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david "ram jam" rodigan was touring in europe to promote his 25th stage anniversary. johnny osbourne should join him but he couldn't get the visa in time.
rockstone deejay cutty ranks was the best substitution that i could imagine. even it might sound like blasphemy, i was somehow lucky that johnny couldn't come. cutty ranks is my deejay since when!
of course i started listen reggae music with marley, tosh and some dub poetry like lkj and mutabaruka, but it was "fishman lyrics", "cool down", "the cutter" and all of those "original rudeboy style"-tunes that made me move on the dancefloor.

to tell you the truth, i never expected to see the cutter in germany. normally the promoters look for those deejays or singers that keep the current hype, but on the other hand, it must be a veteran performing with rodigan. you can't set up a show with a sean paul, assassin or wayne marshall to represent 25 years of rodigan's work.
visiting jamaica last year i had something like a top 5 list of artists i would like to reason with. cutty ranks was the number one on it. you might think i'm crazy. you might think there artists who have been more important for reggae music than cutty ranks. it doesn't matter. first, i'm talking about my experience. second: i couldn't even get no link to him.

now - only a few months since i returned from yard - cutty ranks came to perform in germany. barney millah, berlin's number one selector and long time friend from david rodigan (some consider them as father & son), was the promoter. he was already waiting for my call and insured that i will get my time with cutty ranks. from day one he knows me as the biggest cutty ranks fan, so there was no doubt i would like to talk to him. barney millah also runs the callaloo-club, where the session take set and so before we get to the talking, we saw rodigan and cutty ranks performing.
right now we keep our attention on the deejay, rodigan will get his own part and own interview.

since it's a small place with a little stage you stand eye to eye with the cutter, while he turns on the heat. there is no need of a backstage for him. he walks through the club like he is the owner. no problem to pass him and say 'yo, cutty! yuh wicked nuh fuck, y'know!' and it seems like he was enjoying to be in touch with people. no stardom or funny ways. he is just how he is: straight!
anyway, he controlled the massive. gave them some hardcore veteran style that none of this new two-years-artists should try test and proved that it takes more than one hit to tear down the place.
well, no long talking. after the show we chat a little about some things and agreed that we won't push it for this night. everybody wanted to relax and cutty would stay another two nights in berlin.

the next day i met him in the hotel and i had to accept that there was more people interested in cutty's lyrical and historical background. he was hanging next to uli gueldner's car, presenting the pre-release cd of his new album on the stereo device, giving background information about the tunes and waiting confidently for the response of the little crowd inside the car.
and - trust me - he got it!CUTTY RANKS

after that we went for a walk to a site where the photographer took some pictures. we didn't hurry too much. just cool and easy. giving him the chance to look where he walks.
instead of keeping artists in the hotel until the show starts, cutty ranks and david rodigan had time to relax and even the day was full of dates, no nervous-like-hell tourmanager was messing up the vibes.
but still, on the way back to the hotel, i found out that there are two interviews and a dubplate-session planned before i would get my time to reason with the rudest of the rudeboy-deejays.
we decided to meet him at the studio and left to get some food and to relax in the park.

then we head for the studio:
this was not my first plate session, but i was witness that some soundboys (i won't call their names) got a set of wicked murder weapons. if they draw these specials in a clash - war done.
that is what i call a sample. no regular tune with the soundsystem's name, but a unique freestyle with the energy like the cutter had to chat for his life. when this music hits, you definetly feel pain.
a sure shot, as i would say.
cutty even gave some advice to the soundboys: "listen, mi yute, yuh cyaan do de same tune dan de other sound. ca if him draw it first, yuh dun! yuh haffi come with suppm different. trust mi, mi inna de business fe some time now an' mi know how tings run." that easily convinced them.
it ned only one take to get the tune done. professional! no flattering or lack of concentration, cutty ranks knows what to say and he knows how to hit. no need to repeat anything.
after the business aspect, cutty left fast. he said, he's got a next interview to do.

that was my time now.
we jumped in the car and reached the hotel after midnight.
before the interview could start, cutty did not send for the new gun, but for mosquito spray. hundreds of mosquitoes conquered his hotel room and he wanted to clear them off.
after the receptionist hand him the spray, cutty tested it in the hotel-lobby. hunting mosquitoes like any shotta, the original rude boy got ready, aimed and fired on the fassy insects. looked at them and counted the seconds till they drop off the wall. anything test: dead!
with a grim smile he headed for his room to give it to them plenty.
that overdose could even kill a man and so we decided to wait outside the room. through that we had the chance to talk about some things that are not really for public ears. just some reasoning about "god and the world".
we had to wait more than half an hour before we could enter the room again and even the whole of we was tired after this long day, cutty wanted to do the interview.
"as long if everyting dun today, it's alright!"
because me is a raas badman! simple! me grow up an' go roun' like a guns!
done ok, it's running! give me a mic check!
cutty ranks yeah man, everyting is everyting! see!? yeah man! listen
done alright, sounds ok! give me a little introduction, please.
cutty ranks yeah man, dis is cutty ranks... blazin'... in 2000... still live an' kickin'... bless up an' nuh mess up, y'know! straight! listen
done what is your given name?
cutty ranks my personal name is thomas. listen
done you born where?
cutty ranks i'm born in kingston, jamaica. listen
done which area?
cutty ranks rockfort! listen
done and when?
cutty ranks i'm born in 1965. listen
done born in rockfort. what kind of background was this?
cutty ranks eheh, right down ina de gulf! de ghetto, y'know! we call it de 'gulf'! listen
done and you live there with your parents?
cutty ranks yeah, i live dere wid de people who grow me up. bring me up from i was a kid, y'know! yeah, in an' out, y'know! grow up on de street most ah my times... see what i'm saying? yeah! listen
done you had a chance to go to school? i mean not everybody have the chance to go to school for a long time. someone have to pay for it...
cutty ranks yeah, well, de people who grow me up was poor in dose days, y'know, people nah have no money fi send anybody to school fi a long time, so, i jus' go to school in de early days and den in de later days when i hit de street i start to work an' go to evening school, so y'know, still go to school! listen
done i heard your profession was a butcher. did you really work as a butcher?
