You can’t smoke an appropriate joint in the cinema, but with the fantastic lineup of reggae artists in this ode to the famous British label Trojan Records, you won’t be able to sit still. The point of departure is 1950s Jamaica, where rhythm and blues gave birth to the up-tempo dance music of ska, which would later evolve into rocksteady and reggae. Through the stories of musicians, producers and others, and illustrated by nostalgic, dramatic reconstructions, Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records interweaves the emergence of an influential musical movement with post-colonial history.
The thousands of Jamaicans who immigrated to Britain after independence brought a musical gift with them that the British gratefully opened and made their own. Jamaican-born Lee Gopthal set up Trojan Records and introduced ska, rocksteady and reggae to a wider audience. While the first generation of Jamaican immigrants often lived in the margins of British society, artists like Jimmy Cliff, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Desmond Dekker and Toots and the Maytals grew to be stars.