Words by Jesse Serwer
Well before smartphones saturated society and changed the way we live, dancehall and reggae artists were sounding the alarm about the encroachment of cellular technology. Songs as far back as Mr Lexx’s “Ring Off Mi Cellie” and, a little later, Busy Signal’s “Unknown Number” speak to what we now know was a quite justifiable mistrust of modern devices.
The GPS-enabled surveillance state of today has only reinforced this thinking — see Buju Banton’s “Trust.” Cue up LargeUp contributor and NY-based DJ Richard “Treats” Dryden’s “Ring Ring Ting” playlist for a more complete history of phone-themed reggae and dancehall, going all the way back to the landline days of JC Lodge and Shabba.
On “No Selfie,” Lutan Fyah adds to this canon, warning fake friends and intrusive photo seekers to hold up and gweh. Lutan dismisses today’s near-constant selfie requests as both an annoyance and a potential threat or set-up, coolly requesting: “Please nuh lean pon mi shoulder.”
“No Selfie,” premiering right here ahead of its release to DSPs tomorrow, is one of five tracks on Lustre Kings Productions’ Star Chile Riddim EP, which drops in full Oct. 30 on Easy Star Records.
Lustre Kings and Zion I Kings co-founder Andrew “Moon” Bain was inspired to create the guitar-driven instrumental after catching a live show from Mr Eazi. Taking cues from banku music — a mellower, soothing take on afrobeats which Eazi pioneered in the mid 2010s — as well as Wizkid and Jimi Hendrix, the riddim blends afrobeats and reggae vibes for a chill, dexterous sound bed. Upcoming tracks will feature vocals from Pressure Busspipe and Alandon as well as remixes from Digital Ancient and Zion I Kings.