cutty ranks yep! everybody have to start from somewhere to get where dey wanna go. listen
done i don't say it's a bad job! cutty: it's a good job! done: yeah, and then you go on with butchering when you go in the music then...
cutty ranks well, i was a butcher when i was coming up in de business, because i have to put food on de table! yeah! so... listen
done where do you live right now? you live still in rockfort?
cutty ranks no! listen
done where do you live now?
cutty ranks live uptown! a decent neighbourhood! but rockfort is still a decent neighbourhood, too, even although is in de ghetto! straight! listen
done and you have still family and friends down there and you visit them...
cutty ranks yeah, mi have whol'eap ah friends inside dere... and a lot of dem is like family, yeah! yeah man, we grow up together, eat together, y'know, cook together an' all ah dem ting. come from way back! listen
done do you feel like in the rougher areas when there is a connection between people that these connections are stronger or will last longer?
cutty ranks yeah, well de connection is very strong, because one ting wid de people down ina de ghetto: if dem really love yuh, dey embrace yuh for ever! yuh see! den again it's not all ah dem is de same! yuh have some ah dem weh envy or waan destroy yuh so... yuh have to just choose yuh frien' everywhere yuh go! it's not just in de ghetto! uptown also! yuh see, in de residential neighbourhood yuh have people fight against each other, too, but de difference wid de people in de residential neighbourhood dey don't show it dat much! dey will jus' rather not deal wid you! everybody jus' don't talk to each other an' everybody go about deir business! but down ina di ghetto now, if a man don't like yuh... yuh have some of dem will try to hurt yuh. y'understan', so yuh have to jus' know what yuh doin' an' choose de type of frien' what yuh keep! is all about dat, yuh see! is not everybody yuh can trus'! is not jus' in jamaica, it's all over de worl'. yuh have a lot ah people can't be trusted! simple! listen
done alright, and somehow you come to the music? can you tell me something about how it work for you?
cutty ranks well, i start from deejaying rub-a-dub soundsystem way back in de days. i pay my dues in de business! i spend about nine, ten years ah my life lif'ing soun'box, deejaying for lickle an' nickle an' dime, lickle but nuttin! but at de end ah de day i used to love what i do! an' i jus' love when i'm where de music is! so, y'know, is like any kid in germany who used to love de music an' start from dem was a kid now dey're big. deejay in some night club or soun' selector, y'know, ina dem sense, y'understan'! an' den yuh have kid who start out... look at eminem: eminem start out from a ruff growing up. is de same ting, an' now him is one of de richest rapper ina de business, so... listen
i pay my dues in de business! i spend about nine, ten years ah my life lif'ing soun'box, deejayin' for lickle an' nickle an' dime, lickle but nuttin! but at de end ah di day i used to love what i do. an' i jus' love when i'm where de music is!
done that proves what i heard already. you are deejaying from scratch. you have been working as a soundman, lifting boxes and when the big artists gone you got your time on stage until you improved...
cutty ranks yeah, an' i improve an' improve an' improve! yuh know, i used to have to wait till every artis' done finish! deejay on de mic an' den dey give me some of de tuffes' riddim to ride on which is de studio one when everybody leaving de dance... until after a while when i'm getting dose studio one, i start to hol' dose people in de dance. it jus' gradually get better an' better, y'know, because couldn't get any worse, yuh only can get better! simple! listen
done i think i saw such a session - a pnp session - where you perform on a pnp dance and they put some old hits version. ricky tuffy was there and tenor saw...
cutty ranks yeah, yami bolo de whole ah dem artis' deh, supercat... listen
done it was nice to see that with those artist in the early days. you start deejaying with twelve years. but what happened aside from that? have you been working or...
cutty ranks i was hustlin' on de street! i was doing everyting, deejayin', work here and dere to get a buck, y'understan'! i never grow up wid no mother an' no father... what give me anyting. i know my mother when i was 24 year of age is de first time i meet my mother face to face... from i was a baby. an' i'm jus' revealing dese tings now... an' feel like talk about dem... my father, de last time i saw him is when i was twelve... i don't see him again since... he,he *bitter* listen
done you didn't even hear nothing?
cutty ranks no. listen
done that is a pitty!
cutty ranks hmm, no matter! me build my own family now! yuh see, i have my kids dem, dem ah my family! so i have my own army! *laughs* y'understan' an' i have some cousin from my mother side, y'know, family from my mother side what i find den. when i find my mom den i find dem. dey try to mek up back for all de mistakes, what my... what deir aunty make, but, y'know... yuh have some of dem weh me love dem, y'know. yeah! an' yuh have some of dem what i don't really mess around wid dem or... probably because i don't know dem dat much. who knows? listen
done well, sometimes it's just like this, but maybe there is a chance to know them better one time.
cutty ranks yeah! listen
done yesterday rodigan called you a rockstone deejay. what is this? i mean, i know what is a rockstone, but what does it classify? is it this what we just talked about, that you start really from down...
cutty ranks yeah, well, rockstone deejay mean i'm hardcore, man! i'm real hardcore, i'm de underground king! jus' like how 50 cent say he's de underground king as a rapper in de united state - even although rap music come from dancehall - i'm de underground king in de dancehall worl'! yuh see, i don't have anybody payin' radio disc-jockey to play my stuff... so i have to control de underground... so de street people an' de rudeboys an' all de street people dem support me. in jamaica! de fans dem always be dere for me... is jus' other elements in de business try to stop all ah dat... dey try everyting to stop me in de business, but... it don't face me... because i'm hardcore... an' nobody not gonna get rid of me out of dis business until when i decide i'm gonna retire. i don't ready to retire! i have a lot more to do in dis business! i'm here for a reason an' a purpose! so! listen
done i heard your plans! you have about 85 tunes in charge...
