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Posted on 8th July 2008 by Reggaelifestyle

The government is to establish a museum of reggae music and artifacts, to represent the struggles and achievements of Jamaican music, and will establish a special initiative to encourage and assist Jamaican film makers to produce works on Jamaican culture.

The announcement was made last week by Minister of Water and Housing, Dr Horace Chang, who was giving the welcome address on behalf of Prime Minister, Bruce Golding at a launching reception for the seventh International Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference. The reception was held at Vale Royal, the Prime Minister’s official residence.


Popularity: 9% [?]

Posted on 17th December 2007 by Reggaelifestyle

More than 26 years after his death, Bob Marley continues to sell records, topping Billboard’s year-end Top Reggae Albums chart. The list-capping title, “Forever Bob Marley” (Madacy Special Products/Madacy), is a set of songs from the reggae great’s pre-Island Records days. Bob Marley & the Wailers also come in at No. 9 with “Africa Unite: The Singles Collection” (Island/Tuff Gong/UMe/IDJMG) and No. 10 with “Gold” (Tuff Gong/Island/Chronicles/UMe), both selections of such fan favorites as “Stir It Up” and “Get Up, Stand Up.”

Carrying on the family tradition, Marley’s sons Stephen and Damian claim the No. 2 and 3 rungs on the year-end reggae albums chart with “Mind Control” (Ghetto Youths/Tuff Gong/Universal Republic/UMRG) and “Welcome to Jam Rock” (Ghetto Youths/Tuff Gong/Universal Republic/UMRG), respectively. The brothers also rank at Nos. 3 and 4 on the Top Reggae Artists year-end chart.

For the second year in a row, New Yorker Matisyahu tops the Reggae Artists chart, continuing to garner new fans with his mix of hip-hop and reggae, as well as his lyrics about his Hasidic Jewish background. His three albums, “Youth” (Or/Epic/Sony Music), “No Place to Be” (One Haven/Or/Epic/Sony Music) and “Live at Stubb’s” (Or/Epic/Sony Music), are Nos. 5, 6 and 11, respectively, on the Top Reggae Albums chart. [...]

Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted on 9th December 2007 by Reggaelifestyle

The Bob Marley/Rita Marley Foundation’s global initiative, Africa Unite concert, will be held in Jamaica for the first time on February 23, 2008 at James Bond Beach, St Mary. It will be a combination of two events with a host of national and international artistes at which the feature documentary, Africa Unite, will make its Caribbean debut as part of the celebrations marking the anniversary of the birth of late Reggae superstar Robert Nesta Marley. The film, starring Rita Marley, Danny Glover, Angelique Kidjo, Lauryn Hill and the Marley children, is produced and directed by Stephanie Black of Life and Debt, H-2 Worker’s fame. It will be launched in February 2008 at the Hilton Kingston Hotel.

People’s Telecom will host the launch of the documentary which highlights the vision for African unity to which Bob Marley was devoted throughout his musical career. “We feel extremely honoured now in 2007 to be asked by Mrs Rita Marley to host Africa Unite in 2008,” stated Michael Dawson, CEO and co-founder of the Jamaican-owned telecommunications company.

“This is a perfect synergy between the Marley Foundation and People’s Telecom, as the company, from the outset, was founded on the principles of stalwarts like Marcus Garvey and His Imperial Majesty (Haile Selassie I), and influenced by the words of Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer,” Dawson added in a press release. [...]

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted on 9th December 2007 by Reggaelifestyle

In 1973, a reggae group on the verge of breaking up released an album — its second that year — filled with militant anthems inspired by life in the Jamaican slums. It turned out to be Bob Marley’s big break. Burnin’ was the last album the reggae master released under the name “The Wailers,” and it featured the final performances of Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer with the group.

While the band was rhythmically tight, Marley dominates this album. Burnin’ covers a variety of topics and moods, from the militancy of “Get Up, Stand Up” and “I Shot the Sheriff” to the heartfelt rage and poverty-induced despair of “Burnin’ and Lootin’.” The final track, the traditional “Rastaman Chant,” sounds a more redemptive note.

