The music industry is a convoluted place at best. The system was always about exploiting talent and making huge profits for greedy record label owners and executives. The "star making" regimes bringing us The Temptations, Smokey, Elvis, Janis Joplin, James Brown, The Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Bieber, Britney and so on was only the means to an end. These "stars" sell product to us gullible as well as music loving consumers.
Record label owners do not reside within the reggae community. They may use us from time to time but there are no powerful record labels within the reggae genre (VP and Greensleeves were small to moderate labels). Seems a bit of an oxymoron of sorts that the most popular / played music has no infrastructure???
Did reggae shoot itself in the foot? Did we make the music really accessible to the masses in order to beat the 'block' put on by labels never playing reggae on mainstream radio so the 'riddim culture' of several artists singing on one 'riddim', mixed tapes / CDs, free internet radio and other creative ways of playing the music has totally devalued the music as well as the genre?
People still clamor to concerts for certain artists yet for the vast majority, the reggae game is a 'hustle'.
From my experience in Canada, it finally dawned on me what we did or did not do with reggae music. All those years performing at The Bamboo on Queen and opening up for international acts at Lee's Palace, The El Mocambo or the Copa or The Masonic Temple or The Opera House was our hanging on to a piece of the 'reggae train' that was a world wide scene. We feasted on the 'reggae train'! We never created a fan base of our own! Artists performing in Canada have a very limited fan base as evidenced by the audiences that go to most shows. It is not for me to decide or to judge whether they are any good or not! Just pointing out the obvious.
There are the bright lights of the folks who run Redemption, or the Irie Festival and Jambana yet for most of the 'artists' there is limited to zero success where most are concerned.
In conversation with some of the artists, they point to promoters for events who expect them to perform for free or for little payment. Some of these artists know exactly how much the headliner is earning yet the promoter won't pay them? As artists, they rehearse just as hard, take the same amount of time to write original tunes and are every bit as good as some of the headliners. "Why are you paying us less or expecting freeness?". "Shouldn't talent be properly valued as well as compensated?
In conversation with the promoters, some shy away from some of the artists performing in Canada who insist on "guaranteed payment"! Are artists guaranteed payment just because they rehearse?
To a promoter, the headliner / s bring in the audience in the first place. With or without the local acts folks go because of the headliners. That is a fact of life! So promoters feel like they are doing the local acts a favor by including them on the bill in the first place.
Another major pet peeve of the promoter is artists who show up with an entourage 10 deep or a 40 person guestlist yet still expect payment at the end of the night. Really?
Local acts get all excited to perform and to entertain these audiences then they book their own shows, maybe five or ten people show up and promoters are aware of these fails by local acts.
This "fail" is on the shoulders of everyone! All of us! We have not inspired reggae consumers to choose our "Canadian" product. We have not inspired the next generation of reggae performers! How come we haven't found a venue of our own created an environment for the fan base to come out and to support the genre? All the bands and artists come by and jam week after week and encourage fans from all walks to come by and hang and support?
The knowledge of this is not "news" folks, it is the real! It is obvious as more and more folks are having this exact same conversation in all parts of the genre.
I have selfish ulterior motives. I'd like to earn based on the work that I do. There are limited amounts of folks in this genre who actually earn anything from their work. We are so devalued, folks come to jams and still don't wish to pay to get in. They come and party yet feel that they shouldn't have to pay. How come? They would argue about the ticket price at a Beres show? I'm sure that they wouldn't!
We have devalued ourselves!
Our audiences will go where it is cheap and easy as there is always a spot for it. We will undercut each other every chance that we get. Promoters will offer x-amount to artist "A" then offer less to artist "B" who will accept it, then promoter will cancel artist "A".
Fan "A" will go to another event on Sunday or Tuesday or Wednesday in order to not pay $5.00 at the door on Monday. So promoter or event host ends up canceling their event as the night makes no money.
Is this the fault of the fan? I think not! A fan will do anything to be properly entertained. Anything! At Any price!
This is the beginning of a conversation. Some observations... Yes I am seeking viable solutions.
Do you have any?
Saturday 11th May, 2013
DJ Chocolate, Patrick Roots, Naturalist, Jiant "The Humble African", Sunray de Governor, Tonya P, Amber Coates
A magical night for reggae music in Toronto reggae history. All selectas and acts performed admirably all in celebration of this genre that we love called reggae music.
DJ Chocolate aka Lauren Speers alongside Patrick Roots are a formidable force of selectas in this city whose knowledge and experience not only include song titles but also decades of on air radio time. Lauren had a truly popular show for several years on the now debunked CKLN 88.1FM, Rebel Music, which was one of the reggae standards in this city. I know! I was a listener long before we met. I called one day and asked her to wheel up a track as she was blazing the airwaves tune after tune after tune.
Patrick Roots, host of Reggae Riddims on CIUT 89.5FM still on air every Wednesday night between 8:00 - 10:00pm has been on air for over two decades has spun reggae music week after week, interviewed international Canadian artists, outernational artists and was instrumental in aiding the growth of Canadian Reggae World by giving me a few minutes each week on his show. Both Lauren and Patrick were their usual standard that night forcing the audience to INSIST on them pulling up selection after selection.
