dUb, Higher Learning

On Rastafari branch and roots

Peter Tosh – Live @ The Greek Theater, Los Angeles, CA, – August 23.1983


By 1960, several Jamaican institutions had begun to show an interest in the counterculture, and to contribute to the demarginalisation of the Rastafari movement which had previously been repressed.
One such institution was the University of the West Indies, which put the Rastafari on its agenda.
In the course of these trajectories, Jamaican public opinion, which had predominantly perceived the Rastafari movement to be a crowd of violent criminals, fools and outcasts, changed successfully.

Particularly, reggae music (as the emancipation of Jamaican popular music) was co-opted.
The result of the blending of Afro-Jamaican Burru and Kumina drum techniques and folk traditions with Afro-American musical styles (including jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, soul and swing) led to the creation of mento, ska, rocksteady and reggae styles like dancehall, dub, lovers, raggamuffin, rockers and roots, which ‘exerted a tremendous influence on the development of post- World War II popular music globally’.
The musical film The harder they come (1972), starring Jimmy Cliff, contributed enormously to the transnationalisation, popularisation and commercialisation of roots reggae. Not until this style developed, did reggae lyrics exhibit the spirituality and socio-political engagement that came to be seen as the hallmark of roots reggae. And, clearly no one represented the Rastafari rhetoric and feelings of this genre to the world more ably and persuasively than Bob Marley.

Augier urges Rastafari to accept Jamaica as home


In fact, conscious reggae music, with its recreational, critical and inspirational dimensions, would soon transcend the Rastafari milieu and succeed in conquering a global audience. Today, Rastafari not only has observer status in the United Nations, but even more importantly it has become part of everyday culture in Jamaica, and even abroad.
However, the various Rastafari mansions relate differently to reggae music: whereas Boboshanti reject reggae as part of their culture and only consider drumming and chanting as true Rastafari music, the Theocracy Reign Order of the Nyahbinghi describes its relationship to reggae through the metaphor:

‘Reggae is the branch, Nyahbinghi is the root.’



Text from:

The global–local nexus: popular music studies and the case of Rastafari culture in West Africa
Frank Wittmann, 2011.
Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies


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Higher Learning

On Reggae as a part of the inner landscape


Reggae is a key expression of the Rastafarian inner landscape. As a product which stands on its own merit, reggae is often conceived as divorced from the core Rastafari space and purpose. However, Nettleford reminded us that reggae exists because of Rastafari. He stated:


I keep telling people that reggae or ska right through to dancehall appropriated the Rastafarian movement, not the other way around. People don’t understand this; that in fact reggae has taken to itself an ontology, a way of being, a cosmology, a way of thinking about the world, and an epistemology – a way of knowing, getting to know things – through the Rastafarian movement . . . Mr Marley . . . decided that he had to employ not only the outward signs but also the inward grace of the movement. The inner landscape is very much dependent on the belief, faith of the Rastafarian movement . . .

Reggae is therefore in and of itself a landscape dependent on the belief of the Rastafari. In reggae, the Rastafarian has a medium through which to represent the issues, identities and aesthetic of an experience which would otherwise be a subaltern voice. Planno, in support of the reggae medium, said, “We [Rastafari] take the V off ‘pope’ and create ‘pop’ music.” This medium, now world music, has become a quintessential Voice’ and Vision’ of the Rastafari’s landscape, as it seeks to proselytise, conscientise and, in the idiom of Rastafari, ‘chant down Babylon’.
The landscape that reggae provides as a national site for converging the experiences and aspirations of the Jamaican people significantly supports the thesis of Nettleford about the centrality of Rastafari as a cultural treasure for humanity. The potential in reggae is therefore not only in its manifested unification of the inner and outer landscapes of the Rastafari and the African Jamaican experience, but also in its humane qualities that provide an empathetic potential for all who hold the need for liberation, equity and dignity. To this extent the society has been typecast within the Rastafari scenery or landscape of reggae. It is this landscape that scholars such as Kwame Dawes identify not only as the spirit of Jamaica but also as the aesthetic of the Caribbean people and, I would add, perhaps even the African diaspora.

This idea of the reggae machinery as one of the chief expressions of the spirit of the Caribbean peoples links us back to Sir Arthur Lewis’s statement, “We are all Rastas”, as the music has been imbued and mandated to speak for us to break the silence. This, of course, brings into focus the social contradictions: reggae, a highly commercialised and successful music genre, has out-stripped in prominence its own inventors, the Rastafari. Additionally, reggae, which is a testimony of the Rastafari inner landscape, has increasingly been channelled away from its core producers’ ideological anxieties to represent seemingly the less germane aspects of the African experience. Nettleford realised this contradiction, and it was this that he identified as an appropriation of Rastafari by some reggae musicians who, he implied, are like wolves in sheep’s clothing, without a genuine appreciation for the inner grace.

Chapter from-

Nettleford and Rastafari’s Inner Landscape
by JAHLANI NIAAH
Source: Caribbean Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 3/4, (December 2011)

Image source: Island Outpost

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dUb, Magu Shan Dub Tong

Jah Billah – Motherboard Dubs 2011 Remaster 2021

Jah Billah – Motherboard Dubs 2011 Remaster 2021

Original track listing:

JAH BILLAH

MOTHERBOARD DUBS

A1 DUBBY BOOM (4:22)

A2 ONE DUB A DAY (3:30)

B1 SHAKA IMPACT DUB (3:15)

B2 OPERATOR CAT EXTRAORDINAIRE (4:33)

Original release date:

May 15, 2011

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dUb

Fela Kuti & De La Soul – Fela Soul

Since digital revolution, good music is not lacking, just in need of digital crate diggin.
Back in 2011 Amerigo Gazaway crafted this musical gem:

Check out full album and instrumentals.

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PSYCHOECOLOGY – STATE SPONSORED MIND CONTROL

Originally a Weird Russian Mind-Control Research went patent pending as mental health machine because technology measures response of subconscious mind.

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dUb, Dub Disinfo Department, Higher Learning

JOURNEY TO JAH

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dUb, Magu Shan Dub Tong

SEASPLASH

Original Seasplash sound man don. SEASPLASH

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dUb

DUBMASTOR DUBBIN BLACKOUT JA

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dUb, Magu Shan Dub Tong

BLEND MISHKIN @ ZAGREB 2011

blend mishkin flyer Flyer scan opening for mighty Blend Mishkin, man passin trough on his European tour in 2011. Small crowds but nicer vibes.

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dUb, Magu Shan Dub Tong

WINTERSPLASH 2011

wintersplash 2011 flyer Flyer scan of Wintersplash 2011, opening for mighty RSD!

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