Mel Cooke, Freelance Writer
Louie Culture, Beenie Man, Buju Banton and Nadine Sutherland
It was the mid-1990s. In only 1985 the Sleng Teng rhythm had transformed Jamaican music in general and dancehall in particular, ushering in the era of multiple artistes on one rhythm launched from a computerised base ('digital music' it was called), that itself developing into the distinctive 'boop boop' drum pattern with Bogle.
And a number of deejays emerged almost simultaneously, creating a generation that overlapped with, and then replaced, the stars of the late 1980s, among those relative 'oldsters' Shabba Ranks, Supercat, Cutty Ranks and Admiral Bailey.
They formed the nucleus of what was to be the only group of deejays to emerge as a distinctive unit in the 1990s, persons such as Sizzla making his presence felt without much in the way of new performers emerging at the same time later in the decade.
There is only one recording on which a large proportion of the dancehall generation which not only changed the beat but was also at the forefront of the visual era of Jamaican music. Performers were not only being heard on radio and sound systems but also seen in formal music videos on television (CVM by then joining the free-to-air fray) and the numerous recordings of dances and live recordings that were increasingly popular.
That song is Anything For You, with Canadian deejay Snow, Nadine Sutherland (the two having a version by themselves), Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Terror Fabulous, Louie Culture and Kulcha Knox performing on the remix. And while the audio recording was, and still is, very popular, it was the video which put Anything For You over the top.
Shot in black and white in a recording studio the video is simple but extremely effective, capturing Buju Banton and Louie Culture when their locks were just beginning to grow, Terror Fabulous in his prime and a glowing, all grown-up Nadine Sutherland after her 'teen queen' era.
"Karen Mason from EastWest felt it would be good promotion. I was signed to EastWest and my album was scheduled to be released, so they wanted to keep me visible," Sutherland told The Sunday Gleaner.
For her it was post the huge hit Action, done with Terror Fabulous.
Anything For You was recorded at Penthouse Records, and while all the performers were not necessarily in the studio at the same time they all came in that day. "The video was shot while, or after, we did our part on the song. We call it a 'live video'," Sutherland said.
Seeing that it was done that way, there are few scenes in which more than one person is featured, among them Snow and Nadine Sutherland, whose lines overlap at one point, Snow and Beenie Man, and Snow, Sutherland and Terror Fabulous.
There is no scene where two members of the then new deejay generation appear together.
Sutherland says that in studio "the energy was off the hook. Remember, everyone was creating on the spot. It's a true indication of the talents of these young men at that time. Everyone was busy writing; I don't remember any competition".
Debates raged then about whose part was the best (Beenie Man said "... I'm not Richard Kimble, don't tek me fe no fugitive ..."; Buju growled "Some man give dem min' dem heart dem soul an everyting, an a nex man deh wid dem ting". Terror Fabulous chanted "If you see me walking out den something mus be wrong, I would neva do yu dat, trus' me nuh ooman". Louie Culture lilted "Me no fool fi go buil' up me residence, an a nex' man live een like a president, all a teach private lesson to me student ...". And Kulcha Knox (whose part is often treated as an afterthought) intones "it's all about love, love it's all about."
Sutherland is clear about which segment is he favourite. "Buju's. That the part I deejay when I perform it onstage. All the parts are special though. I love them all," she told The Sunday Gleaner.
However, the all-star studio cast never made it onstage to perform together. "It has never happened. What a shame!" Sutherland said.
"Great music lives together. I am glad, I am proud to be a part of this song."