The Feed

Jamaicans fight fairer than the English

When Jamaicans fall afoul of the law overseas, and it happens… often, each of us goes a little quiet. It confirms the worst that we’ve been trying to deny, a lot.

Englishman and trash can: ready to kill

Buju Banton after all his troubles faces guns and drugs charges. Now Ricardo Fuller, star of the national team and English Premier League Club Stoke City has been accused of a nightclub assault (fellow Reggae Boy Marlon King is already serving At Her Majesty’s Pleasure).

Bad as it allegedly is, at least Fuller didn’t do what some nice English gentlemen hooligans fan of his team did the day before. They beat a rival fan to death with a trash can…

Source: The Guardian


First returns… again

First Magazine was started in Kingston, Jamaica in December 2004 as a 7×7-inch print magazine.

Thanks to the the vision and assistance of Lithographic Printers in Kingston, First published four issues and 40,000 copies of the 7×7 inch magazine. The magazine was critically acclaimed and impossible to duplicate since it was structure-less; dependent on the unique and unpredictable nature of daily life as opposed to themes or subjects aimed at target groups.

The magazine stopped printing in 2005 after four issues. With a shift towards a blog, the new First remains true to its original intent while providing a powerful new platform for new contributors drawn from around the world–but all leading back to the foundation in Kingston.

As before, the magazine will reflect upon modern life in Jamaica, and like Jamaicans themselves, it will continually look outward – observing, absorbing and reinventing the world surrounding it.

You can email us at or reach us via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Welcome back.

Music, Video & Entertainment

Listen: Gil Scott-Heron's redemption songs

AT just 21 years old poet Gil Scott-Heron stepped into a studio and recorded his first album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, which included the massively influential The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. This after publishing two novels, The Vulture and The Nigger Factory.

He was, it’s fair to say, a precocious genius; and with Jamaican ancestry. A couple more seminal albums came but his career floundered in the late 1980s ironically when hip hop – of which he is credited as a ‘godfather’ – began to take off.

His flame went out just as bright as it had burnt while drugs and prison time ate up much of his last decade. And then this happened: Richard Russell, owner of the seminal XL Recordings visited him at Riker’s Island Prison in New York.

The resulting comeback album, I’m New Here has been called a lot of things like ‘one of the next decade’s next best records’…aren’t we in January? The record is worn with pain, unsurprisingly, with Scott-Heron sounding more like ODB than a 21-year-old himself; and the production a perfect complement.

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The Feed

Cool Runnings reappraised

cool runnings promotional imageOkay, you’ve seen the comedy Cool Runnings, and you probably read about how the Jamaican bobsled team failed to qualify for this year’s Winter Olympics; news which gained a lot less attention here than abroad.

Lost in-between the tourist novelty and our antipathy with the comedic portrayal of Jamaicans in the movie, is that qualification for the Calgary Olympics in 1988 was a truly remarkable story of success, which typified our natural resourcefulness – and is deserving of real pride, despite the laughs.

Incidentally, each member of that team, outside of the sled, became a success in his own right – and not one was a reggae singer.

Dudley Stokes – whose brother Chris also competed, initially as a last-minute stand-in – still helps run the national bobsled record. And for the record: Jamaica had the seventh-fastest time in Calgary. Much more than a joke.

Read their stories: HERE

Literature & Stories

Andrea Levy's Long Story

Through a succession of novels Andrea Levy has recounted the experience of Jamaicans in Britain stretching back to the days of the Empire Windrush, with her most acclaimed work, Small Island – now serialised on BBC television.

Her recently published novel, the Long Story, goes back further to an early 19th century slave plantation and the years before emancipation. Haven’t read it yet but given her previous work you’d expect it to be another valuable insight into this shared history: good and bad.

Read the review in the UK Daily Telegraph: HERE