The Late Ones’ new song/video “Fake Reggae” addresses artists who water down the message
This past December, California-via-Hawaii reggae/hip hop trio The Late Ones released their very good new EP Lately on Easy Star Records. We called it a seamless fusion of the grooves and harmonies of mid/late '70s reggae with the incisive bars of '90s Native Tongues-style rap, and The Late Ones bring that same appealing hybrid to their powerful new single "Fake Reggae," which is the first single from their upcoming album The Fourth Quarter.
"This for all them fake reggae/Them lovey dovey, boy/Them who make music for the money, boy/Them who water down the Black man song/Singing about fuckery when injustice a gwan," The Late Ones sing on the hook, and as they explained to us: "'Fake Reggae' is a call to action. A challenge to all artists to use your platform and music to affect actual change. Especially with reggae music in general. It is being watered down when at its roots it was a way for Black people to express the injustices that were happening to them. Now we talk about beaches and girls when there is so much injustice in everyone's face. Make your lyrics more conscious and tap into what's going on!"
"“Don’t take this personally. We are not singling anyone out, but rather hope to start a
conversation within the community," the band adds. "We don’t want our culture, music, or message to be watered down any longer."
The Kat Faith-directed video follows suit, splicing together stereotypes of feel-good reggae with images of real injustice. It premieres below. Get the single on digital platforms here.