cutty ranks *laughs* dere's a lot ah tings in store to come, yuh see, lot of stuff on my label. my label is 'masterlock'! is two of us run de label: steve, me an' some of my family is involved by dealin' wid de technical side of de business. an' we also have a email-address. we have masterlock one, don't mean de letter '1', masterlock-o-n-e an' masterlock-t-w-o, stand for '2'. yuh see, wid aol.com. so once yuh get on de aol an' find masterlock, yuh can file it. all of de product what we put it out on our label. de label name is 'masterlock'. [full contact and information at the end of the interview] also i have another label incorporated wid masterlock, ca everyting produced by masterlock. de nex' label name 'self defence', y'know, but i don't start to use dat label as yet but i'm gonna use it real soon, yuh see. masterlock is a registered label in de uk also in de united state an' jamaica, yuh see, so dat is dat, y'understan' an'... i have tracks wid bounty killer 'bad man bible' on de same label. it's already out. distributed by early b in california an' also music ambassador in new york city an' fashion records, which is dub vendor, deal wid it in london. yuh see, so we jus' start it an' tek our time an' grow, y'understan'? listen
done so bounty killer is on this label?
cutty ranks yeah! listen
done but isn't it that you have some lyrics against bounty killer?
cutty ranks no. bounty killer ah mi frien'! lyrics don't have anyting to do wid it, yuh see! is me personal frien'! listen
done 'bounty killer say him a killer, him no kill i man yet'?
cutty ranks yeah, but so? dat is jus' lyrics. dat is not anyting personal against bounty killer. me talk about many other deejays, yuh see it, so i'm not jus' saying one artis', yuh see... bounty killer ah me frien', him cool, yuh see! also, i have de likes sizzla kalonjie on de same label wid a song name 'foundation youth', i have lukie d. i am on de same label wid 'more girls'. de song name 'more girls' plus i have another song name 'nah buss it up fe nutten'... 'buss it up fi nutten', right! an' i have combination... dose tracks are tracks what release', right! i have lot ah other new artist on it like ancient warrior, yuh know, super sass in london, englan'... i've quiet a few artis' on it. de record is dere, right! plus i have another new riddim to put out real soon, de riddim name is 'scream', right, i have a combination wid me an' wayne marshall on it an' also i have anthony b on de same riddim, i have roundhead from monster shock, lickle hero, lukie d an' nitty kutchie in combination. an' i'm gonna try to get sizzla kalonjie an' bounty killer on de same riddim, yuh see, so... dat riddim is coming out soon, right. an' i have another riddim track, which is a one drop, more roots rock riddim track. de riddim track name 'judgement day'. i have a combination wid me an' a new artist. she's a female, her name is emerald. i have another new, talented singer on it name ash-i. i have another female singer name shadel, she is more like an r'n'b artis', but we have her on dis reggae version an' is good, yuh see an' i have a straight version wid emerald by herself different from de combination. also i have a straight version wid me wid a different song name 'gimme de weed'. so, dere is a lot of ting to come on masterlock. listen
done yeah, it sound so. and it sounds good.
cutty ranks an' i have other riddim in de process to come out also, but it jus' don't release. dere's a lot of tings in store for dis label. it gonna come out on dis label. listen
done can you tell me something about the time, when these things will be released?
cutty ranks well, dis two riddim gonna release probably by another month to two months de mos'! dese supposed to start to press already in new york, yuh see, an' den when i go back to jamaica, after i finish dis tour, den i'm gonna take it from dere in jamaica. press some of it in jamaica an' try to get it distributed, y'know. so i'm doing what i'm doing. plus i have a lot of other stuff coming out on de ajang label. like 'guns ina town' is already out. or 'chill chill' on de taliban riddim, is a fat track, is already out. both track is fat! i have... some other stuff what i did for a guy name curtis lich, to come out. so dere is many tracks... listen
done that is the guy from london with this brazilian...
cutty ranks ...dancehall riddim, what i'm on, but dat don't release as yet... listen
done but how does that sound?
cutty ranks bad! if it never was a bad riddim i wouldn't go on it! i 'ear de riddim an' i am de one who pick dat riddim an' tell him dat i wanna go on it! is fat! off de hook! done: more artist on it, or just a unique thing? cutty: an' den he have another song name 'the godfather', to come out. yuh ever watch de godfather movie? all dose cars, all dose samples is in it! jus' like de movie is ina dancehall. bad! done: that is the right riddim for you! 'the godfather', alright! cutty: yeah! bad! yuh see, so me have a song on it name 'save travel'! done: yeah, i hear the lyrics already! cutty: yuh know what 'save travel' mean? is like, when you ready to leave here after de interview me ah tell yuh 'save travel' - save travel on de gravel! because, when yuh walk on the road what mek de asphalt on de road? gravel! gravel is stones. anytime you stop save travel on top of de gravel, yuh know where yuh gone? underneath de gravel. when yuh gone underneath de gravel dat mean yuh dead! so i'm jus' givin' my frien's an' my fans good advice always save travel pon de gravel. obody wanna go underneath de gravel. because nobody wanna die. i don't wanna go underneath de gravel either. so, it's reality! yuh see, so i create all dese unique 'eartforming lyrics, styles, i always have dat! i never out of it! yuh see, an' i have... i voice 9 tracks for fashion records, which is dub vendor. none of dem is released as yet either. i have 18 tracks on a new album what i have name 'blade' what i'm tryin' to shop now, y'understan'! listen
done yeah, we hear it in the car. that was a wicked one!
cutty ranks yeah, an' i play it today let yuh hear it an' dis album is of de hook! also, don't it? listen
done i will get it! definetly!
cutty ranks i have a lot of stuff in store to come. is jus' a matter of time. is all about time. listen
done until now i got about 25 album and 12" from you and i don't know how many singles. and since fashion put out 12" mostly i think the number ago double soon, when the things come out.
cutty ranks dere is a lot of tings to come. also, i jus' have a track release' from de same guy name curtis lynch. i don't remember his label. off my head right now, but yuh'll find out soon enuff. he jus' released a combination track wid me an' a girl. r'n'b singer. she's good an' de track is fat! listen
done i even saw something on penthouse again. with beres hammond. it came out already.
cutty ranks yeah, dere is a lot of tings dere, yuh see so, i'm jus' doing what i'm doing an' try to blow back in dis business. blow up to de level. to de nex' level! i already blow up to one level, i jus' need to get to de nex' level now. dat's what i'm working on. dere are many more tracks for other hip hop label. i do a tracks wid a group name 'the next men'. done: from new york? cutty: in london. is european artis', hip hop artis', yuh see! it's about 2 track probably an' i re-do 'soundboy retreat' an' i tink probably dey gonna go on it, ca i tink dey like de track, yuh know, but i don't wanna say yes an' i don't wanna say no. i jus' gonna leave it like dat. anyting is possible, y'understan'. so dere's a lot of stuff dere to release, yuh see, i voice 2 track for another label name topaz. yuh know dat label? topaz label is from sweden. listen
done ah, that bring out one selection with beenie and...