The political stridency of Burnin’ was informed by the slums where Marley lived. Rita Marley, his widow, sees the connection. “We were grown and raised in the ghetto, so we knew nothing more than a ghetto life,” she says. [...]

Popularity: 9% [?]

Posted on 4th December 2007 by Reggaelifestyle

Moretele Park was packed with music lovers who streamed to Mamelodi for the Tribute to SA Music Heroes Concert. Sunday was the 10th anniversary of the concert. Metro Police had their hands full sorting out traffic congestion and directing people where to park. Perhaps the most special performance of the day was when the late Lucky Dube’s band performed some of the reggae great’s songs.

Dube was shot dead during a botched hijacking earlier this year. Musician Letta Mbuli said that when she first heard Dube’s voice in the background she was saddened. “At first it did not sit well with me because I know the voice and I miss it,” she said. Mbuli said it was important to remember music heroes. “We should celebrate Dube’s life and others like him and just sing along. I hope other artists continue to perform these heroes’ songs to continue their memory,” she said. [...]

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted on 25th November 2007 by Reggaelifestyle

After finding broad success and mass appeal with her string of catchy singles and her last studio album, Fyah Mumma, royal reggae empress Ventrice Morgan (known to fans as Queen Ifrica) says she is now poised for greater heights in the music industry. And we believe her. As soon as she kicks the first verse of her 2007 runaway chart-topper Below The Waist, you immediately recognise an artiste in great lyrical form. But hearing her deliver her thought-provoking messages on tracks like Daddy and Rasta Nuh Chat Rasta, it becomes clear that the Kingston native, now 32, is certainly not the same artiste she was five years ago. Was she holding out on us all along? At its core, Queen’s music is still reggae with a ‘toops’ of dancehall, yet it gives a taste of her singing talent, which, contrary to her I’m-not-a-girly-girl persona, is surprisingly sweet.

She recently sat down with the Sunday Observer to talk about spreading messages through her music, handling harsh criticism, her Rastafarian faith and her hopes for Jamaica and the future of her career.

Sunday Observer: With all the love you’ve been getting from fans and music lovers in recent times, how are you handling all the attention?

Queen: It’s all good. When you work hard at something, you feel good when you get the reward. I guess people are just rewarding me for the good music I have been putting out. I write all my music so that makes it even more special (Laughs).

Sunday Observer: Your hit single Below The Waist touches on the issue of domestic violence. Why such a topic?

Queen: It’s just another reality of everyday life. Everybody knows that in relationships you are going to have ups and downs but it is important for the lovers to remember why they decided to be together in the first place. Fighting and quarrelling doesn’t solve anything. It is even worse when the children might be affected. We have to be especially careful and remember to take care of the kids. [...]

Popularity: 9% [?]

Posted on 19th November 2007 by Reggaelifestyle

Recently, at the end of an interview with Empress and Steven Golding on NewsTalk 93 FM’s On The Corner, I was asked the programme’s question of the day, “Do we own Reggae?”

Unfortunately, because the programme was wrapping up for the main evening news, I did not have enough time for a comprehensive answer. I instinctively and nationalistically gave the simplistic one word answer of ‘yes’. This issue, however, is a complex one deserving a more in-depth response. In any dispassionate examination of the question, the music business will have to be addressed separately from the music itself. Even so, in today’s context, no discussion of the ownership of Reggae music can ignore the fact that its international appeal and dimensions have penetrated all the continents.

Did you know that the latest major Reggae star is Matisyahu, a Jewish kid from New York who does a sub-genre called Hasidic Reggae? His album Youth was nominated for the 2007 Reggae Grammy, alongside Buju Banton, Ziggy Marley, UB40 and riddim-duo Sly and Robbie, who had collaborated with him in late 2006 on the digital single version of Jerusalem, originally featured on Youth. [...]

Popularity: 5% [?]