Jamaica


jamaica-transgender-teen-killing

Jamaican transgender teen’s murder by mob     < Click here to see article

Jesus.   It doesn’t even mention the female name that must’ve been more important to her than just about anything!

And please! Never mind the ‘reason’!! There is never any reason!!!

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
― attributed to Edmund Burke.

In this case, evil ran riot!

[sighs]

Well, it’s nothing new.

From the Southern Poverty Law Center article on ‘murder music’:

Jamaican dancehall star Buju Banton was considered a musical prodigy in 1988 when, at age 15, he recorded what remains one of his best-known tracks, “Boom Bye Bye.” Even in the difficult-to-decipher Jamaican slang known as patois, its chorus evokes violence and dread: Boom bye bye / inna batty bwoy head / Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man / dem haffi dead. (“Boom [the sound of a gunshot], bye-bye, in a faggot’s head / the tough young guys don’t accept fags; they have to die.”)

“For those whose familiarity with Jamaican music begins and ends with Bob Marley, “murder music” — and its stubborn worldwide popularity — will come as a serious shock.

“…According to the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), Jamaica’s only organization promoting LGBT rights, mobs assaulted at least 98 gay men and lesbians between February and July 2007 alone. …

“The source of another oft-repeated statistic, that at least 35 Jamaicans have been killed since 1997 solely for being gay, is unknown…

“In any case, powerful taboos against gays in Jamaica make compiling accurate statistics on anti-gay hate crimes difficult because victims and their families are afraid to come forward….

“Jamaica’s cultural homophobia has deep historical roots. The island’s fundamentalist brand of Christianity and its indigenous Rastafarian religion both condemn homosexuality in the strongest terms…

“Making matters worse, anti-sodomy laws criminalizing sex between men remain on the books in Jamaica and other former British colonies in the Caribbean. As a result, gay men are essentially viewed as criminals, making it nearly impossible for them to bring complaints about violence to the police. Though consensual sex between two women is not illegal, murder music nevertheless includes lesbians in its wrath….

“Even politicians at times have conferred legitimacy on murder music. Dancehall group TOK’s track “Chi Chi Man,” about killing and burning gay men, was the Jamaican Labour Party’s 2001 theme song. Its lyrics: From dem a par inna chi chi man car / Blaze di fire mek we bun dem! From dem a drink inna chi chi man bar / Blaze di fire mek we dun dem! (“Those who gather in a fag’s car / Blaze the fire, let’s burn them! Those who drink in a fag bar / Blaze the fire, let’s kill them!”) The melody of the chorus, ironically, evokes the Christian hymn, “Do You Hear What I Hear?”…”

Jamaica’s Anti-Gay ‘Murder Music’ Carries Violent Message | Southern Poverty Law Center

This is one of my more popular posts. What can I say? Ya got good taste!

See my “Amy8Trak” reggae and disco playlists on Spotify

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Bunny Wailer Sings The Wailers

This is an excellent set.  If ya na know Bunny Wailer, ya na know reggae. Listen to ‘Rule This Land’

Best Dressed Chicken In Town by Dr. Alimantado.

Listen to ‘Just The Other Day’

Very musical and rhythmical stuff. It chugs along like a clattering, unstoppable train. Like the album by Culture below, it grows on you.

These tunes were put together about 1973-1976. Hard times were coming in Jamaica: the man’s talking ’bout “Poison Flour”, killing all man; or if not that, it’s high prices in “Just The Other Day”; or a gunman backing him up around a corner in “Gimme Mi Gun”, which addressed the growing climate of political terror and violence.

A very dread set, indeed. And this was before drugs, greed, corrupt politics, NAFTA, the World Bank and the long shadow of the US made of JA a wasteland; and of reggae, a pale shadow. Of course, the greed and exploitative nature of the recording industry did not help!

Actually, it was in the resolve, conviction and integrity of  the people and artists such as  these in Jamaica – in the face of such repression and deprivation – that made reggae great, transcendent in it’s “golden era”.

Two Sevens Clash by Culture

Very vital, primal music; funky and rootsy;  like a fresh, pure breeze out of Africa that wipes everything else clean with it’s utter authenticity. I love it’s clattering rhythms and musicality; stylistically similar to the above album by Dr. Alimantado.

Listen to ‘Two Sevens Clash’

The Chanting Dread Inna Fine Style by Big Youth

I love the song “Streets in Africa”, which is sung to the tune of “The World Is A Ghetto”. Big Youth is da bomb!

Listen to ‘Streets of Africa’

Farover by Burning Spear

There’s a note of weary, resigned patience to this set that grew on me.

Listen to ‘Greetings’

Red by Black Uhuru

A very fiery set. A classic, a masterwork. Some standout tracks are “Sistren”, “Journey”, and “Utterance”. “Youth of Eglington” and “Carbine” warn against gunplay while raising the unasked question, “What’s driving people to it?”

Sandra “Puma” Jones, who sang with the group on this album, was a social worker from South Carolina.

Listen to ‘Sistren’

Sugar Minott, “Good Thing Going”, original 1981 vinyl version

I’m talking strictly about the original 1981 vinyl version which contained these 7 songs (and three more): 1. Good Thing Going 2. Never My Love 3. My Sisters 4. Jasmine 5. Life Without Money 6. Lonely Days 7. Walk On By.

Nice album in original form! and I don’t know why they had to delete some of these crucial songs on subsequent versions and still call it the same album! Yechh!
Sugar Minott, rest in peace, 1956-2010. He had the sweetest, most endearing, slightly off-key lovers rock croon on these songs that ya never gonna hear nowhere else and puts the autotuners to shame, yuh!
So straight from the heart – do yourself a favor, give these songs a listen & let your smile glisten, you’ll soon be a raver

Listen to ‘Good Thing Going’

Here’s a link to Fire Pashon, Sugar Minott’s daughter, doing an inspirational song in the classic reggae style,    “Mek It Inna Life”

Knock Out! by Toots and the Maytals. This is a great album. See my review at the link below.

Listen to ‘Careless Ethiopians’

 See my review here.

Natty Rebel by U-Roy. I haven’t heard the whole album, but the version of “Natty Rebel” is one of my all time favorite songs. See link to my review below.

Listen to ‘Natty Rebel’

 See my review here

Another of my favorites was Jacob Miller with Inner Circle. He used a dynamic quaver or vibrato in his singing to a very expressive effect. “All Night Till Daylight” is a good example.

Steel Pulse have a really smooth sound – great production, singing, melodies etc. Here’s a link to their song   “Your House”  The song was featured in the cool UK film ‘Fish Tank’ about a troubled, tough adolescent girl.

Also recommended: the movies “The Harder They Come” and “Rockers”.

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