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Nobody Move Nobody Get Hurt

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Album Review

And the hits just kept coming: Yellowman was unstoppable, the irrepressible DJ now not just the top-ranking DJ in Jamaica, but in the world. Arriving in 1984, Nobody Move Nobody Get Hurt was one of a flood of albums the toaster released in the first half of the '80s, most overseen, like this one, by Henry "Junjo" Lawes. There wasn't a weak number on this ten-song set, which again bundled up a batch of hits and recent cuts, all backed by blistering riddims from the Roots Radics. Surprisingly, though, the themes revolve exclusively around sound system rave-ups and boasts about his prowess with the opposite sex. "Bedroom Mazurka" is startlingly slack, its explicit lyrics suggesting that the DJ is in no position to tell others to "Watch Your Words," as is the highly entertaining "Wreck a Pum Pum." More family-friendly is the wonderful "Good Loving" and the succulently sweet "Yellowman a the Lover Boy." The album's title track was a huge Jamaican hit, and with considerable stylistic updating along the way, still remains in Yellowman's live set. "Body Move" was an equal sound system sensation, the Radics' swinging riddim answered by the DJ's swaggering toasts. The militant roots of "Hill and Gully Rider" echoed with the dreads, although the only message here is a shout-out to the DJ's posse. In contrast, the bouncier "Why You Bad So" paid tribute to the well-deserving Lawes. A phenomenal set from a world-class DJ at the top of his game, a band at its best, and a producer who was absolutely unbeatable.


Born: 1956 in Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jamaica's first dancehall superstar, Yellowman ushered in a new era in reggae music following Bob Marley's death. His early-'80s success brought the popularity of toasting -- the reggae equivalent of rapping -- to a whole new level, and helped establish dancehall as the wave of the future. For better or for worse, he also epitomized dancehall's penchant for "slack" lyrics -- that is, casual violence, sexism, homophobia, and general rudeness. Graphic sexuality was his particular forte, reaching levels...
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Nobody Move Nobody Get Hurt, Yellowman
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