Neville Staple is a man who needs no introduction. A pivotal member of the original Specials and a pivotal figure from the UK’s second wave of ska, Staple has long been considered a legend.
In 2018, the “original rude boy” released the album ‘Rude Rebels’ with his wife Sugary Staple and former bandmate Roddy Radiation, to some acclaim.
He returns with a non-album single, ‘Put Away Your Knives’, which as its title suggests is a message of warning to all regarding a rise in knife crime. Produced by Dandy Livingstone (performer of the classics ‘Reggae In Your Jeggae’ and ‘Suzanne, Beware of the Devil), the tune is structured around his own ‘A Message To You, Rudy’, as reworked by The Specials themselves in 1979.
The anti-violence message is one that’s very close to the Staple family, since Neville’s grandson became a victim of knife crime in September 2018.
As quoted in the single’s original press materials, Neville adds: “We are dedicating the song to my grandson Fidel and to everyone else out there, who has been affected by violent crimes. It’s time we take back some control and teach the youth right from wrong, and the consequences of their actions. This song is highlighting the pain and the anger being inflicted on the families too. It asks the youths to just stop, think and put down the knives. Even while we were in the studio recording this, my wife Sugary and I became very emotional. It hurts bad when you lose someone so young in the family, but it’s even harder when you know that someone took their life early. I get angry at just how easily the youth find it now, to carry weapons around. They seem to have no thoughts for who they are really hurting, including themselves. It is us, all the generations above them that must step in now and help fix this mess. This disregard for life! No one else is going to sort it out!”
Watch the full video below: