Linton Kwesi Johnson, already a well published poet, released the first album of a new genre called Dub Poetry in 1977. It was entitled Dread Beat An' Blood. Though it took inspiration from the toasting chats of Jamaican sound system DJs like U-roy and I-roy, and the biblical rumblings from bass mother earth that Prince Far-I uttered, Dub Poetry was an innovation which utilized the power of language much more consciously than these precedents.

Aptly named, the words spoken by dub poets are rich with sound, meticulously constructed to be unwound upon their audience. If the words of the earlier DJs, rhymes chanted over the records they were spinning, could be likened to tapping feet along to the music, dub poetry is a fully intergrated choreography of words fit to a reggae score (sometimes more dub sometimes less). The music is by no means a mere soundtrack, some of the best reggae players in the world have backed these poets.

The message of the poetry Johnson and the two other best known dub poets Oku Onuora and Mutabaruka is uncompromisingly political. Speaking out for the rights of black people internationally and in England, America and South Africa in particular, the message married to the music is powerful and of good courage.

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