “Duppy Nuh Frighten Vampire” off Spragga Benz’s Shotta Culture LP in 2010. The revived riddim has been voiced by the likes of Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Capleton, Mr. Vegas and a slew of others who have taken to the rough, Sleng Teng-era sound. Earlier this year a crew of DJs including Mr. Vegas and Latty J took the mic inside the legendary Killamanjaro Sound’s studio in Jamaica for a lively medley video featuring the throwback riddim, which you can see here.
Watch Assassin’s “Sekkle an Cease” below, and cop the full riddim album here.