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LargeUp Exclusive: Johnny Osbourne On Miami, Major Lazer + More [Interview]

LargeUp Exclusive: Johnny Osbourne On Miami, Major Lazer + More [Interview]

Reggae legend Johnny Osbourne headlines LargeUp’s WMC event in Miami tonight (also featuring Jovi RockwellMeLo-X, Jasmine Solano, Black Chiney and Jahdan Blakkamoore–just to name a few) which seemed like an excellent excuse to sit down with the man who has been running dancehall basically from the invention of the dub-plate right up to the latest Major Lazer crossover ting for an extensive interview. Osbourne spoke to LargeUp’s Jesse Serwer at length, resolving a few decades-old dancehall mysteries along the way. Read an excerpt below on linking with Diplo and crew for the recent Major Lazer monster “Jah No Partial” and click true for more nuggets like the origins of the arguably-most-recognizable hook in reggae (“Budy Bye, Budy Bye, Budy Bye #1…“) unexpected links with Tupac Shakur and more–unwritten chapters in soundclash history! Meanwhile enjoy some of Martei Korley’s appropriately iconic photos and classic Johnny Osbourne vinyl above.

LU: Diplo got the tape of your song “Mr. Marshall”  from Jammys for Major Lazer’s “Jah No Partial,” and remixed it over some dubstep. How did you hear about the song and what was your initial reaction?

JO: Diplo came to New York and my agent Neil Robertson was telling me that they are remixing the song and they are coming to New York and they wanted me to be a special guest at Terminal 5 on the West Side. I spoke to Diplo on the phone and they wanted me to see the reaction of the people when they play the song. They were going to introduce it. [They said] we’ll put you as a special guest. They introduced me and introduced the song and I saw the people’s reaction. It was pandemonium. They didn’t take anything away from me, or from my song. They kept my song [as] my song, and add what they have and put them together. What I say is I get the old school mixed with the new school and make it a one big school, and that’s still mi rule.

And then they invited me to London. For the Red Bull Soundclash last November. And when I [sang] “Oh, Mr. Marshall!” a capella…[it was a] problem!


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