Monday, July 30, 2007

In defense of Munga... Debating RASTA and Jah Cure returns

Rastas blast Munga's 'Gangsta Ras' image

A group of Rastafarians who feel that dancehall artiste Munga's promotion of himself as "the Gangsta Ras" with attendant image, is a perversion of the integrity of Rastafari, say they intend to pursue the use of intellectual property protocols to protect and preserve the culture and symbols from misuse.

JAMAICA OBSERVER the official article

Really and truly I find this line of argument distasteful. Rasta a cuss and a quarrel and washing the proverbial dirty linens in public. For someime I have seen this sort of thing brewing, it was bound to happen. Especially with a agenerational baton pass at hand, even in the Rasta community we see a generational ideological battle, with what maybe called or what I call the Rasta IDEOLOGUES, you know them, the brand of excessively, overly intellectual Rastas, the ones that continue to invent and re-invent terms like socio-politico-econo-enviro-psycho (yuh know the type that continue to invent So-Sci terms) that are the 'blackest," most vegan/vegetarian, most conscious, most holy, sexless, most fire burning, most overly intellectual... that seem to think they make up a grand council of Rastafari, that seem to me, a sort of ras-neo-nicaea council. When did one group become the guardians and gatekeepers of Rasta, who chose them? Are they elect of the King? Are they fit to be a council or governing body, are they objective? Are they the vanguard? Do they represent a particular house or one house? Do they represent the young or the old? Are they for this generation or just the last?

For a long time though, these issues have been on the back burner simmering and now are seemingly close to the forefront. These are volatile times, with lots of social upheaval and change. Not only is society changing but the so are the concerns and issues of the people as does society contend with the rise of rampant homosexuality, blatant sexuality, guns, violence, crime, poverty, health, governance, self reliance, so too must Rastafari. However I don't think the answer lies in the suspicious auspices, vague authority and grand decrees of a central organization, that seemingly hasn't substantiated their authority. Does this group represent just the ideologues or does it represent or is it representatiive of every Rasta, the ones inna bush, the ones inna country, the ones most people despise the carnal kind in Negril, the ones with guns waiting on revolution, the binghi house, david house, the coptics, the bobos, etc? I doubt.

It seems odd to me that Rasta, a system of commune, community and common goals and such, would begin to speak of intellectual property, copyright and ownership, a very western notion, an idea that pins and hinges the globalisation process together, that furthers the imperialist agenda. No one has copyrights, or ownership of Rasta. Did this group invent Rasta, muchless to claim ownership? And are we to stay stagnant? No Rasta will evolve, does evolve and has evolved and will not remain what confined to anyone individuals ideas or and one group.

On the matter of Gangster Ras. Weren't Coptic Rastas one of the most armed and militant sets. Has Rasta always and only held the peaceful image, haven't we been revolutionaries at times, warlike... long before the advent of MUNGA? The petty argument and debate needs to stop.

It is these same petulant pedantic, me/we own Rasta Ideologue vibes that have certain Rastas under LUTAN FYAH skin just because him seh "Big up Bounty caah him buss artist, and Rasta need fi do more fi buss the yutes caah a dem a carry the fire" You can believe big man like Luciano and Capleton BEX ova dat. A pickney vibes that. Caah he is a Ras he can't make any critique of Rasta. And it wasn't them he was refering to literally or individually. BBwoy that look like backra master business, tryiung to cow down yutes and tell we in essence "hush your mouth nigga." By the way nuh Capleton buss Munga, where is his defens... is he defending Munga any.. haven't heard, but then again, a this man seh "we nuh trust dem, even if we buss dem"

ANY WAY BIG UP IYAH-CURE... dem free up the boss since week and MoBAY happy. I wonder if I can get an interview. Then again mi might nuh have a life if enuff Rasta read this...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


an old article of mine that never really saw the light of day publication wise, so why not set her free here…

Radio Selassie: rasta on all frequencies


"My Locks a my antenna to Jah"

by Mutabaruka


WELCOME TO JAMROCK. 2006, conscience is once again a stable part of the dancehall diet, after a epic 2005, a year in which Rastafari and consciousness returned full force and full throttle to take stranglehold of the airwaves. Every radio station, every car and every sound system was thumping it out; the new wave or more like tsunami (the 2005 catch phrase) of conscious music that is being churned out by a throng of new and returned Rasta Deejays and Singers; the likes of Chuck Fender, Richie Spice, Junior Kelly, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Ras Ghandi, Gyptian, Jah Cure, Fanton Mojah, Norris Man, Bush Man, Natty King, Buju Banton, Turbulence, I-Wayne, Mr. Perfect, Jah Mason, Lutan Fyah, Anthony B and so many more. From grass root radio stations like IRIE FM to the bourgeois ZIP FM, it's a Rasta on all frequencies.


Flashback to summer 2003, Elephant Man and Beenie Man are since a while back had been hussling a frantic wave of dancing songs, so pervasive and ubiquitous were these songs that even Capleton had belted out a few. Then in the midst of the dance craze crept Sizzla's unassuming, retro, retrospective and sober album "Da Real Thing." This album was the rallying cry for the return to roots and culture, after what had been a long and superficial siesta in Elephant Man's "Dancing Gym" or "Dancing School." Yes!!! I am sure you too "logged on" and were there, either "pon the river, or pon the bank." Sizzla's album blindsided the nation and took dancehall fans back to yesteryear and put them into the frame of mind that would be receptive to the coming tide of consciousness that would be soon washing through the streets of Jamaica, in every nook and cranny, in every bar, at every fete, in every street dance, in every car that jams every streetlight, in every stereo and on every station.


