Young Fathers Share a Soundtrack for Thinking and Drinking

The Mercury Prize-winning artists craft a soundtrack for a very deep dinner party.

Pictured: Kayus Bankole (left) and G Hastings (right) of Young Fathers. Photo Credit: Motormouth Media

Scottish hip-hop group Young Fathers won the prestigious Mercury Prize for their 2014 album “Dead.” They’ve just released a new album called “White Men are Black Men Too.” They deejay a very deep dinner party.


Kayus Bankole: My name is Kayus.

G Hastings: And this is G from Young Fathers and this is a dinner party soundtrack.

The Last Poets – “White Man’s Got a God Complex”

Kayus Bankole: So the first song is “White Man’s Got a God Complex” by The Last Poets.

Kayus Bankole: If I was sitting in that dinner party and that song played, I would think straight to the time period when it was actually recorded back in the ’70s, and black power activists like Stokely Carmichael, Shirley Chisholm, and Angela Davis.

I’ve said those names to my wee nephew when he was like 14 or something, and he didn’t have a clue who those people were. So, having a song like that — even just played in the background — it’ll spark something. Opens the door for discussion. And there’s some few lines that stuck with me. “I’m making guns, I’m God. I’m making gas, I’m God.”

G Hastings: It is a funky song, like, you can move to it.

Kayus Bankole: Yo, the rhythm is amazing and the way the words are delivered, it’s very percussive. It has a nice drive to it, you feel the passion.

Toots and The Maytals – “In The Dark”

G Hastings: The second song, that I’ve picked for the dinner party is…

Kayus Bankole: [in a Jamaican accent] Toots and The Maytals!

G Hastings: Toots and The Maytals…

Kayus Bankole: [in a Jamaican accent] Toots and The Maytals!

G Hastings: …”In the Dark.”

Kayus Bankole: [in a Jamaican accent] “In The Dark!”

G Hastings: Kayus’ Jamaican accent. That’s not what Jamaican sounds like either.

Kayus Bankole: I know. That’s what Kayus sounds like.

G Hastings: Anyway, the music is based on gospel. Toots grew up in a gospel choir. It kind of feels like you’re in church. Plus his voice, people used to say he’s was like the reggae Otis Redding.

I think a lot of reggae songs kind of lend themselves to a good party. They’re a good example of how you can feel good and how you can nod your head and you can want to move to it, but if you listen to what they’re saying, it’s not as uplifting as the track feels and I think that’s something that we, as a group, we try and take on board. And I mean especially in this song, “In the Dark,” he’s talking about the darkness.

He says, “Riddle me this/Riddle me that/I bet you don’t know/Just where I’m at.” It sounds like he’s talking about — he doesn’t really believe that someone loves him, who pretends to love him. I could’ve picked any song off of that album to be honest. Toots and the Maytals’ “In the Dark” — it’s one of the best albums ever made. If this was dinner party albums, I would pick that.

Iggy Pop – “Nightclubbing”

Kayus Bankole: I’ve decided to go for Iggy Pop “Nightclubbing.”

G Hastings: I was going to pick that.

Kayus Bankole: Were you? I just like how it starts in, it’s like [makes beat noises] and the way Iggy comes in, “Nightclubbing.” It sounds sleazy in a good way.

G Hastings: When I hear the song, I hear Iggy taking the role of a businessman going to these really fancy nightclubs and just thinking that he owns the world, and he’s the man, and he has no taste in anything really. He’s just a sleaze ball. Kind of sums up “Nightclubbing.”

Kayus Bankole: Oh, it’s just beautiful man, and like it makes sense that he was in Berlin when he was recording that album. He must’ve been soaking in the city.

Young Fathers – “Old Rock n Roll”

G Hastings: The song that we pick of our own is “Old Rock n Roll.”

G Hastings: It’s about stereotypes, gender stereotypes, and also the history of rock and roll and Congo Square in New Orleans, which is the only place where the slaves would allowed to play music. I think that’s the ideal balance with us is you want two things at the same time, two things at contrast.