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Culture

Vocal trio Culture helped define the sound and style of Rastafarian roots reggae, thanks largely to charismatic singer, songwriter, and leader Joseph Hill. True to their name, Culture's material was devoted almost exclusively to spiritual, social, and political messages, and Hill delivered them with a fervent intensity that grouped him with Rastafarian militants like Burning Spear and Black Uhuru. Their classic debut, Two Sevens Clash, is still considered a roots reggae landmark, and most of their other late-'70s output maintains a similarly high standard. After a hiatus, Culture returned in the mid-'80s with a lighter, more polished sound that drew from more eclectic musical sources. Yet the force of their message never softened, and they soldiered on into the new millennium.

Joseph Hill had been trying his hand at a solo career for some time before forming Culture. He first started out as a disc selector for various sound systems in his hometown of Linstead, in St. Catherine Parish. From there he joined a group called the Soul Defenders as a percussionist and part-time vocalist. The Soul Defenders worked at Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's legendary Studio One in 1971, cutting backing tracks for a variety of vocalists. Hill himself recorded several solo numbers during that time, including "Behold the Land" and "Take Me Girl," but nothing came of them. The Soul Defenders returned to St. Catherine to work the hotel lounge circuit in northern Jamaica, and Hill floated through several bands prior to forming Culture in 1976. His cousin Albert Walker came to him with the idea of forming a vocal group, and the two quickly recruited another cousin, Roy "Kenneth" Dayes, to sing harmony vocals along with Walker.

Initially calling themselves the African Disciples, the trio hooked up with producer Joe Gibbs in Kingston, and soon changed their name to Culture. Overseen by Gibbs and engineer Errol Thompson, aka the Mighty Two, they debuted with the single "This Time" on Gibbs' Belmont label. Not long after, they broke through with several hit singles, including "See Them a Come" and "Two Sevens Clash." The latter was a Rastafarian vision of the rapidly approaching apocalypse, which fueled public paranoia in an already violent election year; it also provided the title track of the group's debut album, which was released in 1977 to tremendous acclaim. Featuring other crucial tracks like "Get Ready to Ride the Lion to Zion" and "Natty Dread Take Over," Two Sevens Clash was a spiritual manifesto against racial injustice and poverty. It won a huge following not only in Jamaica, but also the U.K., where the growing punk rock movement was discovering a kinship with protest reggae, and connected immediately with the album's powerful disaffection.

Unhappy with their financial dealings with Gibbs, Culture soon split for a brief and contentious stay at Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label, where they started (and never quite finished) a new album titled Africa Stand Alone; the results were eventually released as they were, without authorization. Meanwhile, Gibbs released leftovers from the Two Sevens Clash sessions on two more LPs, Baldhead Bridge (whose title song was a hit) and More Culture. By the end of 1977, Culture had already moved to Sonia Pottinger's High Note label, and recorded three excellent albums in quick succession: 1978's Harder Than the Rest and 1979's Cumbolo and International Herb. Additional material from the era was later compiled on Trod On and Production Something. Culture performed at the legendary One Love Peace Concert in 1978, and later toured heavily in the U.K. with backing band the Revolutionaries (which included the young Sly & Robbie).

However, there would not be much more material forthcoming, at least for the time being. Culture split up in 1982, and Hill recorded what was essentially a solo album, Lion Rock, under the Culture name; Walker and Dayes, meanwhile, made a few recordings with producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes. The trio reunited in 1986, and quickly recorded two well-received comeback albums, Culture at Work and Culture in Culture, that year. They resumed touring as well, and kicked off another prolific and productive period with albums like 1988's Nuff Crisis (which featured the powerful protest "Crack in New York"), 1989's Good Things, 1991's dancehall-flavored Three Sides to My Story, and 1992's Wings of a Dove.

