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Published December 2010

[African Caribbean culture] exists not in a dictionary but in the tradition of the spoken word.”
– Kamau Braithwaite, in History of the Voice1

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By Joshua Chamberlain. Published Tuesday, Jul 28 2009

In 2001, longtime hardcore reggae fan Hidetsugo Haji faced a dilemma. He wanted to be a part of the “real thing,” but he lived in Japan, which lacked some basic pieces: a ghetto, for example, and the everyday struggles that come with such blatant economic disparity, not to mention the extraordinary opportunity to look such inequality in the face and overcome it. But thanks to dancehall reggae’s vibrant cassette-tape circuit, buoyed by live dancehall sessions and soundclashes between famous sound systems like Stone Love, Bass Odyssey, and Killamanjaro, he knew where to go. (read more)