Sean Paul and Beres Hammond's Rebel Time is a Winner
Don't underestimate Beres Hammond and Sean; they always manage to surprise us. Despite some lacklustre releases in recent years, these two reggae giants have come together to create a new song that will appeal to both older and younger generations. It will also be of interest to researchers studying Jamaican music culture, particularly the golden era of reggae in the 1970s and 1980s.
"Rebel Time" harks back to the 1970s and early 1980s when reggae was at its peak and sound systems reigned supreme all over Jamaica and the world. What is powerful about the song is that it is not preachy and wreaking of the "good old days" narrative, which has become so tiresome.
In fact, the era's magic is told through a love story within the cultural realities of the 1970s and 80s.
The music video is powerful in representing the era weaving a coherent story of what it was like. Rent a tile (when men and women danced together), rewind culture, lick shotting, roller skates (definitely 1970s), long bottle Red Stripe beer, Ganja splifs, mesh merinos and berets.
It is important to address two concerns regarding the video. Firstly, there is some confusion about the period depicted as uptown ska dancing was not popular in 1989, which is the year mentioned in the time stamp at the beginning of the video.
Secondly, the images and activities in the video more accurately represent the culture of the 1970s and early 80s, which could lead to misrepresentation for younger viewers.
Those issues aside, the aptly named "Rebel Time" will be a creeper that will be enjoyed for a long time.