If there was a Flatbush, Brooklyn Hall of Fame, Red Fox would get in on the first ballot, easy. Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Red and friends like Shaggy, Screechy Dan, Rayvon and Mr. Easy banded together to form the Ruff Entry Crew, storming dancehall with their solo releases and charismatic collaborations. There were dancehall records made in Brooklyn for years, but it was tracks like Red and Screechy’s “Pose Off” that let people know you didn’t have to physically be in Jamaica to make music that was as authentic and good as anything coming out of yard.
Red’s latest single “Brooklyn Swing” is a tribute to this era and the years just before it, when dance was nice and the Biltmore Ballroom at 2230 Church Ave. was the mecca for all things dancehall in Brooklyn and New York City. For the video, Red headed to the corner of E. 49th St. and Church Ave., in the heart of East Flatbush, and rounded up a crew of deejay and selector all-stars from New York’s Biltmore Era: Shaggy, Rayvon, Screechy Dan, Dubbmaster Chris, James Bond, KC Jockey, Turbo Cat, Puma (of LP International), Mikey Jarrett, Lee Majors (of Earth Ruler), Sting International (who produced the track on his Darker Shades riddim). We see DJ Max Glazer in there, too. Apologies in advance to anyone whose name we left out…
“The song tells a story of the Brooklyn dancehall scene throughout the mid 80s and 90s,” Red Fox says. “We wanted to capture the essence of it by shooting by Church and 49th Street. That area was where we had Super Power Records and Music Master, which was the two main reggae record shops. That’s where we would hang out to get a vibe of how our songs were doing. It’s also the heart of the West Indian community.”