2003   APRIL 21   #111

Yaphet Kotto - Have You Dug His Scene

Just after he starred as a two-bit hood in "The Thomas Crown Affair", yet before he rose to the status of crime lord Kananga in "Live and Let Die", assumed the title of president in "Raid on Entebbe" (Idi Amin Dada), only to be killed in "Alien", before he accepted the job of Police Chief Ghiardello in the TV series "Homicide", but well after he was born the son of a Cameroon prince, steady-working actor Yaphet Kotto did his bit for poetry and Jazz by recording what I can glean is his only single, "Have You Dug His Scene?"

With the help of Hugh Masekela and Stewart Levine, who both owned the Chisa label, this single came out in 1969 and is an interesting companion to, say, the Last Poets and their brand of hard-edged poetry, who formed a year earlier, but Kotto beat them to the stores with this 45. It is possible that he heard them, considering all of the New York references in the lyrics. This track relies on his acting talents (fortunately), which convey his message of rage and indignation to great effect.

Thanks to Doug Payne's fabulous discography of Hugh Masekela,

- Brian Phillips

TT-2:59 / 3.4MB / 160kbps 44.1khz
from 45rpm single, Chisa CH-006

(Image courtesy of Brian Phillips)