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Jamaican/Rastafari word for VITAL, ORGANIC, NATURAL, WHOLESOME… real roots


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Kendrick Lamar samples Jamaican singer’s “Every N*gger Is A Star” on new album

This is a 2009 post from my first blog urbanmediaoutlet.com about a tune called “Every Nigger is A Star”. At the time I was an anthropology and media undergrad student in New York exploring the intersection of Caribbean and black American culture in history and in the present. Urbanmediaoutlet became methodmecca.com and I went on to name an interview category Every Nigga Is A Star where I asked creatives like Minka and Protoje random questions that anyone could most likely answer –  hence “every nigga.”

Obviously, its a notion that has stuck with me a long time so when I heard the opening of Kendrick Lamar’s new album I instantly knew I had to find this post because it has a lot of valuable info about that “WTF you just said” term.

Kendrick Lamar opened his 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly with ‘Wesley’s Theory’, a track that samples “Every Nigger is A Star” by Jamaican singer Boris Gardiner. Gardiner didnt do much as a singer but it is amazing how this one song has sparked so many other creatives to produce hot ish. Most Jamaicans (in Jamaica) will know Gardiner though… he sings “I wanna wake up with you.”

FYI There was a Every Nigger is a Star movie too.

I’ll be unearthing a lot more of these old writings as I gear up to become active on Ital Mama again. Also, just because a lot of them are still relevant to today’s pop culture like this one below.

 


 

NOVEMBER 19 2009 posted on Urbanmediaoutlet.com


My dad used to used to sing this to us as yout’s. We thought he was crazy but we came to find out years later its a real song.

I should also mention that in 1974 Big Youth made a more popular version (I-Threes on backing vocals) and Frankie Paul did a version in 1991.  

Supercat also gained inspiration from the song with not one, but TWO songs coming from this meds.  Listen to the Don Dada on the obvious “Every Nigger is a Star” but also make sure that you notice the melody and lyrics of his very popular 1992 release “Nuff Man A Dead”:

“Im not sure anymore

Who is knocking at my door (door)

The places that I knew

Jah man, its so sunny and blue

I-man can see it in the sky (sky)

Tenor Saw already die

Me say me oh me oh my my”

is a take on Gardiner’s “Every Nigger is a star”: 

“Im not sure anymore 

Just how it happened before

The places that I knew

Were sunny and blue

I can feel it deep inside 

This black niggers pride…”

Ready for another 6 degrees of separation from “Every Nigga is A Star”? Kanye West’s 2007 release Graduation featured a tune with Mos Def called “Good Night” where Mos sings the “Im not sure anymore…” hook from Supercat. Yaadie dem large nuh bloodclaat!!!

I love when I make these connections! Respect due to Boris Gardiner, his version came first:

From the Jamaica Sunday Gleaner (Nov 8 2009) Mel Cooke “Story of the Song”series:

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