♫♪  Curly Castro - “Mortimo Planno” (Blockhead Remix)

If one were to play the what-do-you-think-this-sounds-like game with Curley Castro’s new album, TOSH, the gut-reaction starting points would probably be with acts like KRS One and Smif-N-Wessun, perhaps the best known reggae-tinged rap artists, who helped inspire a wave of similarly dread-minded MCs through the early and mid 90s. But that’s all bunk. Kool Herc was a Jamaican immigrant. Ask my man Soopah Eype, and he’ll tell you rap itself started in Kingston. So, I’m going to flip the board on the what-do-you-think-this-sounds-like game and admit I might have only brought it up in the first place to publicly celebrate how I’ve recently come into possession of two of my longest sought vinyls, MarQ Spekt’s Shoplifter 12” and Linton Kwesi Johnson’s Forces of Victory (and I got ‘em for cheap, thank you Minneapolis), both also arguably eligible for placement in the long lineage that is the rap/reggae crossover family tree.

Where was I? Ah yes, “Mortimo Planno” (Blockhead Remix). Wrecking Crew shit: dub poems as noir raps, history lessons as incantations, dreadlocks as protection spells (to “keep signals out my night train”), remixes repottings. (Also, a remix as a cross-promotional effort? Well, if that, a damn good one at it.) A sizable segment of Blockhead’s beat catalog seems to occupy an imaginary geologic stratum with a fossil record rich in classical elements as well as rap and reggae’s shared nutrients, “rootsy” but in a type of way that makes you want to smack someone who might use the word “rootsy” in a sentence—

(My face hurts.)

Curly Castro’s TOSH and Blockhead’s Free Sweatpants are both out on Backwoodz Studioz. This remix isn’t on either album, but if you dig it, both will most likely be right up your alley.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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