cutty ranks yeah is a guy name... yeah an' vegas... is a guy name rigo. weh he have dis 2 riddim tracks what i am on. off de hook! done: even the first one already what i have is bad! cutty: well, de one what is coming one of de riddim track is exclusive for me, so i don't tink dat he gonna put anybody else on dat, beca' dat build specially for me. i'm de one who organize dat riddim track, y'see what i'm sayin'. an' den he have dis other riddim track what i'm on wid a song name 'hail de massive'. bad! it name 'hail de massive', y'know. *sings* hail up all de massive, hail up all de crew, hail up all ah dem ca we know seh dem true! we ago hail up all de massive, hail up all de crew, hail up all ah dem beca respect is due! y'know! listen
done and it's more hip hop like, the beat?
cutty ranks no, is a dancehall but it bad! listen
done but slower?
cutty ranks wicked beat, yuh see! i know dat beat gonna really move, ca de riddim is tuff! vegas is on it already, yuh know, i don't know who else he gonna put on it, but de riddim is fat. listen
done well, enough things to do right now!
cutty ranks yeah! an' i wanna tell yuh too, even in dat track, germany name call ina dat track! *sings* dem sen' fe me ah new york, me a go deh! yow! sen' fe me ah london, me a go deh! yow! could ah west-germany man ah go deh! yow! ah could ah in ah france me a go deh! yow! an' go hail up all de massive hail up all de crew... so, dis song is really base up of ah me ah hail up all ah me fans dem all over de worl', y'know. listen
done from you travel around now and finally reach to germany.
cutty ranks yeah, so dat song deh goes out for all ah me fans, yuh see! so if my fans dem sen' fe me anywhere ina de worl' i gonna go! yeah! listen
done yeah man, you have a lot of fans. even some who don't show up in the dancehall but they know you from earlier times. like his friend *pointing on sasa who is handling the camera* he doesn't go in the dancehall too much, but he still said: "ah, cutty ranks come!" he knows you from the earlier times, when i came there with records, you know.
cutty ranks an' i'm still jus' as good enuff from dose days! still as good enuff now! because yuh see it for yourself! listen
done i see it! yes! even i didn't see you live in the beginning, but when i see you performing yesterday and so on. and it was badder than the records than it's all good! may i still ask something, like coming back in history. like, coming up, what was the inspiration where you say, i want to sound like this or like that or...
cutty ranks i never wanna soun' like anybody, but when i was jus' comin' up in de business, i used to soun' more like... like de style what i used to deejay is more like josey whale! an' daddy u-roy! dose 2 guys, y'know, dose 2 artis', yeah! done: that was really the early time! cutty: yeah, dose are de artis' what i, y'know, more soun' like, until i jus' eventually create a style of my own an' from dere i continue to create style of my own! i never try to soun' like anybody, copy anybody, cause i don't like to copy people! listen
done but it wasn't really like people could... they can't copy you! i hear no one sound like cutty ranks!
cutty ranks some people try. captain barkey try. even although he's my frien', ah me bredrin, yuh know! but me know seh, a lot of people approach me an' say, dey hear captain barkey an' tought it was me! yuh see! but i know barkey no soun' like me all dat much! i tink, de person who soun' close to me is dirtsman. an' him pass away. so, yuh don't fin' another man who soun' like me! listen
done but you have nothing to do with it, that him pass away!
cutty ranks no sah! dirtsman was me frien'! i warn him an' tell him to get outta dat neighbourhood *laughs* an' him never get out! yuh see, when yuh ina a neighbourhood like dat an buildin' big house... yuh go expec' people ago envy on yuh an' dey probably start a kin' of activity, yuh know, weh de man deh coulda mix up ina de time. i guess him go a little bit too far out on de limb an' get mix up a little bit too much! so yuh never know. anyting can happen. i don't get mix up an' go out on de limb too much. i always try to be neutral. in jamaica i don't play politics! i'm neither jlp or pnp... or ndm or wpj, when wpj used to be around. i don't deal wid politics. politricks ???, yuh see! i'm de type of guy like dis: try fe keep neutral, stay to myself, me jus' love all ah my people, whether dema labourite, pnp whosoever, me love dem! me love all ah me gangster bredrin dem an' all ah me tuggy-tuggy frien' dem, y'know! all de tuggies! y'understan' me! so me roll! me no change no time! ca it no mek a difference who mess wid me whether dema labourite, pnp or whosoever, me ago defen' it! to de full exten'! jus' de same! me no tek sides. me jus' waan live an' live in peace an' jus' know seh me an' a man nah fe have nutten! but yuh have some man weh aggressor an' if yuh be a aggressor an try fe push me, me nuh eel??? to no form of intimidation. dat's me! an' me nuh work off a name! me nuh business wha' a man waan name, if ah so me ago dead, me jus' ago die like dat! die fightin'! listen
done but you seem hard to die!
cutty ranks hard to die? uh, yuh puttin' words ina my mouth now! listen
done no, i just watch the record cover from 'living condition' ['from mi heart' - shanachie] and you show your body and... where you get all these cuts from?
cutty ranks well... dat is kind of personal! we nah go too get ina dat! listen
done ok, i just heard it happened on one day. it didn't come over time. i thought first you really live in such a bad area that everyday you get one of those.