Jiant the owner of Genesis One in Kensington Market was no less impressive. His love for cultural tunes is on display every time he is behind the wheels of steel, preaching through the tunes and lyrics of artists that he personally enjoys listening to. The Governor, drummer supreme Sunray Grennan, is the toaster on the side uplifting the audience.
Both selecta crews did not disappoint!
Amber Coates has been holding it down for some time now singing backing with Kidd Rasta and The Peacemakers as well as doing her solo thing. It was her birthday that night and she brought the flava! The room was ALIVE when she opened her mouth! Singing several reggae standards, she brought the house down! She set a tough pace for the next performer!
Tonya P... She met that challenge! Told the selecta to pull up the music and dropped her lyrics acapella! YUP! She slayed the room! Then went on to sing several of her original tracks keeping us all in the palm of her hand.
Yes another night in the big city, doing what we all love to do, with a modest audience yet the talent level is no less real. When these folks work again, be sure to go and listen for yourselves. You will not be disappointed.
P. S. Thank you Kiley Kush
I have known Clemente De Luca for a long
As Kidd Rasta and
the Peacemakers, he could give you the number of years (15 or more / less) has
always been “a show”. His smile
and vibe is real, honest, humble and infectious. It is his personality as well as the
energy he and his band exude on stage and feeds to audiences who clamour to see
them, whenever and where ever they perform.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in
Jamaica where reggae music is an infusion into our collective psyches and to be
around and be a part of so much positive vibrations from Count Ossie, Desmond
Dekker, Jackie Mitoo, Mr. Marley, Willi Williams (the list is endless) to the DJ
/ the selecta, the sound, reggae music has fed me and millions worldwide with
hope, knowledge, spirituality and love.
Well, those are the things I like to focus on.
As a part of a Canadian reggae
community, I have complained about the lack of growth allowing some of its
participants to truly earn from their creations in the over fifty years of the
genre’s existence in this country.
I have blamed everyone and everything, including myself, for these
shortcomings and as I have grown and learned, all things have a time when they
bloom. Some plants and animals
exist for an entire day, week, month, year / s whichever and even while you / I
complain, sometimes it just isn’t time to bloom.
I just recently had the pleasure of
booking this band at the Waterfall and they did not disappoint.
Mark Rynkun on bass, Stacey Yerofeyeva on keys and backing vocals, Shane
‘Shaky J’ Forrest on lead guitar, Paul Nanuwa on drums, Gary Hoey on sax and
backing vocals and Clem on lead vocals.
These are The Peacemakers!
I saw an hour performance where the band did two Marley covers, who Clem
absolutely reveres, and the rest of the 90% of the performance are original
songs. Original tunes that I and
many in the audience sing along to!
A ‘local’ band that plays their own music!
This is no dis to any other reggae act or live band of any other genre,
yet it is truly refreshing and stimulating for audiences who appreciate
originality. I happen to be one of
Toronto / Canada is the toughest nut to
crack as it pertains to the arts and in my honest opinion, Torontonians as well
as Canadians need to know about this gem, this band in our midst.
Let’s not wait for mainstream media to tell us what we already
Kidd Rasta and The Peacemakers are the
real deal! This band is in full
Time to Elevate – Reggae Music Canada
Mediocrity, complacency, lack of talent, lack of viable outlets, poor organization, lack of unity locally, provincially / federally… What best describes reggae music as it pertains to the artist performing within Canada?
As artists / performers I wonder if one has ever explored why in fifty years or so that no reggae music produced by an artist residing in Canada does not make top ten charts or even played in any kind of rotation on radio stations across the provinces? Outside of the blatant racism by the CRTC or record labels that control the airwaves there is also the fact that ’they’ support NOTHING Canadian! I am aware that this isn’t news to anyone but I do feel the need to repeat it constantly in the hope that someone / anyone finds us a path or solution to break this trend. This writer hasn’t figured it out yet so that is my challenge to this genre.
Yet, at some point, I do need to stop the pity party. I must at some point take on the mentality of a true champion! Overcome all obstacles and barriers and just go for the gold!
Michael Phelps has over twenty Olympic medals, eighteen of them gold! Usain Bolt has eight gold medals, winning every single Olympic race that he has run in! No excuses! No complaints! Just results! Winners always seem to find a way. So I am going to adopt their combative, winning spirits and attitudes!
As the proclaimed “Canadian Reggae Defender” my focus must be to the top. I see that we must first create the sale of reggae music in Canada along with the profitable export of reggae to foreign shores. So in continuation of my last article, taking responsibility for a part of infrastructure creation, Canadian Reggae World (CRW) has taken over the booking of the Waterfall Indian Tapas Bar & Grill where we will bring reggae performances weekly. What can our collective talents do in order to maintain and grow said audiences?
So in doing the bookings, I challenge the acts to create massive interest in their collective talents. My take is, if one is to perform and audiences aren’t clamoring to see your next show, one may need to elevate if talent allows or take up a new profession / hobby. It isn’t like the audience does not know and an artist needs to accept that not all have the same talents or skill sets. If an artist cannot sell their music or tickets to a show, why be angry about it and blame everyone or everything else? Who or what could one be angry at?
