With the popularity of the ‘mans not hot’ comedian, Michael Dapaah, I had to write sumn quick on the Road Man sub-culture, it’s origins and influences. It tends to be the case we don’t intellectualise Black culture especially when it has subversive-criminal leanings, however IDGAF so lemme start.

Rude Bwoy fashion and culture 

I feel in order to understand road man culture we have to tek a likkle step back and look into the culture of the Jamaican rude bwoys.

Rude bwoy culture was born in de rough towns of West Kingston in the sixties, the term  rude bwoy would refer to the ruthless ratchet-wielding street boys in the area. They were hoodlums with style and pattun, to put it in Jamaican terms. Their attire was inspired by the sharp tonic suits and well fitted ankle length trousers of American Jazz-singers mixed in with the aggression of cowboy characters from Westerns such as Josey Wales, with this energy Jamaicas youth flung on their dessert boots and asserted themselves in a tough environment where being tough was a essential survival technique.

 

 

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The rude bwoys of the past were one some double Oh seven shit.

In the sixties as the Windrush generation came to rebuild Britain, the music of the Jamaican ghettos travelled with them; Two-tone and later Dancehall became a popular music among British youth of all hues. the rude boys of west kingston had a new home, their culture had a major influence on mod, punk and skinhead subcultures in terms of style and bravado, even as rude bwoy seems to visibly die down, the badboy nu-tek-tark ways of the yardies of old, live on in Britain’s inner-cities, they likewise derive their fashion from popular Afro-American music, the Jazz of the day; Hip Hop; you see it in the large North face puffers and the pristine Colgate white air-forces. the road man is the rude bwoy adapting to cold rasclart reality of living in this ice-box we called England

When I hear “man’s not hot”, I think of how Jamaican patios has been assimilated into popular culture, I think about the film Shottas when Teddy Brukshot, says “Man and man ah badman”, in fact It’s hard not hear or see Rudebwoyism as a youth in London, with every gold tooth, every gun finger and audible celebration of “braap” in a rave we witness the survival of the rude bwoy.

 

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