I left the country for the millennial New Years Eve with my 2 roommates at the time, and headed for the cliff side Caribbean town of Negril, Jamaica. (We didn’t believe in the Y2K end of the world scenario, only the psychos who we thought would be murdering people in the streets because they believed it). We awoke each morning to the caress of sea breeze through open windows and hiked down a mountain road to buy healthy breakfasts of little tropical bananas and fried ackee fruit, true wonder foods. We met locals and explored jungle paths with them, spelunked sea caves, and snorkeled in crystal waters with waterproof cameras. I never felt better in my life.
On New Years Eve day, we hiked down to a small sheltered cove where the cliff face was rend open into a deep maw lined with teeth of weathered coral. A man sold us coconuts from a nearby palm, the tops of which he’d lopped off with a machete and then poked with straws. A very blonde, practically nude, Austrian couple entered the dark cave, ignoring the warnings of the coconut man as we lazed about in the sun draining the giant seeds of their delicious waters. Clouds gathered and we heard the woman scream. The man had fallen and ripped his back apart on the coral, his blood turned bright blue pools of water pink as we helped him out and back up the cliff’s treacherous path. By the time we reached the top a full on monsoon was underway, palm branches and coconut husks whipped through the air.
We got separated from the foolish Austrians in the chaos but made it to a nearby road. The rain came down so hard it hurt. I couldn’t hear what my roommates were yelling when the cab pulled up, nor could I see inside the smoke-filled backseat, we just dove into it. The Jamaican driver turned around smiling, reefer cigarette in hand, one gold tooth gleaming and probably said. “Where to mon?” But his music was so loud and insane, some kind of electro dancehall with dub beats so thick it nearly drowned out the shock and awe rain barrage upon the windshield, and all I saw was that gold tooth and a mouth moving. I don’t really remember much else except being in the backseat of the jalopiest ride on Earth, flying down a mountain road in a hurricane thinking I was going to die with the craziest shit I’d ever heard blasting through a haze of Jamaican red hair.
I’m pretty sure now that driver was Major Lazer. And the music sounded just like this – at least if you turn it all the way up and pretend you’re completely blown out.
Major Lazer “Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do” is available now – on CD, Digital, Vinyl w/download and iphone app.