Comments on BABYLON


Steve Mosko: You appeared in a scene in the film "Babylon" which portrayed a sound clash which was getting quite fierce and almost led to a fight.

Jah Shaka: Well that's the impression that the people who made the film had about sound systems, which they'd heard about from the competitions. They gave me a script at first and when I read it I refused to do what they wanted. I ended up directing the scene I appeared in myself, because all the build up leading up to it, with people from my sound confronting another sound, well that just doesn't go on. We've got a very disciplined set of people, and I was totally against the way they portrayed the build up to the dance in that film.

[From an interview at the highly recommended Jah Warrior site: ]


Re: [Film] Babylon - interview with the director
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000
From: Alex Brosgart

Alex Brosgart wrote:

Yabby You makes the point that he never licenced, nor
sub-licenced through other parties, his song "Deliver Me"
to the producers of the movie "Babylon." No one ever
asked his permission to use his work nor was he ever
paid a licencing fee or any royalites. Yabby You also
makes the point that he does not approve of the violent theme
of this "Babylon" movie; That being the solution to racial
conflict is to take the offensive and stick a screwdriver into
someones belly.

A number of years ago Yabby You asked me to act for him
in this matter. I wrote letters to CBS (UK) and Chrysalis Records
who also released the sountrack to the movie. None of them had
the decency to reply.

If any lawyers are reading this and would like to act for
Yabby You on this matter on a contingecy basis please get in
touch. If anyone would like to talk directly with Yabby You
he is available at:



Re: [Film] Babylon - interview with the director
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000
From: Eden

Whilst I sympathise about the licensing issues (regretably all too common in reggae) I'm kind of not in agreement about the points about the violence in the film.

I don't think it portrays sticking a screwdriver in someone as a _solution_ to racial violence, but as a product of someone being in a really oppressive situation and reacting to that. In fact the film shows that action as counterproductive because the violence then continues to escalate...

British society was riddled with violence, tension and racism in the 80s and I think that comes across in the film. As the interview points out, it's more about raising the issue when people are trying to deny it than offering solutions (which are inevitably pretty complex, IMHO)

Having said that Jah Shaka wasn't too happy about the way that soundclashes were portrayed as being confrontational either - I think he mentions this in the interview at the Jah Warrior site.

Thanks for your comments - I found them very interesting

John Eden


Re: [Film] Babylon - interview with the director
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000
12:27:59 -0700
From: Alex Brosgart
Organization: ICG


Yabby You would have the same opinion as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Yashua (Jesus) on the matter.

Hate does not conquer hate. Love Conquers hate. Rolling Thunder the great First Nations (Native Indian) medicine man from Nevada, USA says this: "We do good for good; We don't do good for bad or bad for good; We do good for good."

Peace Alex