Pass the Dutchiea 1982 hit by Grammy-nominated British-Jamaican band Musical Youth was the last reggae song to appear on an American television series.
The song, which is a cover of the 1981 Mighty Diamonds hit Pass the Kouchie, appeared in not one, but two episodes of season four of strange things, which premiered on Netflix on May 27. It is the first Reggae song to feature in the hugely popular series, which makes extensive use of 1980s music and popular culture.
Musical Youth is now a duo consisting of singer Dennis Seaton and Michael Grant.
Seaton said DancehallMag that after four decades he was thrilled to have the band’s track featured in the Netflix series’ official soundtrack, but it was a bittersweet moment in light of the recent deaths of two Mighty Diamonds members. In early April, Fitzroy “Bunny Diamond” Simpson died of heart complications, just days after Donald “Tabby Diamond” Shaw was shot.
“We are happy to know that Pass the Dutchie is featured in stranger things because it was a bit of a shock,” Seaton said. “This, along with the passing of two of the Mighty Diamonds, has a bittersweet feeling to us, as these are reggae legends who [we] won’t hear anything anymore. Our deepest condolences go out to both families. »
Produced by Toney Owens of Kingston, Pass the Kouchie had also sampled the lyrics of U Roy rule the nation (1974) and U Brown give me the music (nineteen eighty one).
The song reached No. 1 in the UK and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. It remains Musical Youth’s only hit in the United States and also reached No. 1 in five other countries, eventually selling to over five million copies worldwide. He appeared on the band’s first studio album, Today’s youth, which peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard 200 and No. 24 on the UK chart.
The group continues with its second album A different style! in 1983, and later received a nomination for the Best New Artist award at the 26th Grammy Awards in 1984. They broke up in 1985 and reappeared as a duo in 2001.
Whereas Pass the Dutchie didn’t (yet) hit the modern charts, it was introduced to a number of the show’s Gen Z viewers on Twitter, who admitted they hadn’t been able to shake the tune after watching episode 4.
In the episode, Pass the Dutchie is yelled at by pot lover Argyle, played by Eduardo Franco, as he comes to the rescue in his pizza truck. The classic reggae tune paints a contrasting picture of the bloody, tense gunfight against House Byers that was depicted in the previous scene. In episode six, the song is again featured as Argyle and a series regular are discovered in the back of said pizza truck “burning a joint”. By the time they are found, the back of the truck is a hotbox and both figures are elevated.
International producers have taken to inserting older Jamaican music into the soundtrack of their film productions. Recently, Bam Bam was featured in the popular Netflix series ozark and Bob Marley and the Wailers I shot the sheriff included in Showtime Network The First Lady.
Meanwhile, Seaton said he and Grant have been busy, as they prepare for the band’s 40th anniversary tour, as well as other live performances and the celebration of a new album.
“We are playing the Reggae Land festival on July 30 in Milton Keynes. The latest album is called “When Reggae Was King” on Thump Records through all online outlets. Watch out for the 40th anniversary tour later this year,” Seaton said. DancehallMag.
The album, released in 2020, included an updated version of the dubbed song Pass the Dutchie 21.
Former band members include Kelvin Grant, Freddie “Junior” Waite and Patrick Waite. The group’s other songs include Youth of today, I will never abandon you, and Heart Breaker.