Boomkat Product Review:
333 deliver a first reissue of Rupee Dan’s sick 1982 UK roots reggae cut and its Shaka-favoured dub, produced by Warriors Dance co-founder Tony Addis.
Adding to a steadily building catalogue including greats by Devon Russell, Horace Ferguson, Prince Jazzbo and Robert Ffrench, comes ‘My Black Race’; a laid-back and conscious pearl voiced by Bradford’s Rupee Dan, and notably produced by Tony Addis, who would go on to lay the Black roots of UK house and rave music with his Warriors Dance label.
The original vocal slips down nice and easy thanks to Rupie’s mellifluous flow, but the real gold is in its dub, spangled with synths emulating bird calls, and a groove dubbed-out to the heavens with big boy bassline.
“"The lyrical idea for My Black Race came about during the 1980/81 social/racial revolution that took place in several cities all over England, including London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds etc. I was living in Bradford, West Yorkshire at the time and was a DJ/Sound System operator on Jah Scorcher International Sound. I also co-hosted a Reggae show on an independent radio station Called Pennine Radio 235. In my regular job I was a youth and community leader with the Bradford education council. I was fully connected and in touch the community.
Seeing how the media used the events of the social uprising as a weapon to further discriminate against the African & Caribbean community committed me to say and do something to elevate the minds of especially young people who were already demoralised by the rhetoric that brought about the so called "riots" of the time. It was during this time that the lyrical foundation of "My Black Race" was laid. The rhythm came later after hearing Barry Brown's "No Wicked Shall Enter the Kingdom of Zion". In the summer of 1982 I entered into the Addis Ababa recording studio on Harrow Road, Paddington and recorded the song having moved to London the previous year. Musicians featured included Victor Cross on bass and Mark Wright on drums (both from the Ariwa band), Rizzo on guitar, Tan Tan and Bami on Horns (all 3 from Aswad band), Bubblers on Piano/Organ (Undivided Roots/Ruff Cutt Band). Lead vocals were provided by myself, with backing vocals Jenifah Gad and Niomi who was working with David Bowie at the time. The engineers were Bubblers and Tony Addis (later of Addis Posse & the Warriors Dance label).
Jah Shaka was in the studio during the entire recording session. I was aquatinted with him as I was previously involved in a 3 way soundclash with Shaka, Quaker City and my sound at the time Jah Scorcher. Some years later I was in Terry's Dub studio in North Acton cutting some dubs when King Jammys and Bunny Lee walked in and heard the song. Bunny was responsible for the production of Barry Brown's "No Wicked Shall Enter the Kingdom of Zion". Thankfully they were both impressed by the track which delighted me as a young up-and-coming artist/producer. The rest is history as we know it. Jah Shaka was mystically constant hence his attachment and love for the song. Jah bless and guide him."
- Rupie Dan, 2023.”