World of Reggae Music Collection–Roots and Culture: Political Reggae

The World of Reggae Music Collection: Roots and Cultrue Political Reggae Often reggae carries a strong political message wrapped inside its intoxicating vibes. Reggae superstars Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, Yellowman, Eek-A-Mouse, and Bob Marley and The Wailers have a broad knowledge of the plight of the poor people around the world. In turn these reggae artists have fashioned brilliant protest songs that bring attention to international social injustice. From Jimmy Cliff’sVietnam” to Ziggy Marley And The Melody Makersperforming “Namibia” decades of reggae artists have expressed their political viewpoints through music. One of my favorite American musicians that often drenches his original music in reggae sounds, Michael Franti, leads the California-based band Spearhead with hard-hitting lyrics. His message of love trumps the political message, but his songs are filled with deep knowledge of social, economic, and political issues. Micheal Franti & Spearhead are a must in this edition of Roots and Culture. From modern dancehall artists like Busy SignalMavado, I-Wayne, Perfect, Sizzla, and Alborosie to the classic reggae bands like the The Mighty Diamonds, Steel Pulse, and Black Uhuruthe mainstream political worldview often comes into question in these great reggae tracks. And there were strong positive-minded individuals from Jamaica like Hugh Mundell and Jacob Miller that pointed out the of the hypocrisies of these bad-minded politicians. Some reggae artists even called for social revolution in their music. Peter Tosh said it best in his song “Equal Rights” “I don’t want no peace. I want equal rights and justice. Gotta to get it. Equal rights and justice.”

Jimmy Cliff Vietnam

YellowmanLeave Iraq Alone

Bob Marley and the WailersZimbabwe

Peter Tosh Equal Rights

Michael Franti and Spearhead Crime To Be Broke In America

Dennis Brown – Revolution, Pt. 1

Gregory Isaacs & the UpsettersMr. Cop

Eek-A-Mouse – Politics

Bob Marley & the Wailers – I Shot The Sheriff

Horace Andy – Materialist

Horace Andy – Poor Man Style

Cocoa Tea – Barack Obama

Tony Rebel – I Can’t Recall

Yellowman – CNN News

Gregory Isaacs, Soul Syndicate, & the Heptones – Black a Kill Black

Burro Banton & Cornell Campbell – Pressure

Michael Franti & SpearheadTime To Go Home

Black Uhuru – Youth Of Eglington

Black Uhuru – Youth (Dub)

Steel Pulse – No Justice No Peace

Cutty Ranks – New World Order

Brooklyn Jungle Soundsystem – Kulture (Dubmatix Rub-A-Dub Revival Remix)

Jacob MillerRoman Soldiers Of Babylon

Steel Pulse – Taxi Driver

Alborosie – America

Desmond Dekker – Problems

Horace Andy – Leave Rasta

Black Uhuru – General Penitentiary

Busy Signal – Running From The Law

Snoop Lion & Akon – Tired of Running

Esco Levi – Bleaching Shop

Cocoa Tea – Oil Ting

Alborosie – Tax War

Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers – We Propose

Lucky Dube – Soldier

Manu Chao –  Politick Kills

Steel Pulse Global Warning

Michael Franti & Spearhead – Yell Fire!