In 1993, Kenneth Dayes left the group to pursue a solo career, wanting to continue their earlier experimentation with dancehall. Culture was then touring with an independent backing band called Dub Mystic, and that group's lead singer, Ire'Lano Malomo, was pressed into service as the third vocalist in the trio. Malomo appeared on two studio albums, 1996's One Stone and 1997's Trust Me. He was replaced in 1999 by veteran singer Telford Nelson, who made his debut on 2000's Payday. Hill released another effective solo album, Humble African, in 2001, and Culture returned in 2003 with the acclaimed World Peace. On August 19, 2006, during a show in Berlin, Germany, Hill collapsed on-stage and passed away. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Chantin On

1. Slice Of Mount Zion

2. Chant Down Babylon

3. Outcast

4. Old Tattoo

5. Payday

6. Capture Rasta

7. Praise Him

8. One Stone

9. Hand 'a' Bowl

10. Share The Riches

11. This Way

12. Legislation

13. Writing On The Wall

14. Chanting On

15. Addis Ababa

16. Psalm Of Bob Marley

17. Satan Company

18. Election

x

Track List: World Peace

1. Sweet Freedom

2. Time Is Getting Harder

3. World Peace

4. Coming Down

5. Long Day Bud A Bawl

6. Gun Put Down

7. Never Get Weary

8. Dog A Go Nyam Dog

9. No Segregation

10. Walk In Jah Light

11. Selection Train

12. Babylon Falling

13. Holy Mount Zion

x

Track List: Humble African

1. Why Am I A Rastaman?

2. Revolution

3. Going Home

4. Rolling Stone

5. Humble African

6. Where Is The Love

7. Poverty

8. Too Much Ginals

9. Never Give Up

10. Weeping

11. It's Hard To Live

12. Fishes To Fry

13. Home Grown

14. Poor People Hungry

15. Nah Stay Inna Babylon

x

Track List: Trust Me

1. Trust Me

2. Riverside

3. Outcast

4. Writing On The Wall

5. No Night

6. Walk With Jah

7. Chant Down Babylon

8. Dirty Tricks

9. Black Starliner

10. Jah Pretty Face

11. Reasoning

12. Babylon A Weep

13. Jah Pretty Face (Niahbingi Mix)

x

Track List: Production Something

1. Too Long In Slavery

4. Weeping

5. Production Something

7. Dog A Go Nyam Dog

9. Children Of Israel

x

Track List: Wings Of A Dove

1. Marcus

2. Why Worry About Them

3. Marriage In Canaan

4. Wings Of A Dove

5. Freedom Time

6. Rub-A-Dub Style

7. Pass On

8. Campyard

9. Too Much Pressure

10. English Fireplace

x

Track List: Too Long In Slavery

1. Behold

2. Poor Jah People

3. Stop The Fussing And Fighting

4. Cumbolo

5. Work On Natty

6. Tell Me Where You Get It

7. Iron Sharpening Iron

8. The International Herb

9. Too Long In Slavery

10. The Shepherd

11. Holy Mount Zion

12. Natty Never Get Weary

13. Citizen As A Peaceful Dub

x

Track List: Nuff Crisis!

