Today we celebrate the birthday of a Reggae Icon who has contributed greatly to the culture, and funny enough he was the founder of a band called, Culture. We feature the late Joseph Hill today on Oldies Sunday by highlighting his band’s track called, “Two Sevens Clash“.
Produced by Joe Gibbs and released through Joe Gibbs Music in 1977, the Joseph Hill-led Culture shared an apocalyptic message on “Two Sevens Clash”. Inspired by a vision by Joseph Hill and a prediction by Marcus Garvey, the song spoke of the year 1977 becoming a year of judgment, and the date of July 7, 1977 (7/7/77) becoming a day chaos respectively. The song’s lyrics spoke of the 7s clashing (i.e. the seventh day of the seventh month of the seventy-seventh year), and it would mean that past injustices would be avenged. Joseph Hill’s vision came during a bus ride, with lyrics and melodies following, thus becoming a song in the process. “Two Sevens Clash”, while it was a very influential record upon release, it was paired with Marcus Garvey’s prediction, and caused many individuals in Jamaica to remain indoors and establishments closed, awaiting the fulfillment of the prophecy on July 7, 1977. The single itself was very successful as it gained a following overseas, and became the title track of Culture’s debut album that was released the same year. “Two Sevens Clash” went on to become Culture’s most memorable, successful, and influential song to date.
Since the release of “Two Sevens Clash”, Culture went on to release more music, securing its place as one of Reggae’s greatest bands. The band split in 1981, with Joseph Hill keeping the name, and recruiting new members. The band also had a rift with Joe Gibbs over unpaid royalties for the “Two Sevens Clash” album. The band continued to be active over the years till Hill passed away in 2006, prompting his son Kenyatta to take over as the lead Singer till this day.