Rafi's Revenge

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Rafi's Revenge
Rafis Revenge.jpg
Studio album by Asian Dub Foundation
Released 1998
Recorded UK
Genre Jungle, breakbeat, Bhangara, world
Length 57:06
Label Slash/London/PolyGram Records
Producer Asian Dub Foundation
Asian Dub Foundation chronology
R.A.F.I.
(1997)
Rafi's Revenge
(1998)
Conscious Party
(1998)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau (neither)[2]

Rafi's Revenge is an album from 1998 by Asian Dub Foundation. The album mixed jungle-style drum and bass, bhangra, dub, breakbeat and punkish guitars with politically and socially conscious rapped lyrics.

The lyrics railed against racism, both in life and the "institutional racism" highlighted by the murder of Stephen Lawrence. It also drew on the history of the Indian Subcontinent, with Naxalite based on the Naxalite peasant uprising in West Bengal in the 1960s.

They also dealt with contemporary issues: Free Satpal Ram campaigned for the release of Satpal Ram from British jail (a cause also taken up by bands such as Primal Scream), and highlighted (alleged) miscarriages of justice in the British system in general: "Birmingham Six, Bridgewater Four, Crown Prosecution totting up the score / Kings Cross Two, Guildford Four, Winston Silcott, how many more?" Elsewhere, they highlighted issues like the increasing spread of CCTV cameras, 'Black White' promotes inter-racial relationships, while 'Operation Eagle Lie' alleges racist policing to be commonplace - "a black man on a double-yellow, yea he's a criminal / a racial attack, investigation minimal".

The album was shortlisted for the 1998 Mercury Music Prize.

Rafi in the title is a reference to Mohammed Rafi, a Bollywood playback singer.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Naxalite" 4:42
  2. "Buzzin" 4:29
  3. "Black White" 3:34
  4. "Assassin" 4:01
  5. "Hypocrite" 4:00
  6. "Charge" 3:37
  7. "Free Satpal Ram" 3:44
  8. "Dub Mentality" 4:27
  9. "Culture Move" 4:30
  10. "Operation Eagle Lie" 3:21
  11. "Change" 3:08
  12. "Tribute to John Stevens" 5:14
  13. "R.A.F.I." (Japanese Bonus Track) 3:29
  14. "Digital Underclass" (Japanese Bonus Track) 4:49

In the media[edit]

"Culture Move" is the base for a scene of Shameless (season 5, episode 13). Yvonne, who converted to Islam and is more devout than her husband, interrupts a backyard night party yelling "Another complaint!", to which the partygoers (mostly her son's friends, of Pakistani origin) respond by turning down the volume. She then proceeds yelling the reason for the complaint as the music being "Too ethnic!", crosses the yard and turns up the stereo volume to the max, yelling "Fascist cunts!", and the party proceeds.

References[edit]