Per the DJ Spooky curated Trojan compilation post, I was recently having a discussion with a friend about the importance of Lee “Scratch” Perry in the evolution and prominence of reggae and dub over the past forty years, both as a producer as well as a performer (not to mention just a righteous character).
It was during said conversation that I realized my introduction to Perry was actually through the Beastie Boys 1998 (and last great) album, Hello Nasty, via the track “Dr. Lee, PhD.” Now, nearly ten years later, the track seems par for the course in terms of Perry’s sound and style, but at the time sounded like it was straight up from outer space. What now feels like a song, then felt like a bunch of disassociated beats, instrumentation, and unintelligible gibberish.
In retrospect it was the sound of someone (that someone being me) without the tools to yet appreciate Perry’s genius. Big ups to the b-boys for turning on a new generation of listeners to works of King Scratch.
**On a related note, it was through the Beastie’s lyrical reference to “Looka Py Py” that I long ago first sought out the music of The Meters. I suppose I now owe those guys at least two beers should I see them at the bar.
MP3: Lee “Scratch” Perry (w/ Beastie Boys) :: Dr. Lee, PhD
Video: Lee “Scratch” Perry interviewed by Jools Holland (1985)
Amazon: Beastie Boys – Hello Nasty