Oi! American Oi! : What is Oi! Music?

What is Oi! Music?

Oi! - (Oy) - expletive. 1. Cockeny slang for "hello". 2. The best damn music on the planet.

There are those of you out there who have no idea what Oi! music is. This page is for you. You'll find more information about the first wave of Oi! music at Oi! The Web Site. What follows is just a quick primer for the uninitiated.

Oi! music began in the late seventies after the advent of punk rock. When the first wave of punk hit, bands like Sham 69 and Cock Sparrer sang about life on the street while the Sex Pistols tried to start "Anarchy in the UK". Thus, reality punk or street punk began with Sham and Sparrer, as well as bands such as Slaughter and the Dogs and Menace.

When the Eighties hit and punk rock got a new lease of life, Oi! became a full fledged part of that movement thanks to the efforts of Garry Bushell, writer for Sounds, the British music paper. Bushell believed in punk rock as protest music and gathered all the street punk bands under the banner of Oi!. Bands such as the Business, the 4skins, Combat 84, InfaRiot, and the Last Resort burst onto the punk scene with their brand of reality. The beginning of "King of the Jungle" by the Last Resort says it all..."No Mess, No Fuss, Just Pure Impact!".Oi! music died down in the mid Eighties and in America, hardcore was what skinheads listened to. It must be said, however, that Oi! music is not just skinhead music. It's everyone's music. It's the music of the street and anyone who has walked down a city street and been looked down upon by some elitist bastard can relate to Oi!; anyone who has worked all day long as a wage slave can relate to Oi!; everyone who has ever felt different can relate to Oi!. Your every day Joe thinks Oi! music is racist in nature, but nothing could be further from the truth. Oi! music transcends race, color, and creed. Oi! music is about having a laugh and having a say, plain and simple.

So the next time you hear someone shout "Oi! Oi! Oi!" as you're walking down a city street, chances you're not hearing a Jew whose car has broken down (that would be "Oy! Oy! Oy vey!"). It's probably a skinhead, a punk, or just someone who loves the best working class music around...Oi!

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