cutty ranks CUTTY RANKS - FROM MI HEARTwell, i grow up ruff! i go through a lot ah tings to reach where i am. dere's a lot ah tings what is unsaid. dere is someting what is not to be talk about. i mean, i been through some hardship to reach where i am an' personally, when i look back on dose days, i glad i go through dese hardship because it mek me more wiser an' more smarter an' it help to maul me an' mek me to what i am. now! today! an' all i can say to mos' ah de younger generation out dere who want to get up to de nex' level. yuh jus' haffi jus'... dem jus' haffi love dem one another an' respec' dem one another an' jus' do what yuh doin' an' don't watch nuh face or watch people or watch what people wanna say, yuh jus' have to work an' work your way up! yuh will reach. it's all about determination. faith! yuh haffi have a lot ah faith an' determination, yuh see, den yuh will reach! beca' if yuh don't have faith an' de resilience eventually y'ago give up to easily. never yuh gettin' anyting an' give up to easily. dat mean yuh weak. i'm not a weak person. i'm strong an' powerful, i never give up! jus' like how i said, i will die tryin'! dat's me! an' i like to work honestly for what i need. i don't need to steal from anybody. i don't need to cheat or fight out anybody outta anyting in order to get where i want to be. i always can fin' ways to get aroun' an' deal wid tings, yuh see. i always, because mos' ah... i wouldn't even say jus' luck but i would say some of it is luck! god jus' love me! y'understan'?! god know seh i an' i clean! an' through i an' i clean dem cyaan go 'roun' me. i will still live an' reveal. listen
done so you're born on sunday?
cutty ranks born on sunday? bwoy, me nuh know which day me born, y'know. me nuh know if ah sunday or ah monday. listen
done i think it was sunday.
cutty ranks me know seh me born... dat is what yuh tink! listen
done because you say you're lucky, god loves you...
cutty ranks yeah, god love me! listen
done so we say in germany, you must be born on sunday!
cutty ranks me know seh dere is a god! yuh believe ina god? listen
done yes, uhh, me say...
cutty ranks do you believe ina god? listen
done i say the nature rules over we!
cutty ranks i'm not talking about nature, man. do yuh believe in god? listen
done in dat way...
cutty ranks no, in no special way. me aks yuh if yuh believe ina god. it's either yes or no! listen
done if you ask like this, i have to say yes but if i could get more detailed...
cutty ranks well, dere is no details, god is god! dere is no way to detail it. listen
done isn't it true that there is so many names for it?
cutty ranks yeah, but me nuh watch de other whol 'eap ah name. god is god! me know seh dere is a greater power dere, an' dat greater power to me is god! dere is so. don't it? we have some existance. we must come from somewhere. so, we must have a creator fe we, wherever we spring from... dat person who response for all ah dat is god! to me! listen
done but i only say... enough time i see the devil, too. like in other people.
cutty ranks yeah, but seein' de devil ina other people no mean seh yuh no believe ina god. dat's why i don't deal wid religion. ca' religion only jus' confuse it an' mix it up. me love everybody. people is people. to me! listen
done yeah, so... that's right!
cutty ranks exac'ly, dat's how i look at tings, man... me deal wid people as people. i tink, every person have a right to be here on dis earth, yep! i tink de trees is not jus' for one man! de trees is for everybody! de food is fe everybody! but yuh have some people wanna control everyting fe demselves. dat is de reason why yuh fin'... jus' because of greed, it jus' cause a conflic' ina de worl'. some people trick yuh under de name of religion. *laughs* i know a lot but i'm not gonna say much, i gonna jus' leave it at dat. right dere. we can go on a different subjec'. listen
done yeah, man! but still you have the religion too much in your lyrics. you don't spread like others, like when you have capleton and so, who come mostly with religious lyrics, on the other hand with some slackness, too. i never heard you talk nothing slack yet.
cutty ranks yeah, me talk lyrics weh slack like 'pon me grizzle' in a more camouflage way. done: exactly! cutty: yeah, but at de end ah de day, i jus' speak 'bout seh other deejays weh talk some spiritual lyrics or... christian lyrics or whatever, religious lyrics. yuh see me... me nah religious, ca me nah deal wid religion. dat ah one!
ca' religion cause a division. two!
a lot of de deejay dem who ah talk about righteousness mix up ina filthiness so dem ah contradict demselve. dat ah three!
four: a lot ah dem say one ting an' go back an' do de other, right? a lot of dem lick out on a lot ah tings an' dem same one ah deal wid de same ting weh dem ah lick out 'gains'. some ah dem lick out 'gains' car, some ah dem seh 'bun battyman!' or 'bun chi chi man!' an' yet still dema dress up ina chi chi man cloth. or wear de same cloth weh de same chi chi man ah mek, so dema contradict demselve. dem get caught up, i tink dem confusin' demselve, man! personally, me nah no time fe watch people an' dem life-style or what dem wanna do. whether dem waan be chi chi man or battyman is fe dem business. as long as i am not a fringin' battyman i have no problem wid it! dem can do wha' dema do! de more man dem talk to, is de more girls for me! yep! so, it nuh really matter to me. it nah affec' me, because no matter how yuh get up everyday an' talk about people an' dem life-style or say 'a man ah battyman' or say 'bun battyman' or do dis. it's still not changin' anyting. yuh still gonna have battyman an' faggot all over de place, right? an' yuh still gonna have other people who deal wid woman. so why yuh mek it your business? it nuh matter! i'm not gonna mek it my business. yuh see, an'... alright, if i get up an' say: yuh're a punk!' an' i call yuh by name an' call your name an' say 'yuh're a punk!' an' everyday i continue do it, i'm jus' gonna mek yuh more important. it's like me gi' yuh free promotion. me nuh ina dat! i don't like to goin' aroun' promoting people. deh me promote myself an' me music an' my tings dem. yuh see, a man free fe do... is a free worl', b! a man free fe do wha' yuh waan do, y'know! as long as yuh don't mess wid me or mess wid none ah my kids dem, me nah have a problem wid yuh! beca' nuh matter what yuh say, yuh goin' see gays. yuh goin' to see dem. yuh caan... dere is nuttin' yuh can do about dat shit. yuh caan change dat! is de way ah de worl', b... one man caan change de worl' jus' like dat. only god himself can change dis. yuh 'member dat, yuh see! so, why kill up yuhself goin' aroun' messin' wid people. dat mek no sense, yuh see.
done do you think those people just exaggerate in both way! whether in the spiritual or in the battyman way just to get the hype?
