I’ve been loving this tune since I heard Sinden play it a while ago on his show. It’s weird when I hear about more hot American music from English people than I do from my homies, but whatever.


Jackie Chain is an Asian dude with long hair who raps about taking ecstasy, smoking weed, and chilling with girls and sounds sorta like Paul Wall. The track has a nice hype but mellow vibe, a good combination.

I wonder what Simon Reynolds and the blogerati will have to say about this. Does it fit into their whole MDMA-as-transformative-cultural-force industry that they’ve created? I don’t really think so, but then, I didn’t write books and a million articles about it. I’m not really a drug romanticist, I don’t actually think that drugs have that kind of big picture transformative impact that a lot of people seem to want to believe in. I think people take drugs to get fucked up, in a variety of different ways and while some insight can be gained I think the main thing people are thinking on any of these drugs is “Holy shit, I’m really fucked up man.” Also, just on a public service announcement vibe, I’d like to point out that if you ACTUALLY were rolling for weeks and didn’t sleep, you’d die.

The video is wicked though. Some really bad camerawork of them performing in some place with no stage in the middle of a crowd of people with a lot of superimposed random footage and occasional crazy video effects. This is what budget rap videos are all about. My only criticism is that it could have had more girls in it. I love the phone number of the radio station at the end telling you to call in and request the song. Grass roots marketing pressure.


  1. I hear you on chanting down drug determinism and all, but I gotta say for myself that I’ve had some truly transformative experiences thanks to several amazing chemical substances (and these experiences are not mutually exclusive from being fucked up — one can have one’s spacecake and eat it too). And I don’t know if we should discount the effects of something like ganja on something like reggae aesthetics (even if cats like Tubby’s never touched the stuff; cats like Scratch sure did), or say, on the style of perennially-stoned musicians such as Louis Armstrong.

    It may be too much to credit the drugs rather than the people on the drugs, but I do think there’s something to the circuitry between certain altered states and certain musical effects, approaches, etc. It’s hard to extricate these things; it’s also hard to celebrate them as central. Crucial, maybe.

    At any rate, this song seems more suited to syrup than E anyhow.

  2. Scratch smoked a lot but took breaks because he worried about the effect of too much smoking on his creativity. Louis I can’t say much about but I think it’d be borderline insulting to say he played such great music ‘because’ he was high. I’d say garden variety human brilliance and talent are a lot higher on the list of probable causes.

  3. nobody’s saying L played great ‘because’ he was high Matt, i think Wayne’s saying that you cant disconnect the fact of his deep stonedness from the overall circuitry — which includes a ton of other factors like the more talked about vectors of aesthetics audience race class etc — all pointing towards the idea of meaning in music being greater than a song or even musician, something generated almost communally.
    yeah, some bad criticism overvalues drugs, but i feel its valid to talk about certain scenes & venues & moments as having a ‘vibe’ determined in part by the drugs a bunch of people there are taking or on. in part….

    the flip side is that alcohol is the biggest drug, in all music scenes, which is a good argument for drugs having no critically discernable stylistic impact at all (since few folks argue the creative relevant of booze on subgenres and producers and such)

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