dUb, Higher Learning, Kaneh Bosm

On world turning Rasta and getting high without getting high

Jah Bilah intro:

This examination of the rise of Rastafari in mainstream following popular conversion of Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion back in 2013 contains some reasoning by UK bredrin Benjamin Zephaniah and Maxi Priest.

“Regarding the body as a temple, which must be loved, respected and well looked after, is another Rastafarian mantra. And contrary to popular belief, not all Rastafarians smoke marijuana, and if they do, they don’t simply smoke to get high.

However, this happens today within the context of an ever-increasing amount of anti-smoking campaigns highlighting the negative effects smoking has on the body, which are being taken more seriously now and are much more chronicled and echoed from the rooftops.


The reasons Rastas give up smoking marijuana are the same reasons why tobacco users kick the habit. Although there are many Rastafarians who still smoke, others, especially those who follow a stringent orthodox lifestyle, advise smokers to respect their body.

Most people think all Rastafarians smoke marijuana, but I don’t smoke because I view my body as a temple,” says Zephaniah, who lectures at Brunel University.

I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need ganja to get high and I didn’t like the habit I developed. So I have been getting high from not being high for the last 30 years.

Agreeing, Priest adds: “You get one chance to live and you must learn to preserve it so that you can live a longer life with meaning, caring and understanding. 

“I had a heart attack, and even before the heart attack, I wanted to stop smoking. But when I had the heart attack – that made me realise how precious and delicate my temple is.

“The biggest myth about Rastafarians in terms of stereotypes is weed, but you don’t have to smoke weed. There is more to the understanding and the faith of being a Rastafarian than just weed.”

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Dub Disinfo Department, Higher Learning

On One-drop

This unique drumbeat can be found in all genres of post-1960 Jamaican popular music, but, when used in this relatively slow and relaxed style of reggae, it provides a significant challenge to performers unfamiliar with Jamaican popular music. During my first attempts to play over this drumbeat, there was a constant urge to count the third-beat emphasis of the kick drum and side-stick as the first beat of the measure. The absence of the rhythmic anchor, normally provided by the kick drum on the first beat of the measure in most European and North American rock/pop music, was initially disconcerting. Although the one-drop employs the hi-hat, to maintain the motion of the beat during the course of the measure, it is often performed with rubato, forcing the other rhythm section players to establish a timing reference from a rhythmic cycle that can be measured in bars. The unique nature of this drumbeat demands that the performers in the rhythm section collectively share the responsibility of establishing and maintaining rhythmic motion and stability. It is in this context that the challenge of playing competent reggae guitar becomes most evident.

Found in: Jamaican Rhythmic Perception, from:
Ray Hitchins (2013) Rhythm, Sound and Movement: The Guitarist as
Participant-Observer in Jamaica’s Studio Culture, Ethnomusicology Forum.

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