Words by Jesse Serwer—
Words by Jesse Serwer—
Dawn Penn‘s rocksteady single “You Don’t Love Me”—or, as it’s somewhat better known at this point, “No, No, No”—is one of the bedrock foundations of reggae music, a tune that will never stop coming around as long as there are sound systems playing dances. Despite the ubiquity of the track (which has been versioned or sampled by everyone from Sean Paul and Rihanna and Vybz Kartel to Ghostface Killah), until recently not much was known about Penn, who disappeared from the music business for decades before returning in the early ’90s to cut a new version of “No, No, No” with Steely and Clevie which made the song a hit all over again. Recently, the singer, who left Jamaica in 1970 to settle in Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands before moving to Brooklyn and her current home, London, released a dubstep single called “City Life” and penned an autobiography, Story of My Life. We spoke with Penn on her most recent visit to the U.S., over food at Soule Restaurant on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, where she was joined by her son, rapper/singer Continental Crooks. As it turns out, that restaurant has since been re-named Caribbean Soul. We can’t think of a more fitting description to describe the music Penn has made over the years.
Words by Jesse Serwer, Photos by Sobe Kelly Knight
As one of the Caribbean’s finest and most innovative hotels, Rockhouse in Negril, Jamaica attracts a loyal clientele of celebrities and other financially endowed folk who come for the first-class accommodations and dynamic cliff-top location, but come back for the authentic links to Jamaican culture people tend to forge there. Such friends are good to have when you also have a charity foundation the mission of which is to help support and rebuild schools and other local infrastructure, as Rockhouse owner Paul Salmon does. Drawn by food from Miss Lily’s (in which Salmon is also a partner) and performances by dancehall stars Sean Paul, Gyptian and rapper-turned-folk-type-dude John Forte, guests including Matt Dillon, Spragga Benz and lots of people we recognize but can’t necessarily name helped raise $135, 000 for the Rockhouse Foundation at its annual fundraiser at Joe’s Pub in NYC. Jamaican model/personality Tyson Beckford and DJ Sky Nellor hosted the event, while sounds were supplied by LargeUp friends Max Glazer and Rob Kenner. Scan below for some of these familiar faces but, before you do, take some time to watch this video about the Foundation’s recent restoration of the Negril Library, the town’s oldest structure.