Recently I saw the movie Rockers. I had heard a great deal about it so I finally decided after years of procrastination to purchase the 25th anniversary edition. I was impressed by the line-up, some of the biggest name in the reggae business, most of them legends; before they were legends. After the movie, my first thought was, could this be replicated today? Who would be in it? How could it be done? I am still pondering these questions.

The movie had several unforgettable scenes, but by far, my favorite is “Rockers takeover,” in which Dirty Harry and Horsemouth hijacked the soul playing club. (Check it out on YouTube, search “rockers takeover.)
Also unforgettable is the ending, maybe it is because I grew cynical but I did not expect that ending. It was perfect.
It is a simple movie which made me long for better days. If you haven’t seen it, please try to.


Reggae Lives On!

With all the negativity in the industry I am proud and overjoyed to know that there are still musicians out there who are uplifting our culture. Ever since the birth of Dancehall reggae as somewhat drifted to the back seat in our community and culturally. However, the continual rise of Reggae is an encouragement that a lot of people are conscious and are fascinated.
Over the last few years the young talents who are making a positive stance are not one hit wonders, they have proven themselves over and over and shows they are willing to keep the torch blazing. The veterans of Reggae are also embracing this trend and continue to lead. Although it is easy to get side tracked by the hype and popularity, their faith keeps them grounded.

Music is the rod and we are Moses


Mama Africa

Africa here she is; an ever high.
The Motherland of us all is frequently the subject of numerous reggae songs. Africa, the incorruptible birth place of our ancestors is revered and looked upon. Despite its economic destitution, which is heavily promoted in the west, the richness of the people, the culture, the lost civilizations and kingdoms; Africa will prevail.
Africa is without doubt a considerable part of reggae not only because Rasta is a dominant force in reggae but also because we owe a lot to her. Reggae music is derived from the all the cultures which were experienced by our pioneers, in this we find the heavy influence of the percussion and chanting.
We owe Africa our utmost respect and to show this we highlight and make her optimistic presence a part of us. We revere her because Marcus Garvey taught us the significance of her in our lives. Almost all reggae artists dedicate their music to Africa and her upliftment and that is a good thing.


Is it exploitation?

Rastafari is one of the pillars of reggae music and its development. No wonder most of the admired musicians of the genre are associated with the faith. But is being a Rasta necessary for the establishment of an artiste? Maybe or maybe not. One thing is certain, it does not hurt.
The vehicle that facilitated the Rastafari movement into mainstream culture was reggae music but simultaneously reggae music was hailed to the forefront by Rastafari.
I can remember as a child Rastas were not as popular as they are today; they were reviled, feared, mysterious and not at all as adored or accepted.
The transformation represents our distancing from colonialism and of us controlling our own destiny; this is a positive move. However, if an artiste exploits the Rasta image for selfish reason or personal gain then the fabric which holds the faith together is permeable and will cause it to collapse. The will of those who do paints an image which is base on falsehood and with this Rasta will not be able to defend itself from threats or coercion. But, is calling on HIM without being a Rasta Blasphemy?

This is in no way targeting any artiste, it is purely my contemplation.


Cease the moment

In 2005 a friend invited me to go see Culture perform in New York, although I wanted to go I declined for what reason I can not remember. A year later Joseph Hill, one of my favorite reggae musicians died and I never saw him in concert, ever since I have regretted not taking my friend’s invitation. Because of this, whenever any of my favorite performers or in town I make it my duty to go see them in action so I don’t have to listen to their tributes or live CD’s after they are dead and imagine what it must have felt like.