Two Sevens Clash

Two Sevens Clash was the debut album from Culture, the roots reggae band led by Joseph Hill and produced in Kingston, Jamaica, by Joe Gibbs. Its title refers to the date of 7.7.1977—the day when ‘two sevens met’—which the Rastafarian prophet Marcus Garvey predicted would be a day of chaos and apocalypse. As the liner notes of the album read: ‘One day Joseph Hill had a vision, while riding a bus, of 1977 as a year of judgement—when two sevens clash—when past injustices would be avenged. Lyrics and melodies came into his head as he rode, and thus was born the song Two Sevens Clash which became a massive hit in reggae circles both in Jamaica and abroad. The prophecies noted by the lyrics so profoundly captured the imagination of the people that on July 7, 1977—the day when the sevens fully clashed (seventh day, seventh month, seventy-seventh year) a hush descended on Kingston; many people did not go outdoors, shops closed, an air of foreboding and expectation filled the city.’”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

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