Jazzie B's 1980s: From Dole to Soul

Jazzie B's 1980s: From Dole to Soul


The hulking, dreadlocked head of a reggae sound system is an unlikely poster boy for Thatcher’s Britain. But Jazzie B grew his Soul II Soul sound system into a global brand with help from the government’s Enterprise Allowance Scheme.

He presents this trip down memory lane, which highlights the dichotomy of how he took advantage of the opportunities of the 80s to build a hugely successful collective at a time of rampant individualism. He’s amusing about how, throughout the turmoil of the era – riots, unemployment, police harassment – he always wanted to hit the mainstream: “We aspired to the Wimpy bar, we wanted to eat chips.”


The Soul II Soul frontman opens up about the decade that made his career, and the against-the-odds story of a young black British musician who became a chart-topping artist. In a decade defined by image, Jazzie created his own unique style which developed into a fashion brand, creating the first black British street style, and helped forge a British multicultural identity for the younger generations through music and art.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Jazzie B
Director Matt O'Casey
Executive Producer Paul Bullock
Executive Producer Ryan Minchin
Producer Matt O'Casey