Behind The Music: It’s Really A Protest Song, Really [VIDEO]
"Electric Avenue" Eddie Grant
Through the years there have been a lot of "happy," "peppy" songs on the radio that, in reality, have been cleverly disguised protest songs. One of those came from a reggae singer born in Plaisance, Guyana.
First off, Electric Avenue is an actual place located in the London.The Brixton Market is a small curved street where vendors sell everything from meat, wigs and incense. Think of an outdoor bazaar.
After World War II Brixton saw a large influx of immigrants from the West Indies, particularly Jamaica. The relations between the black residents of Brixton and London's white establishment had been tense.
On Friday, April 10, 1981 the tensions finally exploded as Brixtonites and the local law officials began a 3-day riot.
Electric Avenue was inspired by these riots. Digging deeper in the lyrics of the song it talks of the poverty, injustice and rebellion.
Grant took this song all the way to #2 for five weeks on the Billboard charts.