Jamaican music's unique ability to recycle its past while absorbing a totally unpredictable range of influences from other countries and cultures is an ongoing source of joy here at Elephant Rock. So it's no wonder that this week I became a little obsessed with the Cure riddim, which was created by a German dancehall crew in 2002 and voiced by a number of Jamaican artists. Here is Ce'Cile's "Rude Bwoy Thug Life":
You can here a louder version here; Vybz Kartel's harder, more aggressive, and dirtier take is here. I prefer Ce'Cile's more buoyant version, but you can appreciate the riddim's off-kilter wooziness better on that version (or try the instrumental). The sound quality on this one is bad, but Tanya Stephens' version even keeps a little of the horn section from the original.
Speaking of the original, The Cure's "Close to Me" was one of my favorite songs when I was seventeen, and it's still one of their best: