Rude Boys

Rude boy

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Rude boyrudeboyrudierudi or rudy are common terms used in Jamaica. In the 1960s it was also used for juvenile delinquents and criminals in Jamaica, and has since been used in other contexts.[1][2] During the late-1970s 2 Tone ska revival in England, the terms rude boyrude girl and other variations were often used to describe fans of that genre, and this new definition continued to be used in the third wave ska subculture. In the United Kingdom in the 2000s, the terms rude boy and rude girl have become slang which mainly refer to people (largely youths) who are involved in street culture, similar to gangsta or badman.[3]




The first rude boys in the 1950s were associated with the poorer sections of Kingston, Jamaica, where ska, then rocksteady were the most popular forms of music. They dressed in the latest fashions at dancehalls and on the streets. Many of these rude boys started wearing sharp suits, thin ties, and pork pie or Trilby hats; inspired by American gangstermovies, jazz musicians and soul music artists. In terms of attitude and lifestyle, rude boys were also inspired by American cowboy and gangster outlaw films.[4][5] In that time period, disaffected unemployed Jamaican youths sometimes found temporary employment from sound system operators to disrupt competitors’ dances (leading to the termdancehall crasher). This and other street violence became an integral part of the rude boy lifestyle, and gave rise to a culture of political gang violence in Jamaica. This shift towards violence led to some Jamaican musicians creating songs that spoke directly towards this faction, urging them to become less violent. Starting in the 1970s, Jamaicandancehall music was a way for rude boys and those fearful of them to express their views on current events.[6][7][8]

[edit]United Kingdom

As the Jamaican diaspora grew in the United Kingdom during the 1960s, rude boy music and fashion, as well as the gang mentality, became a strong influence on the skinheadsubculture.[9][10] In the late 1970s, the image of the rude boy became more popular thanks in part to the 2 Tone band The Specials and the record label 2 Tone Records.[11]

[edit]United States

Barbadian singer Rihanna brought the term into mainstream consciousness in the United States with her 2010 single Rude Boy (song) that topped the Billboard charts in the spring of that year.

[edit]See also