Even Some of Kanye’s Collaborators Seem To Be A Little Confused…
Assassin

This is Assassin, aka Agent Sasco… the respected Jamaican dancehall artist who spits a verse on “I’m In It,” a track from Kanye West’s dancehall-peppered album Yeezus. For those who have been following his career over the past 12 years, the high-profile feature on the most anticipated rap release of 2013 thus far is an unexpected treat. But for the rest of the music industry it’s a source of confusion. Take, for instance, this article from MySpace.com, a reputable publication that served up a major fail in its entry on I’m In It. The site apparently had no idea who Jeffrey Campbell was despite extensive coverage of the fact that Assassin was featured on this particular track. OK, maybe it’s not fair to expect American journalists to know dancehall artist’s government names off the top of their head, but there is this thing called google that’s really helpful when it comes to telling reggae stars from shoe designers. Here’s what MySpace wrote about the writing credits to “I’m In It”: “Like some writing credits on Yeezus, the paper trail leading back to people can be misleading. While we’re unsure who exactly the Jeffrey Ethan Campbell is that’s credited alongside Jill Scott and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on ‘I’m In It,’ but all signs point to the shoe designer. Stranger things have happened in the world of the West, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Campbell was hanging in the studio with Yeezy and offered an idea on how to shape the song.” SMFH. If you think the name game is confusing, just imagine trying to interpret Assassin’s rapid fire patois flow. Lyrical Breakdown After The Jump…

In Pitchfork’s extensive breakdown of the Yeezus sessions, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver—who also guests on the track—admits that he cannot follow Assassin’s lyrics whatsoever.

Evian Christ: [beatmaker] I love Assassin’s part in that song, too, he absolutely killed it.

Justin Vernon: [vocalist] I have no idea what the Jamaican dude [Assassin] is saying. At all. But it’s fucking awesome as hell.

Noah Goldstein: [engineer] Kanye figured out all those reggae voices on the album. Everything is him, to be real. Regardless of who additionally produced things, it’s his curation. And this idea that he’s not as hands-on in the studio now is bullshit. He is the consummate producer.

Come to think of it, Assassin is the consummate lyricist—much more than just an “angry-sounding Jamaican.” It would be a real shame to miss out on the rich wordplay he brings to the table. And so, for the benefit of the patois-impaired, here is a breakdown of Assassin’s lyrics on “I’m In It.” Get into it.

Say what?

We deal with action thing
Cause a bad man ting
Action ting
Yo a bad man thing

Man a bad man
If you know say
Disrepect we no take
No way Jose
Try that pon February the 30th
That’s right . Couldn’t try that? No day

When we roll on pon your block
No bother feel say we won’t spray (Like an aerosol can)
When we roll on pon your block
No bother feel say we won’t spray (Like an aerosol can)

We ah go smile on court day
Cause we beat murder charge like O.J.