Clarks Originals: Booted And Musically Suited

Beth Lesser’s unique book, Dancehall, covers the scantily-documented lives, fashion choices and hang outs of Jamaican Dancehall stars in the 1980s. The book is unique, in that it has the largesse to follow the careers of obscure yet worthy artists, who in some cases made little imprint outside Jamaica, and in others examples [as is so often the case] acquired a cult following in places like the US, Canada, the UK and Japan whilst still living in the zinc-roofed shanty towns of Kingston.

Many of these stars, we noticed for the purposes of this project, wore Clarks. The predominance of Clarks in Dancehall, and general Jamaican culture, has since been documented in songs from Vybz Kartel to Josie Wales. Vybz Kartel’s song Clarks was a runaway smash last year, with lyrics like: “Everybody haffi ask weh mi get mi Clarks/ Di leather hard, di suede soft, toothbrush get out di dust fast”. And Josie Wales’ lyric, on Love I Want: “Some come from Portland, some From St Elizabet-a / Some inna Clarks, Some inna battered crepes [shoes]”. Then there’s Little John [not to be confused with the US crunk artist] who wrote Clarks Booty, where he exhorts: “Hol’ up yuh foot and show your Clarks booty…Fling out your foot ‘cause your shoes brand new”.

via Clarks Originals: Booted And Musically Suited.

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