Music and Jamaica have always been intertwined. The music and Rastafari however, has had its up and lows. There were periods when it seemed Rastafari had almost been divorced from the music. Especially when Dancehall had emerged full force and had a battalion of sexually charged lyricists. The likes of Yellow Man and Shabba Ranks were pumping in every box. But indomitable and unwavering Rastafari returned to the fore in the early 90's and we saw the likes of Luciano and Garnett Silk. Then with
young and powerful vocalist like Mark Myrie and Clifton Bailey better known as Buju Banton and Capleton adopting the faith of Rastafari and lending their voices to the host of Selassie, and the enigmatic Sizzla Kalonji creating waves in the underground, it seemed that Rasta was back. However, as fate would have it as not so, with unforeseen and tragic events like the death of Garnett Silk, upsurges in crime and the advent of Cable Television in the island the people had acquires new tastes and had acclimatized to rap music, and to a lesser extent the rock and alternatives flavours. Instead of the conscious and social commentary of Rastafari bubbling to the top, those that had incorporated the styles of Cable Television and rap music took precedence, so we saw the Scare Dem Crew and Monster Shock Crew, bombard the airwaves.


Today Reggae and its bastard child Dancehall have become the unequivocal platform for the multifaceted and ever evolving face of Rastafari. This summer has been proof beyond doubt. Damian Jr. Gong Marley has for some time taken vice-like grip of local music stations (REtv, HypeTV, Music Plus, and FiwiTV), radio stations and every component set in every car. Summer was a super semester in "Dancehall 101," with the staging of events such as World Clash, Dancehall Queen, Sumfest, ATI Negril Weekend, and a host of smaller events. At the major Lecture this semester, Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest, an event embroiled in controversy seeing that its promoters opted to axe crucial and prominent dancehall acts owing to the fact that their sponsors (a people –the Irish-- far removed from Jamaican culture) sought to dictate who is and isn't supposed to be on the show. This twist of events led to the rescuing of Sumfest by two of reggae and dancehalls most dynamic Rastafari acts… Sizzla Kalonji and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley.


The new wordsmiths and lyrical assassins in Selassie's army have been hard at work pounding out and forging a barrage of albums that are bombarding the sensibilities of reggae and dancehall listeners everywhere. I-Wayne's album Lavaground has drastically altered the music landscape in Jamaica and acclimatized the ear of many to new vocal techniques with reggae. He runs in the same vein as Fanton Mojah, whose bolder yet new vocal catalogue has spun vocal hits like "Hail Di King," "Hungry" and "Thanks and Praise." Turbulence a one time protégé of Sizzla Kalonji has also risen to become one of Rastafari's premiere acts and has pelted two successful singles with Dancehall diva Sasha.


Sizzla and Damian "Junior Gong" Marley have erupted unto the international scene. Damian Marley has with one single, single-handedly belted himself to a number 7 debut on the Billboard 200 charts creating reggae and dancehall history. The nation and now seemingly the world has been wooed by his old school dancehall chants and techniques. His record is unique in that, even though Dancehall has been doing a lot of retrospect, most of it has been in the more censored and "slack" realms. The Gong's album is reminiscent of late 80's and early 90's songs like those of Supercat, Ninja Man, Shabba and the early Bounty Killer. Lil Kim's "Put your lighters up"
is testament to Damian Marley's international and maybe even universal appeal. Sizzla has had Dancehall's unofficial and street aficionados buzzing with his signing to the Damon Dash owned DDMG label and his chart topper with Foxy Brown "Come Fly with me."


This article would be incomplete without mentioning the contributions of Richie Spice whose sound is without match, not only are his vocals compelling, he carries a humility that is without match in a country and music industry that can sometimes lead the most patient of persons to wrath. This artist tore apart the scene in 2004 after a sabbatical and re-releasing "Earth a Run Red" a telling chant that shows the signs of the times. To date he has had quite a lot of mellow and sombre hits, such as "Sunshine girl," "Ghetto girl," "Upside down," amongst many others.


These days the message of Rastafari is no longer restricted to the hills and ceremonies, but has evolved and like the natural mystic, it creeps into the street dances, those in the country and those in the city, it is in the CD player next door, the bars, the lounges, houses, the car that is beside you in traffic, the little music man selling cassettes and CDs on the street side, the ghetto, the suburbs, the vendors, it is on the lips of the people, in the minds of many, today the message of Rastafari is inescapable, inevitable, indomitable and invincible. It is a sound that will no longer be quelled or relegate and confined t select locales. It is ubiquitous and omni present. Ladies and gentlemen Reggae and Dancehall under the auspices of Rasta has taken over all frequencies.


By Yannick Nesta Pessoa

B.A. in Philosophy, UWI Mona.



© MMV Yannick Nesta Pessoa & Azteka Studios

Friday, July 06, 2007

TET vs. The World

Behold the Enigmatic Mr. Pessoa is back... or as Rasta seh... Forward... just a forward after a long sabbatical and build back session... as a matter of fact a still build back mi a build back...

So anyway mi a try intensify mi site wid video, audio, pix, and the shebang...

Now in the first of the video series... I present to you an old man called TET... who haas the world record for badwords etc... dis man although yuh cyaaan see him too good inna di video ( he is up towards the left corner) have a guiness, redstripe, and heineken book of world record eh... so unnu tek him in... aye an by the way video due to expletives is rated PG13... though in reality we know the majority of Jamaican 2 year olds already know these words....