The term �rude boys� originally known the youth gangs that emerged in Kingston shortly after Jamaica�s emancipation from British rule in 1962. Against a backdrop of increasing poverty and post-independence disenchantment, rudies� rebellious bravura, paced by reggae and ska rhythms of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, had been a rallying cry among poor and disenfranchised teenagers.
The mass migration of Jamaicans to the United Kingdom not only further developed this culture of dissent by exporting sound systems, turntables and toasting, but in addition changed British culture by shaping cultural, social and political alliances with the equally riotous white youths from the Mod and, later, punk scenes. The rude boy culture came to define an ethos of self-worth, determination and creativity for a generation of migrants able to strike back in a conservative and racist society.
The pictures in their self-published book tell individual and collective stories that cross gender, generational and racial divides. Faithful towards the rude boy-Mod alliance, it displays a portrait with the vintage clothes dealer Dexter de Leadus wearing a two-gun broach he made for the shoot. �He expresses the first rude boy attitude,� Mr. Elliott said. �He is really a purist. He is rarely photographed as a result of his �don�t mess with me� stance.�
The form buyer Alani Adenle, who, based on Mr. Chalkley, �could be a guy over a corner of a street in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1965,� perfectly personifies �the swagger style: an air, a grace and a strength.� The stylist Cynthia Lawrence-John is photographed with a razor-blade umbrella looking at the camera using a fierce intensity. The guitarist Seye Adelekan, who performed with all the rock musician Damon Albarn and the kora player Toumani Diabat�, wears an eye-catching electric blue jacket – plus a killer smile