Steppin' Razor

For the Marvel Comics character see Steppin' Razor (comics)

A Steppin' Razor is a dangerous person, referring to the fact that they are quick to fight. Its origins are unknown, but the term was popularized by the song "Steppin' Razor", written by Joe Higgs and recorded by the popular Jamaican Reggae band The Wailers. A number of covers of the song and references to the term have appeared since.

Cover versions (in chronological order)

  • In 1977, a cover version was recorded by reggae musician Peter Tosh for his album Equal Rights. It subsequently became his nickname.
  • The reggae band Sublime recorded a cover version for their 1994 album Robbin' the Hood.
  • British reggae-rock band Skindred recorded a version in roughly 2003, but it was never released and only exists as a demo.
  • The 2 Tone ska revival band The Selecter recorded a cover version for their 2003 album Real To Reel.
  • In 2007, Nadine States, Schaun Tozer, Pat Steward, Rob Becher, Mike Henry, John Ellis and Pepe Danza recorded a cover for the CBC television production Intelligence.


Cyberpunk author William Gibson used the term in his 1984 novel Neuromancer, where the character Molly is known as "the Steppin' Razor" to the residents of Zion, a Rastafarian space station. Neuromancer's status as the "Bible" of cyberpunk has led to the term's use in several other novels. For instance, Lucifer's Dragon by Jon Courtenay Grimwood includes a genetically- and cybernetically-enhanced bodyguard known as Raz, short for the Stepping Razor.

British producers Underworld released several remixes of other artists in the early 1990s under the moniker of Steppin' Razor, as well as using the term as a lyric in the song "Spoonman" on their 1993 album dubnobasswithmyheadman.

Steppin' Razor is the name of two vampire characters in the Blade comic books and Blade: The Series.

Peter Tosh's version of the song was included on the soundtrack of the 2006 video game Scarface: The World is Yours.

In the title track of the underground rap group Atmosphere's God Loves Ugly album, the lead rapper, Slug, raps that "I'm like a steppin' razor, I suggest you stay fair with me."

The video game Halo 3 for Xbox 360 has an achievement called "Steppin' Razor", unlocked by getting a "Triple Kill" with the Energy Sword.


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