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Fast Chat

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago


The fast chat style of deejaying was the most important deejay style to ever come out of the UK. Even though there was some signs of fast deejaying prior to it with Jamaican deejays such as Ranking Joe and his influential and often copied rapid delivery or, General Echo(1) and Papa Tullo. The style however was to be originated and used to its fullest by the up and coming English deejays of the early to mid 80's. It was originated by Peter King in 1982 when he heard Dennis Rowe, from the Saxon Sound System, singing something along the lines of »Me Neat, Me Sweet«.

I heard someone, I think it was Dennis, Dennis Rowe. He was doing something like "Me Neat, Me Sweet" round his house one day. /.../ And I was going you couldn't neat and sweet like me! Then I said neat and sweet - yeah. I can do lyrics out of neat and sweet - all what it takes to be neat and sweet. So I went home and started writing this lyric. And at first it started off like, 'Me use ultrabright to brush me teeth at night, it's out of sight, yes me dynamite-things related to that.

Peter Levi from Small Axe #21, 1985 interviewed by Ray Hurford


This was in December of 1982. It wasn't until late 1983 when Papa Levi released his major hit single »Mi God Mi King«, as a pre-release on the Bad Breed label, that a proper studio recording of the style first was heard on vinyl. Prior to that the style was predominantly heard on Saxon dances and sound tapes. It was actually on a live recording the style first could be heard on vinyl (Peter King doing it on »Live at DSYC«, 1983, Raiders music). In February of 1984 »Mi God Mi King« reached #1 in the UK. The song soon enough also became a major hit in Jamaica when it was picked up by Sly & Robbie who released it on their own Taxi imprint. This made it a classic record as it was the first UK deejay record to reach #1 in Jamaica. It was however Smiley Culture that put fast chatting into the mainstream with his single »Cockney Translation« (#1 reggae chart) and »Police Office« (reached the national pop-charts in '85).


There was primarily two labels that released music with this highly idiosyncratic deejay style; the Saxon-related (with Greensleeves) UK Bubblers label and the more known Fashion Records label.


Some classic deejays who did the fast chat style was Asher Senator, Smiley Culture, Daddy Colonel, Tippa Irie. Its influence was evident not only by being heard from Jamaican deejays but also surprisingly adapted by Jamaican singers such as Junior Reid. The deejay Papa San made the style his own and even managed to transform the rhyme patterns to be even quicker than the original style created by Peter King.




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