Alpha BlondyApartheid Is Nazism

Barrington Levy – Mandela Free

Alborosie – Police

Snoop Lion & Cori B – No Guns Allowed

Raging Fyah – World Crisis

Cocoa Tea – Mr. Neck Tie Man

Lucky Dube – Victims

Gentleman – It No Pretty

Steel Pulse – Tribute to the Martyrs

Alborosie – Global War

Cocoa Tea – Moving On

Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers – Namibia

Jimmy Cliff – Children’s Bread

J Boog – Change Up Your Evil Ways

Steel Pulse – Earth Crisis

Alborosie – What If Jamaica

Cocoa Tea – Zeeks

Steel Pulse – Black and Proud

Marshel – New World Order

Alborosie – Games

Joe Higgs – Wave Of War

NEED

Papa LeviBush & Blair

I-WaynePolitics And Religion

YellowmanAids

Mavado – We Need Barack

Hugh Mundell Africa Must Be Free By 1983

Big YouthPolitical Confusion

Busy Signal Politics

Black UhuruSolidarity

Ranking Trevor & Wailing Souls – War

Perfect – Hanging Day

Bushman – World State

Admiral Bailey Politician

Hugh MundellRun Revolution A Come

Junior DelgadoHypo

Buju Banton – Immigration Law

No 1 Station – Bush War

Sugar Minott Nah Go To South Africa

Bushman World Crisis

Israel Vibration Racial Discrimination

SizzlaBlack Man In The White House

Israel VibrationNatty Dread

Jacob MillerJolly Joseph

The Mighty Diamonds, Suga Roy, & Conrad CrystalPolice And Bad Boy Strap

SizzlaThe Solution

Sugar MinottNah Follow Fashion

Buju BantonPolitics Time Again

Cocoa TeaBuju

Horace Andy – No Love in the City

Horace Andy – Problems

Peter Tosh – Fire Fire Babylon Burning

The Royals – Sufferer of the Ghetto

Jah Lion – Soldier and Police War

Barry Brown – Politician

Cultural Roots – Thieves, Liars, and Criminals

The Valentines – Stop the Violence

Gregory Isaacs – Lonely Soldier

Joe Gibbs & the Professionals – State of Emergency

Garnett Silk – Cry of my People

Jah Lloyd – Soldier Round the Corner

Max Romeo – Public Enemy Number One

Ranking Joe – Back Wey You Vulutres

Welton Irie – Ghettoman Corner

John Wayne – Call the Police

Scientist – Mass Murder and Corruption

Romain VirgoGhetto

LorenzoGun Play

KonshensWar Straight

Perfect – Amerimaka

Dillinger – Buckingham Palace

Peter Metro – Police in England

Lucky Dube – Political Games

Barrington Levy – Soldier

Culture – World Peace

World of Reggae Music Collection–Roots and Culture: Political Reggae

Reggae on the River 2009 – Reggae on the River in Humboldt County

I got to attend this year’s Reggae on the River Festival in Southern Humboldt County, California. The festival had a great local community feel and funds raised went to support the Mateel Community Center in Redway, California. The Eel River flowed through the picturesque venue located at Benbow State Recreational Area. Reggae on the River celebrated its 25th Anniversary in fine style. Positive vibrations flowed all day long. Soul Majestic played early in the day bringing their brand of soul-drenched reggae to the stage. The track “First Light” set the vibe and songs like “Rough N’ Tuff ” displayed the musical prowess of this young group. Soul Majestic also played the single “Better World,” which dovetails nicely with their positive vibe and eco-friendly message.

Queen Omega ignited the stage with soul, dancehall, and roots reggae. A native of Trinidad and Tobago Queen Omega sang “Love Ya Color,” “Judgement,” “Warning,” and “Ganja Baby” to an appreciative crowd.  The Roots Revealers bought Jamaican dancehall to northern California playing the songs “Long Road” and “No More Killing.”

The crowd-pleasing crown princess of roots reggae Etana turned it up a notch dropping the killer hits “Roots” and “Blessing.” The lovely songstress covered some Bob Marley and the Wailers tunes creating a wonderful vibe with the classic “One Drop.” Etana played some tracks from her newest hit album The Strong One performing “Jah Chariot” and “Don’t Forget,” and “Caltariba System.” And I was pleasantly surprised by Etana‘s cover of the Beatles “Don’t Let Me Down.” Etana finished her set singing “I Am Not Afraid,” which is from one of my favorite riddims: the “Rub-A-Dub” riddim.

The legendary vocal group from Jamaica The Abyssinians took the stage under the afternoon sun. Roots reggae filled the air with classic tunes like “Y Mas Gan,” “African Race,” “Let My Days Be Long,”  “Meditation,” and “Know Jah Today.” The Abyssinians took us to the Bible and the book of Daniel with “Abendigo,” turning the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendigo into a wonderful reggae and dub experience. And of course the reggae legends performed their megahits from the Satta Massagana album, including “Peculiar Number,” “Black Man’s Strain,” “Declaration Of Rights,” “Forward Unto Zion,” and “Satta Massagana.”

The Abyssinians at Reggae on the River 2009
The Abyssinians at Reggae on the River 2009
The Abyssinians Dancing at Reggae on the River 2009
The Abyssinians Dancing at Reggae on the River 2009

Tanya Stephens livened things up with a raunchy-rough riding performance that included plenty of references to “long ding dongs” with high-energy versions of “Boom Wuk” and “Good Ride.” The dancehall favorite “Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet” set a playful vibe and then she played the killer singles “Can’t Breathe,” “It’s A Pity,” and “These Streets.” Stephens showed her soulful side too with songs like “What Ah Day” and “Little White Lie.” But it seemed Stephens dominated with the playful tunes like “Tek Him Back” and “To The Rescue.”

Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009
Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009
Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009, California
Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009, California

Then the Yellow Wall Dub Squad took the stage to warm it up for The Mighty Diamonds. The bassist sang the song “Overlaod” and then King David sang a reggae version of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.” The Mighty Diamonds entered the stage and played “Poor Marcus Garvey” and “Rise Up” from the album titled Rise Up. The roots reggae gems “Have Mercy,” “Right Time,” “Africa,” and “I Need A Roof” all made the set list. The “I Need A Roof” jam extended and transitioned into a cover of the Bob Marley‘s anthem “Get Up, Stand Up.” An extended version of “Pass The Kutchie” and a sweet version of the Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions tune “It’s All Rightt” capped off the set. Etana, The Abyssinians, Soul Majestic, Queen Omega, and The Mighty Diamonds then returned to the stage and all performed together for a finale. The all-star group of reggae performers sang the Bob Marley and the Wailers classic hit “One Love / People Get Ready.”

The Eel River at Reggae on the River 2009
The Eel River at Reggae on the River 2009
Dancin' Crowd at Reggae on the River 2009
Dancin' Crowd at Reggae on the River 2009

Reggae on the River 2009 – Reggae on the River in Humboldt County