1. Peace, Love And Harmony

2. Revolution Time

3. Crack In New York

4. Don't Cry, Sufferer

5. Jah Rastafari

6. How Did I Stray

7. Frying Pan

8. Bang Belly Baby

9. Want Go See

10. Never Gonna Get Away

x

Track List: The Healing Of Nations

1. Peace And Love

2. Capture Rasta

3. Old Tattoo

4. This Way

5. Step Along

6. Five To One Strip Me

7. Praise Him

8. Mr. Music

9. Soon Come

10. Pure War

x

Track List: Culture At Work

1. Money Girl

2. Crisis

3. I'm Worried

4. One Grandson

5. Love Yu Neighbour

6. One A We

7. Thief Thief

8. Fight For Yu Right

9. Christian

10. Dance Hall Style

x

Track List: Three Sides To My Story

1. Be Honest

2. Babylon Can't Study

3. Life

4. Sufferer

5. Armageddon

6. Still Rest My Heart

7. This Time

8. Selector

9. No War

10. Mr. Music

x

Track List: International Herb

1. The International Herb

2. Jah Rastafari

3. It A Guh Dread

4. Rally Around Jahoviah's Throne

5. The Land We Belong

6. Ethiopians Waan Guh Home

7. Chiney Man

8. I Tried

9. The Shepherd

10. Too Lohg In Slavery

x

Track List: Cumbolo

1. They Never Love In This Time

2. Innocent Blood

3. Cumbolo

4. Poor Jah People

5. Natty Never Got Weary

6. Natty Dread Now Run

7. Down In Jamaca

8. This Train

9. Pay Day

10. Mind Who You Beg For Help

x

Track List: Two Sevens Clash

1. Ia*M Alone In The Wilderness

2. Pirate Days

3. Two Sevens Clash

4. Calling Rastafari

5. Ia*M Not Ashamed

6. Get Ready To Ride The Lion To Zion

7. Black Starliner Must Come

8. Jah Pretty Face

9. See Them A Come

10. Natty Dread Taking Over

11. See Dem A Come (12" Mix W/ Prince Weedy)

12. See Dem Dub

13. Natty Dread Taking Over (12" Mix W/ I Roy)

14. Ia*M Not Ashamed (12" Mix W/ I Roy)

15. Not Ashamed Dub

x

Track List: Harder Than The Rest

1. Behold

2. Holy Mountain Zion

3. Stop The Fussing And Fighting

4. Iron Sharpening Iron

5. Vacancy

6. Tell Me Where You Get It

7. Free Again

8. Work On Natty

9. Love Shine Bright

10. Play Skilfully

x

Track List: Good Things

1. Hand a Bowl

2. Good Things

3. Love Music

4. Psalm of Bob Marley

5. Cousin Rude Boy

6. Youthman Move

7. Righteous Loving

8. Chanting On

9. Rude Boy Dub

10. Chant a Dub

11. A Dub of Bob Marley

12. Good Good Dub

Comments

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ofosu56
This guys don't live for long at'll. rip Joe.
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WE only will get one of such unique artist in our life time
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Forever loving JAH CULTURE!!!
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Black uhuru is not even in culture's class culture before black uhuru so how can you be comparing culture to black uhuru??it should've been the other way around
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Your Africa son that help bless God for being me to Jamaica
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Outstanding! ! ! !
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Roy from Jamaica culture music put me to bed and wake me up one love Joseph r.i.p
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Gone but not forgotten we will always love you
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Many will be call few shall be chosen,thank s culture.
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nxtbolt247 thanks for your words of knowledge,th a t s why they kill him because of what come from his mouth,realit y .
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Is nature it speak for itself,thats why when you hear the words then you will really know what it stand for.
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Wings of a Dove LP Cover 1992 - Looks like Snoop on he Right.
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Good song,sad he is not among us anymore to bring good music :(rest in peace brother!!!
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Culture is talking the true,This is a nice music," !!!!!!
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mzikitele
One hand wash the other. ..true true
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Good song comming from Culture I love it,
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diasoleao
Amenamenamen a m e n ! ! ! !
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WONDERFUL VIBES!!! GIVE THANKX & PRAISES TO THE MOST HIGH, JAH RASTAFARI!!! BLESS UP...
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Win the last time you saw Obama and Michelle and kids
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The only cure for humanity,Reg g a e music,Irie.
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Appreciation , m i g h t y Jah,bless.
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Respect,from creation,
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great music love it
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LOVE this song ,,!!!
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Reggae live forever, Rasta live forever and Culture live forever. Reggae is King.
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Nuff love & Raspek!
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Nothing like culture for da soul jah bless want my slice so bad still searching feel so good
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Tell them Culture,!
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I love this culture track
Report as inappropriate
NICE
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Straight to da point
Report as inappropriate
Love it love it...
Report as inappropriate
Smooth straight up
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dredout07
Humble thy self
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dylurbani
rejoyce
Report as inappropriate
dylurbani
la la la la la la la la la la la la
Report as inappropriate
All day gettin down
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gaforces
du babba due babba dei
Report as inappropriate
Kiss ur left hand say yo crushes name say a school day close yo hand say yo name open yo hand and look at it post this on at least 15 more songs and yo crush will ask u out on the date or day u said
Report as inappropriate
Respect.. Ole times roots. Brother joe
Report as inappropriate
It is war against each other
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meneleik
PLEASE.....I t i n u e to listen and learn from these Blessed teachers I an I know there is more to learn from there direct line to JAH more blessin in da riddim in da lyric and always vibes
Report as inappropriate
Rasta far iiiiiiiiiii!
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The Righteous African Stand Tall Alone
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I love culture Joseph he is a legend. His legacy shall prevail forever and everr amen
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gonzalez_125 0
I like them it's sweet raggae music sounds feel like it's gives peaces with love
Report as inappropriate
I and I luv reggae music. Root music
Report as inappropriate
legis225
I and I love pure rasta. Praise Jah forever!
Report as inappropriate
I meet the great hill n easthampton n the 90's I was touched by a prophet SOULJAH yes I n I liveth for Iver!
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Big up joesph big up i ,jah blessing forever be upon you forever
Show more

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