cutty ranks yeah! exac'ly! jus' like how yuh say it! jus' fe get a hype! dem haffi say 'bun battyman' or talk 'bout gay fi get a hype. but me nah fe do dat fe get a hype! dat is not natural talent. yuh tryin' to get a hype off ah somebody else. ah fool dem deh, man! me nuh rate some bwoy bou'ya, y'know! ina de business, y'know! i don't have to call names, but dere is a lot ah dem weh me nuh rate, ca dem ah punk! dem no know wha' gwaan! yuh see! y'understan' weh me ah say? done: definetly! yes, i know... cutty: an' personally me nah no time fi talk 'bout no gay. everyday 'bout gay, battyman, chi chi man. i don't have no time fe talk about dat shit! dere is so many other tings dere to talk about weh fe uplif' yuh people. what is even more important more dan talkin' about gays an' lesbian an' battyman. listen
done but earlier times you've been spending a lot of time in talking about guns.
cutty ranks yeah! listen
done why that come?
cutty ranks because me is a raas bad man! simple, me grow up go roun' like a guns, yeah! i never make any! yuh know where de biggest set ah guns come from? high society! how yuh don't know dat? in every organisation dere is always one man at de top, yuh remember dat! yuh supposed to know dat! listen
done yeah, i know. i didn't get that you put it that way...
cutty ranks *laughs* dere is many way to put it! but in whichever way yuh put it, it still end up back to one man! don' it? in microsoft yuh have many employee dere, don' it? weh mek computers. yuh have many employee. yet still microsoft probably is not de one who mek de chip. somebody else mek de chip. microsoft build de computers... in microsoft yuh have many different workers, yuh have supervisors, yuh have managers, yuh have all kind of differen' senior executive, but de senior, de real senior is de man at de top. which is bill gates. him is de big man. so it go right back to de top. who knows? probably yuh have somebody else bigger dan bill gates weh yuh no hear 'bout. listen
done eh eh, who just retire longtime ago and still pull the strings.
cutty ranks aah, an' jus' dere behin' de scene pulling de strings! done: and there we could come back to the... cutty: is jus' like how yuh have de president ah de united state. listen
done *laughs surprised* hah, that was what i just wanted to say: then we could come back to the government of the usa.
cutty ranks aah, so yuh always have one man at de top. weh give all de orders. an' den dat one man at de top probably have another man behin' de scene pushin' his button, too. *laughs* a man weh yuh no know 'bout. de world run by secret society, we all ah... i an' i know all ah dese tings. listen
done so what we gonna do?
cutty ranks we? i'm jus' tryin' to live an' survive! listen
done true! and keep our own area tidy!
cutty ranks yeah, an' jus' keep me place tidy! make sure me try fi do de right ting fe survive. yuh see, i jus' live my life an' try mek sure me get some good education fe me kids dem, yuh see. tek care ah me woman, yuh see. yeah, simple! dat's all about livity, man. life. yuh jus' haffi live your life. try live it de cleanes' way yuh can, de bes' way yuh can, as quiet as yuh can. stay out ah fringin' trouble. listen
done and hope that others follow us.
cutty ranks yeah, we jus' haffi hope fe de bes'. it's simple! because, what yuh gonna do? me an' yuh alone cannot change tings. me see many great man come an' try to change tings an' disappear. dem kill out a lot ah we prophet dem. yuh see't! i'm jus' doin' my work an' do what i have to do an' i will try to help to influence some people lyrically to start to know demselves or be more smarter an' wiser, y'understan' so... it all come down to dat. yuh see, dat's why i tell yuh earlier i'm here for a reason! yuh see, look, i deejay about guns... because of... what i learn on de street. i see what guns do to people. jus' like drugs. somebody is benefittin' from it. one ah de wors' ting right now is cigarette an' me smoke dat. know seh it ah kill me ca' me addicted to it, y'understan'! is a dangerous ting. de man dem who create cigarette, through dem have whol'eap ah money, dey fight down other people who know seh it dangerous to people health, but yet still dem sell it to us. to kill us out, slowly. listen
done and to keep us coming back, paying everytime...
cutty ranks yeah, an' it's de same ting wid drugs. cigarette no much different from fringin' crack an' cocaine. is only ting dem mek it legal. longtime ago dey used to ban alcohol like rum, whisky an' all ah dem ting, now it's legal. listen
done an' marihuana was legal earlier times and then they prohibit it.
cutty ranks yeah, an' all ah dese tings play a significant role. yuh see, why dey don't legalize drugs? because it gonna get cheap. some of dem ah dem same one who benefit from dat shit. it ah buil' a lot ah dese big so call' industrial country, too. dat's what buil' dem, but dem wanna control everyting for demselve. so it's like what our rules say it in jamaica. rules say dat: tief never like fi see tief wid long bag! a tief never like to see another tief stealing someting. *laughs* y'understan', dey always hate dat! an' he's a tief, y'understan'! so yuh have to look on it from dat angle an' is reality! guns... de scientis' who come up wid dat idea... one man come up wid dat idea, put it to another man han', de nex' man say "yeah, i tink dis can work. we can make millions, billions out ah dis shit!" den dey find a fringin' investor to inves' in de programm an' den work a nex' permant??? till dey find out how it work. den dey start to buil' de damn ting till dey start to modernise it. who finance dose scientist? man wid lot ah money. mos' of dese guys wid a lot ah money dey are de one who inna high society. an' dey wear de jacket an' de tie an' get praise everyday seh dey're brilliant... brilliant guy... listen
done and if they are not interested in that invention, they don't invest in it and it doesn't come up like a car that use less fuel.
cutty ranks yeah, an' dem name mr dis an' mr dat. he get award of de year for dis, he donate half ah billion dollar to dere to charity to some secret society an' is all about dat! an' den de same ting what dey buil' is killin' off de masses ina de worl'. me an' yuh caan mek nuclear bomb. me an' yuh neva mek han'grenade. we neva mek explosive' but yet still it reach de street. an' de guys who sellin' it an' benefit from it yuh neva hear nobody talk about dem dat much. de guy who mek dese guns nobody talk about dem. de same soldier weh dem train an' programm dem fi kill people an' de bible seh "though shall not kill"! but yet still soldiers an' police an' government, politician personell is goin' to church. *getting vex now* an' dey're de same man who goin' to church givin' orders to kill millions ah people so how de fuck de church to be... how de church gonna say dem righteous? *kiss teeth* fool who? dem caan fool we! not because i don't say a lot an' i know a lot! i'm positive 'bout what i'm sayin'! but... *calming down* sorry for de "indecent language" as weh de society call it, y'understan' but is de truth. who knows. knowledge is power! it good when yuh have a lot ah knowledge an' dere is a lot ah ting not to been said. so, yuh see, a lot ah tings what i really know i don't waan to even talk about it or say it. i'm gonna jus' leave it like it is. because nuh matter if i say it or all i can do, me an' yuh right now only can speculate. we cannot change anyting. dese people are powerful people an' if yuh push your luck too much dem destroy yuh. listen
done and from the words that we talk already in that direction, i think the three of we know already... cutty: yeah! done: so, and things don't have to talk...
