I recently came across a couple of related but separate things at around the same time. It’s funny when that happens. The first is Mistajam’s translation of Marka by Dub Phizix and Skeptical feat Strategy. The second is a web based course on how to speak Jamaican (no it’s not a Rosetta Stone course). They have a pretty decent glossary on their site too.
For those of you that love Marka but haven’t the foggiest what the guy is on about, help is at hand. Mistajam from BBC 1xtra took time out from tearing it up to transcribe and translate the lyrics for you.
Stinking of issy miyake dark rum and the marijuana
At the moment, I smell of a heady blend of Issy Miyake aftershave mixed with the Dark rum and Marijuana Ive been consuming. Its quite a potent mix.
Step inna mi lake and swim with the piranha
Metaphorically speaking, Im so tough that if I had a lake and you were to step into it, you would find it full of Piranhas, which as you know are very dangerous fish and would most likely eat you.
Anytime mi drop mi go put down a marka
Whenever Im about to drop something, whether it be a lyric or a heavy beat; Im going to put down a marker so that youre able to see where it came from.
If it nuh money say whe dem bother talk for?
If youre going to ask me to perform or drop a marka and youre not considering paying me money for it, why are you talking to me at all? I am a professional wordsmith and expect to be paid for my work.
Dem a try fi hold up a bank wid a banana
Those kind of people I aforementioned are so silly, theyre the kind of person who would try to rob a bank armed with only a piece of fruit rather than a weapon.
Yeah we pree the whole ting panorama
Yes, indeed we watched the whole thing happen and found it as informative as that award winning BBC current affairs show Panorama.
Whole heap a gun talk they dont really want no drama
Those silly people I mentioned before pretend to be hardcore by mentioning that they have guns but I bet that if push came to shove, they wouldnt want to cause any disruption or drama so to speak.
We a kill dem a bloodclaat gain
In a soundclash against those fools, we will lyrically decimate them exactly as we have done before. In fact, Im getting tired of lyrically decimating them. How many times must we do this?!
Got the tings on lock down again
Once more, we have secured our lyrical and musical arsenal for our soundclash combat.
Them a tek ten shots in again
In fact we have 10 hard hitting items to fire at them during our soundclash. These items are so hard hitting, theyre akin to shots fired from a gun.
Dem pon a old pan sound dem again
The technical capabilities of their musical set up leave a lot to be desired.
Man a gash dem and light them again
With reference to the 2006 reggae anthem by Chuck Fender Gash Dem and Light Dem, were going to fight against their negativity and purify their stupidity with our lyrical and musical fire!
Becaa me nah hyping again
Last time we faced each other, I got excited about the prospect. This time, its business.
Man are ready fi di war, when it comes on top, ca me nah feel frightened again
We are ready for this soundclash when the time comes and although last time it happened, I felt nervous energy; this time I dont.
You can check the translation out on Mistajam’s site (opens in a new tab). http://mistajam.com/2012/01/10/the-mistajam-marka-translation/
If you haven’t heard the song, or just want to blaze it again, I’ve included it below for you.
If this has inspired you to learn more about “Jamaican Patois and Culture” ( it’s what it says on their site) try out the free glossary on the Speak Jamaican site for a starter. There’s a report available too but I can’t comment on that because I haven’t downloaded it yet.
Until next time.