Marijuana’s Relationship with Reggae and Its Future Prospects in Jamaica

January 8th, 2015

Despite Jamaican reggae’s pro-cannabis stance over the past six decades, the plant remains illegal in the music’s birthplace.Jamaica’s reggae artists are unrivaled in their vociferous championing of marijuana usage and persistent rallying for its legalization.

A primary tenet of the island’s indigenous Rastafarian way of life, which is inextricably linked to the cultural identity of roots reggae, regards cannabis, or ganja, as a sacred herb; since the late 1960s Rastafarian artists have promoted ganja’s healing properties in their song lyrics, which has resulted in an organic decriminalization campaign summarized by the title track of the late, visionary Peter Tosh’s 1976 debut album Legalize It Columbia Records.

via Marijuana’s Relationship with Reggae and Its Future Prospects in Jamaica.


January 4th, 2015

Returning to Nigeria, 22 years after his first visit, reggae music icon, Don Carlos, recounts intimate experiences with his Nigerian fans. Nseobong Okon-Ekong reports

Not customary with the character of entertainment star of his stature and fame, reggae music icon, Don Carlos, real name, Ervin Spencer, was alone in his hotel room in Lagos. He answered the door himself. Of course, he was familiar with the caller, Raheem Agoro, a radio presenter and promoter of reggae music who facilitated his visit to Nigeria. Carlos was the headline performer at the 18th edition of Felabration.


All in the family

January 4th, 2015

FOR over 30 years, Roger Steffens has earned a reputation as an authority on Bob Marley and the Wailers. The massive archives of Marley/reggae memorabilia at his Los Angeles home has attracted reggae’s elite and Hollywood A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio.

But Steffens had a cache of slides under lock and key for almost 50 years. With the help of his children, they have been digitised, posted on Instagram and have become the subject of feature stories in Time and New Yorker magazines, and on CNN.

via All in the family.

Roots-reggae acts deliver

December 28th, 2014

The dancehall acts would have had to be excellent performers to outdo their reggae counterparts at the 2014 staging of the popular annual stage show Sting.

From their earliest sets at the JamWorld Complex in Portmore on Friday night, it was clear that the reggae acts were determined not to be outdone. They put in workman-like performances to earn the respect of the tough Sting crowd.

Performances such as former Rising Stars finalist Dann I, Royal Flames, Droop Lion, Exco Levi and Iba Mahr were able to move the sizeable audience which streamed into the venue. These acts, with their conscious lyrics, sought and received the adoration of patrons who are widely believed to be dancehall-oriented.

via Roots-reggae acts deliver.

Children of reggae legend Peter Tosh fighting over his estate

December 21st, 2014

The kids of late reggae star Peter Tosh are at war over more than $2 million in royalties from his estate, according to a new Manhattan lawsuit.Tosh’s daughter, Aldrina McIntosh, claims in the suit that younger sister Niambe McIntosh hasn’t paid her or their other eight siblings a cent in royalties for the past five years.

The estate of the famed “Bob Marley and the Wailers’’ musician — who wrote the lyrics to such reggae classics as “Get Up, Stand Up” — rakes in $150,000 to $300,000 annually, according to the surrogate court case.

via Children of reggae legend Peter Tosh fighting over his estate.

Sunny Ohanyere: Reggae Music Chose Me; I Didn’t Choose Reggae…

December 14th, 2014

Unforgettable reggae lyrics from an indefatigable reggae star, Buju Banton. That was the first reggae song played by the Nigerian-born, patois-speaking University of Lagos Radio presenter and the brain behind the renaissance of reggae and raga music in Nigeria. From “Dancehall Supremacy” to “Riddim Clash” the Ital Sound presenter has been galvanising the public to the high level of reggae.

He didn’t choose to be a Rastafarian, reggae music chose him. At every interval of his life there have always been reggae nuances directly. Sunny Ohanyere, popularly known as Covenant Child was born to an architect father and a businesswoman mother, he immersed himself in Jamaican heritage through his radio show. Going into the studio, for the first time to produce his demo reggae show, with N10, 000, Ohanyere has grown into cult figure with a great number of reggae music lovers following him. But his life is not all about reggae.

via Sunny Ohanyere: Reggae Music Chose Me; I Didn’t Choose Reggae….

Island Records Co-Founder and Jamaican Music Engineer Graeme Goodall Dead at 82

December 14th, 2014

From his involvement in the earliest Jamaican singles to have impacted international markets to his co-founding role in Island Records, Australian-born engineer Graeme Goodall, was a pivotal, if somewhat overlooked, figure in the development of Jamaica’s music industry. Goodall died of natural causes at his Atlanta home on December 4th; he was 82.

Born in Melbourne, in 1932, Goodall worked for several AM radio stations in Australia as an audio engineer before traveling to London in the mid-’50s where he trained as an engineer at the International Broadcasting Company IBC, then Britain’s largest independent recording studio.

via Island Records Co-Founder and Jamaican Music Engineer Graeme Goodall Dead at 82.

Ryveela banking on Ghetto Prayer

December 4th, 2014

DANCEHALL singjay Ryveela is set on carving his niche in Jamaica’s competitive music industry.

He is banking on his latest single, Ghetto Prayer, which will be released on December 13 on the Reggae Fever Innovation label. The track, according to him, is a social commentary which offers encouragement.

“I know there are lots of other talents out there, but I am confident if I continue to push good, quality songs, it will eventually take off,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

via Ryveela banking on Ghetto Prayer.

Bob Marley, the reggae king of cannabis, may soon have his own line of pot

November 23rd, 2014

Reggae legend Bob Marley was known to be a fan of marijuana. Now, a marijuana-focused venture capital firm is trying to bank on that tight relationship.

Privateer Holdings has reached an agreement with the family of the late musician to collaborate on what the Seattle-based firm is calling “the world’s first global cannabis brand.” Called Marley Natural, it will include “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains inspired by those Bob Marley enjoyed” and be sold where regulations permit.

via Bob Marley, the reggae king of cannabis, may soon have his own line of pot.

Lady Saw Doesn’t Care for Pretty Boys

November 23rd, 2014

I’ve only missed two summers in New York in my life. There’s a magic that was real for me in seeing people sitting outside while the sun set late blasting dancehall from the subs on the sidewalk in Brooklyn. There are songs that instantly take me back to all those humid days. Lady Saw’s “Sycamore Tree.” The track itself opens with the line “Do you remember?” Over the popular Joyride riddim, Lady Saw speaks of the demise of a young love over—what else but—?oral sex. The topic matched her raw voice, which I could poorly describe as a high-pitched bass that is one of a kind and instantly recognizable.

By the time "Sycamore Tree" had seared itself into my brain, Lady Saw was already an undeniable talent. Her first album, which dropped in 1994, came with the single “Stab Up Di Meat,” a song that definitively let them know her music was going to be full of slackness. In the world of Island Culture, where misogyny and patriarchy regularly silence women’s sexual voice, this was powerful stuff.

via Lady Saw Doesn’t Care for Pretty Boys | Complex.