cutty ranks tek malcom x for instance, tek marcus garvey for instance, garvey, check martin luther king, check bob marley, check a lot of different people. yuh have all even white man right now weh was prophet, too. also weh through him no play ball fi dem way dey destroy him, too. jus' tek kennedy for instance. *laughs* listen
done him wanted to stop the war.
cutty ranks ahh, dere is a lot ah tings... listen
done that's why i am not afraid that someone shoot bush.
cutty ranks yeah, well, me... yuh can say it, i don't business wid bush an' his business. done: that's right! cutty: i don't want talk about george bush an' him business. not my business... weh me an' yuh can do about bush? we caan do anyting. we jus' haffi speculate. right now inna de united states, i have lots of frien' dere, i eat food dere. at de end ah de day, even if i - i'm not gonna say "i don't" - but even if i don't like george w. bush, right, me nuh like saddam either. yuh know one a de reason why i don't into saddam? hm? i caan understan' how one man have so much billions of dollar an' so much oil fiel' an' is a rich country an' so much poor people deh inna de country. yuh see, even although i never... i don't justify de war, but i still caan see it, y'know. *grim laugh* listen
done both sides no right.
cutty ranks so none a dem no right! yuh see, jus' like how bush is a tyrant saddam is a tyrant, too. *laughs* so it's two tyrant an' it tek a tyrant fi get out another tyrant come down to dat! yuh see, de only ting i worry bout is de people who get hurt inna de process, who don't have anyting to do wid it. y'know, dat is de only ting i worry bout, but... me an' yuh caan do anyting more dan speculate. so me rather leave it alone. is not my business, leave it. yuh see, me rather look an' observe an' learn more, y'know. de more yuh look an' observe is de more yuh learn, is de more yuh understan' what's going on. so sometime it nice to leave tings an' watch an' see weh it really ago turn out to be. if it is like one side say or if is like another side say. yuh jus' haffi look an' learn. yuh see, me nah have time fi bush or saddam. me have time fi go out dere an' look food fi myself an' try fi help my kids an' at de end ah de day america never mus' let me into dem country fi survive. so we haffi give tanks fi all ah dat. yeah! europe never mus' let me into dem country either. haffi give tanks fi all ah dat. an' me meet a lot ah european people weh me like naturally. white an' black. yuh see, ca' me nuh play de race game. me nuh like people who ah racis', whether dem black or dem white, dat nuh mek a difference to me. i don't tink racism should exis'. it should cut outta existance, man. beca' me meet some people... even john dub vendor in london, is a very good frien' ah mine an' david rodigan, a close bredrin like dis. an' me have nuff... muriel liars from... he's a israeli from israel he is de a'n'r at vp records. dem people deh, y'know, good frien' ah mine. dem white. me an' dem ah always like dis. not to mention many many more. dem nuff. i caan finish count dem, it would tek de whole fringin' night. y'understan', so we caan deal wid race. because yuh have some ah my own fellow black man, like myself, weh yuh jus' no like either. ca dema fringin' criminal. yuh see, jus' like yuh have white people ah criminal, too. 'gainst other white, 'gainst black. dere is no boundary. an' yuh have some black man is like dat. so, is dem same damn ting. a crime is a crime. whether is a white man do it or is a black man, is still a fringin' crime. yeah, so it nuh matter. me jus' like people as people, jus like how i tell yuh. is all about how yuh treat me an' how me treat yuh. so all come down to dat, y'understan', so... right now, me jus' ah live my life ya, man. me nah no time for some ah dese people who get mix up inna all type ah bull, man, y'know. de music is what i'm interested in. i have many fans who all over de worl', me have american fans, whol'eap ah dem, me have fans inna canada, europe, all over de worl', man. yeah, so i have fans in israel also, because i went to israel for two show once. listen
done i was in israel too.
cutty ranks i like de place. tel aviv sites, but i like jerusalem more dan mos' place. i tink is de mos' unique city inna de worl'. listen
done with all these white stones...
cutty ranks yeah... different! an' all dese highway building between de mountains an' de house on top ah de mount... dat is good. is only jamaica yuh see house on top ah so much mountain... listen
done but also some place in italy. at the coast...
cutty ranks yeah, but i tink jerusalem is unique. different from italy. unique. no wonder why so much people are fightin' over dat place... *laughs* listen
done exactly that me say, too. especially... you've been to the golan heights?
cutty ranks yeah, i go all about an' sightseeing. even de jordan desert, i bath inna de dead sea, which i don't call dat de dead sea. i tink dat is de life sea. listen
done because it lift you up?
cutty ranks *laughs* yeah, yuh see weh i mean. so... yeah man, i enjoy it, yuh see. an' i like germany. i like de place. listen
done what have you heard about germany before you came here? like as a youth.
cutty ranks well probably, well, germany... i heard a lot ah tings 'bout germany, yuh know, way back. seh de people deh ah germany dey're racis'. white people no like black people an' dem racis' bad. dat is what i hear, yuh see. so far from i came here i don't see any ah dat. if it is here i don't see it. listen
done i mean it is here still...
cutty ranks it is here but i don't see it. de people dem probably discrete wid it an' dey don't show it dat much. listen
done it depends also on where you go.
cutty ranks ah yeah, so all ah dat. so probably i don't go in de areas where it's more frequent. simple. listen
done like i heard about barrington levy, they say something to him in a filling station down in chemnitz. nothing too bad like they want start something with him, but they say something. so i know it's still there and that's why we can't say it's not there.
