Meet Papa Rosko, the South Florida-based artist, who introduces the music video for “NooZies,” lifted from his self-titled debut album, which dropped October 16.
Explaining “NooZies,” Papa Rosko says, “‘NooZies’ is an apolitical song about those in the news media who don’t adhere to the standards to which we believe they should…which is almost all of them. Truth of the matter is, few of them ever have. They just have always given themselves positive press. The news business is every bit as corrupt as politics, the only real difference; the people in politics are uglier.
I actually wrote this song about ten years ago. The lyrics have nothing to do with the coronavirus. But just like Don Henley’s media-bashing song ‘Dirty Laundry’ still rings true thirty-eight years after release, I think ‘NooZies’ easily holds true ten years after I wrote it.
The video is where I tied ‘NooZies’ into what is going on today, right now, regarding the news media industrial complex and this incredible threat to the planet. While the lyrics don’t address the coronavirus, there is an abundance of visual imagery tying the song to the pandemic. I used some of the tricks and tools of the trade of the TV news biz in getting and keeping attention in this video: sensationalism, ”BREAKING NEWS” headlines, live reporter graphics on-screen, multiple graphic sub-headlines, sub-sub-headines and scrolling headlines at the bottom of the screen. And of course, gratuitous amounts of splashy images and clips…just like the Noozies do.
‘NooZies’ isn’t about left vs right, liberal vs conservative, Republican vs Democrat or CNN/MSNBC vs FoxNews. The news media, in whatever format, has been doing this since Mark Twain wrote back in 1885, “If you don’t read the newspapers you are uninformed; if you do read the newspapers you are misinformed.”
Papa Rosko formed and fronted the country-reggae band Voodoo Possum in Nashville. Performing in honky-tonks, BBQ joints, and dive bars, as well as at the Austin Reggae Festival, the band shared the stage with Bunny Wailer, The Skatalites, and Katchafire. Even as Voodoo Possum was dazzling audiences with their unique fusion of country-reggae, Papa was further developing his sound to include original songs merging a variety of sonic elements.
“NooZies” opens on a cool drum shuffle rolling into searing guitar licks riding a fat, popping bassline. The melody interlaces flavors of country, rock, and reggae with chanting, rap-lite vocals backed by reggae-laced harmonies, imbuing the lyrics with chiding redress.
“If it bleeds it leads is the creed of the Noozies / But when they outta blood they go right for the floozies / I don’t wanna know about Kim Kardashian poochie / Don’t care if Brittney Spears shave her head or her kootchie! / Noozies ain’t got no heart / Nooies ain’t got no soul / Noozies ain’t got brain / Let’s just throw ‘em all in a hole.”
Following the bridge, a deliciously braying saxophone wails with gusto, injecting the harmonics with burnished zest.
The video is a trip, depicting the exploitative agenda of news programs and reporters, who inflate, distort, and amplify the news to gargantuan dimensions, playing on the fear and anxiety of their viewers.
“NooZies” confronts the news media, challenging them to convey the facts rather than inflammatory innuendo, and does it with potent, swashbuckling music.