Posts tagged as 'Rudeboy'
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Tuesday, 29th Jul 2014
An exhibition not to be missed across the summer is - Return of The Rudeboy at Somerset House in London. Curated by fashion photographer Dean Chalkley and creative director Harris Elliot, the exhibition comprises a series of portraits and installations that “depict a collective of sharply dressed individuals, who exemplify an important yet undocumented subculture”.
Over the course of the past year, the duo have photographed more than 60 individuals across the UK, documenting the life, style and attitude of the re-born and growing urban group.
Jamaica’s first youth subculture, Rudeboys were depicted as the troubled youth, whose culture revolved around Ska and Rocksteady music. The name ‘Rudeboy’ began as a colloquial term for juvenile delinquents of the 1950s by the islands establishment. Like all youth subcultures (Punk probably the most famous), youth then adopted the terms as a new group identity.
Young men dressed in sharp suits with thin ties and pork pie hats, inspired by American style and Soul artists exemplified the emerging Rudeboy culture. The style crossed the Atlantic via Jamaican migrants bound for a better life in Britain. Picked up by British working class youth and absorbed into Mod style in West London.
The Rudeboy has recurred throughout the history of popular music both in Jamaica and Britain. Their sartorial influence – was evident in both the early Mod and Skinhead movements of the early and late 60s, with labels such as Blue Beat bringing music from Jamaica to ignite the dance floors of London and beyond.
It was also a key influence for the Two-Tone Ska movement that emerged out of the Midlands and London in the wake of Punk in the late 1970s, when bands such as The Specials, The Selecter and Madness reinvigorated Jamaican ska.
The exhibition promises an immersive experience with each of the subjects featured in the portraits providing their signature playlist acting as a sonic backdrop to the visual works.
The curators have worked closely with a variety of influential collaborators to contribute exciting, engaging and enrich the content of the exhibition. These include Rashad Smith, a British-born, New York-based producer who has worked with the likes of Busta Rhymes and Nas, tailors Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh, and Grammy award-winning filmmaker and pivotal Punk/Reggae scene DJ Don Letts.
(Images: Top: Sam Lambert, Middle: Bevan Agyemang, Bottom: Martell Campbell & Donya Campbell)