1966: Hopeton Lewis - “Take It Easy”

He has since turned to spreading his unabashed love of the Lord through increasingly gospel-tinged music, but in 1966 all Hopeton Lewis wanted to do was take that shit straight ease, brah. Lots of crazy things were happening in Jamaica in the 60s — musical and otherwise — but Lewis’ illusory lyrical minimalism implored its people to rise above it all.

“Take it Easy” is barebones by definition: one guitar, drums, vocals. This is proto-reggae at its very finest — dub be damned. Where enterprising island DJs would later rip a track apart and stone it out of its gourd with bass and slapback, Lewis’ studio itinerary involved little else besides the very essence of the thing. He was, and still is, driven by the spirit of song.

“The road is rough/ And don’t you ever get stuck/ Take your time/ Take it easy/ No need to hurry.”

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DeLorean

There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

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