Remembering Joseph 'Culture' Hill

A tribute to Joseph 'Culture' Hill, In his own life as an entertainer, he was never content with the life of lights, glitter, and glamour. Instead, he conducted himself as a teacher, healer, and spiritual leader urging his fans the world over to seek a more balanced society. A society based on righteousness, respect for human dignity, equal opportunity, and social morals.While Hill and Culture's style certainly owed much to the influence of the early Wailers and Burning Spear, it was never a case of imitation. Nor was Hill or the group ever obsessed with the latest trend. Instead, with his instinctively primeval vocal style, Joseph was able to position Culture as one of reggae's pre-eminent roots groups, performing in that churchical style informed by both Pentecostal and Rastafarian lamentation and praise song tradition. His music, like a sermon from the best village preacher, was delivered with a sense of mocking irony, though never without wit and accompanied by body language to boot. At the same time, however, Culture's music was laced with powerful spiritual, social and political messages delivered with conviction and sincerity. - Herbie Miller