cutty ranks probably it's dere but de difference is i heard about it, but i don't see it. beca' probably i don't go where it is. i don't need to go where it is either. listen
done and maybe they don't dare to say something to you.
cutty ranks ahh, if dey say someting to me den me coulda answer someting dem back. yeah, me coulda answer dem back. me different, y'know. me nuh fraid ah people nowhere me go, man. me is me. so if yuh gonna kill me yuh gonna have to kill me here an' dere. dere an' den. cause i'm not gonna take your shit. i'm not into dat, y'know. because i'm not a racis' person. lot ah white people come to jamaica, i never look at one ah dem an' disrespect dem in no form or way. or say, "what yuh doin' in my country, yuh whitey?", i never say dat to nobody. never. because i'm not dat type ah person what is racis'. yuh see, i deal wid people as people. listen
done but in the children days. i mean, children them always have some talk and so...
cutty ranks if me did racis' me wouldn't even waan date all a white girl. an' me have lot ah white girl me see weh me like. so... listen
done yeah, that's just about the whole variety.
cutty ranks yeah, because look, lot ah white girl i see what i like. white girl weh look really beautiful, shape good, have de physics what i like to see. nice shape, yeah, so. dere is no other way about it. yuh see! so dat is it. listen
done just a different color.
cutty ranks yeah, it no matter. from she clean an' smell good an' smell nice an' look sexy. dat's me. *laughs* yeah man. listen
done *10 minutes left on the tape* well somehow, we come off the script but i like still what you say. cutty: but yuh can ask what yuh want. done: yeah, i mean, we are not in the politics. what do you say when a man like patrick roberts goes in the politics?
cutty ranks i don't tink it's good. it is bad. bad for de business. it bad fe de business, man. why patrick roberts now waan go inna politics? listen
done maybe to make things better?
cutty ranks mek tings better? *laughs* patrick roberts caan mek tings better if him go inna politics. i tink dey shouldn't mix politics wid music. yuh inna music industry now yuh gone inna politics. well, fi dem perogative it nuh really matter, ah fi dem perogative. beenie man ah me frien'. me an' him cool. me an' mos' ah de deejay dem cool. yuh know, mos' ah dem. so, look, i don't tink is a wise idea goin' into politics. yuh see, but, i guess him choose dat road. hope him know what him doin'. listen
done i heard about they put a reward on his death.
cutty ranks well, i heard about it, too. i don't know, so i'm jus' hearin' like yuh. *laughs* hm... listen
done but when in these early days, on this pnp-session. why did you go there then? or was it different in that time?
cutty ranks in dose days it was different. me deejay... me nuh jus' go ah pnp-session. me deejay ah labourite session, too. me member nuff ah claudie massop memorial weh me deejay. whe i deejay in tivoli garden. literally go down dere. yuh see. yeah. listen
done so you did not just take set on one side.
cutty ranks no, dat's why me tell yuh, me no play politics. an even until now, i still deejay in a lot ah labourite area different. i deejay inna pnp area an' me come from a pnp neighbourhood. me no waan no politician come devide me, me an' my people dem, man. me no inna dem ting deh. i'm jus' not gonna condole it. i'm not into dose kind ah activity, yuh see! listen
done and out of the politics they have still these area dons.
cutty ranks hold on, me work... alright, area don: me work fe labourite and me work fe pnp. labourite pay me when me work an' de pnp pay me jus' de same. me ah work fe me money. so i'm not takin' any sides. me a musician. a musician caan be bad bwoy neither. all yuh hear some musician talkin' about dema bad bwoy. yuh caan mek too much enemies an' be a musician, because eventually yuh haffi deh pon stage a n' deejay. when yuh on stage an' sing yuh're like birds. like sittin' ducks. man can stay inna de audience an' shot yuh. so, yuh can never be a bad man when yuh ah artis'. is either yuh choose one. is either yuh choose badness or yuh choose music. i choose music! listen
done but you had the same chance to choose badness, too.
cutty ranks yeah, but i jus' choose music. yuh see, if somebody mess aroun' wid me i'm not gonna say i cannot get tings done. but i'm not lookin' for any trouble. done: so me expect you! cutty: ah, i'm not looking for any trouble, big man. listen
done in 'retreat' you have a part where you sing "me lead de hottis' gang. all petty robber fe run go a woodland."
cutty ranks yeah, well, ah me lead de hottis' gang. all petty robber fe run way gwaan ah woodlan'. beca' yuh have some bwoy weh jus' go roun' an' steal all kind ah petty tings. steal dem kids dem bicycle, mess aroun', dem bwoy deh fe gwey. nuh matter. an' if me fe lead de hottis' gang fe run dem outta town is not a problem. listen
done so that is a 'if'? cutty: eh, eh! done: ok... so, you want slowly get it done?
cutty ranks do what yuh doin'... listen
done no, i mean... i hope you soon come back again. i don't want you to get problem with your voice still and so. maybe we just make it short. we got something and it was very nice. and, maybe if i come to jamaica, i can try link you up in some way and we do the second part. you just tell me where you live and so...
cutty ranks yeah, me go gi'yuh some link an' when yuh come to jamaica yuh can link me direct, y'understan' what i'm sayin'. what is your programm name? listen
done sound everest!
cutty ranks sound everes'? well, yuh know, sound everes' is de bes'. yeah, no bwoy caan tes'. straight! ah jus' peace. bless up an' nuh mess up, yuh see me! yeah! cutty ranks, give dem in six million ways. sound everes'! blessed! bum! listen
done alright, thank you very much. i appreciate that even it's so late you stand to your word and gave me the full story. nuff respect. and - to say it with your words - save travel on the gravel! and come back soon!
so i left the latest interview i ever did. this deejay appeared exactly as i expected. straight and serious with a good potion of experience so that nothing could never worry him. he who grew in the gulf, the ghetto of rockfort has the confidence of a man who made his way out of it, whithout putting his head where his hand can't reach. this man can walk everywhere. and so he does. just straight!
bless up and no mess up, cutter! long life an' more money!
additional information:
website: http://www.myspace.com/therealcuttyranks
interview by done for sound-everest.com
photos by ulli gueldner
big up: sasa [video / support], barney millah [calaloo-club], david rodigan