Who is to blame?
I put it down to the fact that I am not good enough! I believe that I can do better so I will work a little harder! A little smarter! I will continue with even greater creativity. If I demand and expect more form myself, I will do the same for the acts that I book! The act / artist / bands that bring in the fans and entertain consistently will be booked more often and given precedence over those that don’t do as well. Just like in professional sport or even top level amateur competition, one must EARN their spot!
As I have stated previously, music is easy! It either moves you or it doesn’t. There is no gray area! I ask the musicians and artist to bring their best and no less. Every time!
I will not support crap just because you happen to perform in Canada! Bring the good stuff or don’t bother coming. As a reggae music fan, I want to be moved! I believe this to be a necessary shift in how reggae music is presented to our audiences as I feel that the genre must be “fan driven” as opposed to “artist led” as it seems to have been in the past. The artist led style has its participants support crap music from each other, refraining to say negatives of fellow artists (to their faces) hence perpetuating mediocrity! Fan driven means that people (reggae fans) are clamoring to see artists, be entertained, and purchase your work! They tell two friends and so on… If our venues are consistently packed we will have covered a small part of, “the sale of reggae music in Canada”.
I’m choosing a model that has worked time and again and it is time to do so now. Motown, Trench Town, Studio One are places where the collective talents of artists drove music forward! Time to try a thing here in Canada!
What I /we seek is the next world wide reggae star coming out of Canada!
This Reggae Story has a Happy Ending
In the past I have opined about several aspects of this reggae genre of mine, pointing out the reasons as I saw them, for the failure /s that may allow a band or artist from achieving stardom, or selling music or most importantly, making a living from their talent.
I pointed out our issues with “the System”! What system are you referring to? It is well chronicled and way too deep to go over once again but what is significant to note is the series of hurdles, deliberately placed in our collective paths, we have yet to find a solution to go over, through, around or even to dig under, barring our path to product sales. The ‘system’ is relentless! It NEVER stops!
It is my contention that true talent, hard work as well as creativity along with a huge dose of tenacity could break any blockade! We also cannot afford to stop!
No infrastructure! We have found no way to collectively create an infrastructure capable of earning royalties from airplay or performances, radio airplay nationally in ALL provinces, product distribution across the country or around the world, a venue / s in our possession to showcase reggae year round, a Canadian reggae tour for performing acts. Fifty years of reggae and no infrastructure! Who’s to blame but ourselves?
The stigma that Canadian reggae artists are not of a proper quality or even close to those that perform in Jamaica. Who’s to blame for this one? Well, instead of casting blame, I will tell you of instances where I have been to live performances where folks in the audience ask me if the band or artist performing is actually from Canada! Greatest compliment, yet the greatest insult I always say! Yes, they are from Canada, yet, why have you never heard about them? Back to the lack of an infrastructure!
Another of our issues is some of the crap artists inundating the internet, especially Facebook with crap tunes that NO ONE wants to hear! Crap tunes that only they post over and over and over and over again that NO ONE else will re-post for them! They become the standard for Canadian reggae so I implore the better artists to upload more of their tunes so Canadians as well as the rest of the world can hear the great songs that I get to hear!
This one I call the “second place mentality”! Many of my peers, artists, promoters and counterparts in the genre have reconciled themselves to the fact that since this is all that there is, well, this is all that there is! We have never really risen, so why bother trying? I mean, really, why bother trying? Well I’ll tell you! The Scotia and the TD Banks have investments in what used to be The Caribana Celebration, The Irie Festival and the Jambana Festivals. Banks do not invest unless there is profit! Cudos to the organizers of all of these events for getting corporate interest and monies but that ought to tell the rest of us that our events, our cultures are worth something to ourselves and for us to invest in our own talent!
I told you that this had a happy ending didn’t I?
Here it is:- Work together, apart! Huh?
When a band or artist has a show, every other performer and entertainer in the genre MUST take the time to promote that artist’s show! No matter whether you like the person or not! If no one promotes your shows, it may that you are one of the ‘crap’ artists so STOP! For the rest of the good ones, promote each other! It is a numbers game! The more people that know, is the more people that will know! It is that simple! Grow all audiences!
I have seen it work!
Why we need Reggae Music?
willie lynch as well king leopold ll of Belgium wrote openly and succinctly of how to control the African race and the european has followed that “blue print” to a tee. Hence, worldwide those of African decent, now completely aware of the “blue print” still find ways to buy into the “plan” by discriminating against other Africans and continue to murder amongst the race. On the continent of Africa the genocide of Rwandans (Hutus and Tutsis) is living proof of the working “blue print”. Black on black crimes all over north america is more proof of the blue print.
The perceived non-African, including the Asian or the european must wonder how or why the African is so docile, ignorant to the ‘plan’, stupid, obedient, doltish and naïve as to follow these ‘commands’ hundreds of years later and it is a question that many Africans ask amongst themselves, yet the blue print is still successfully at work.
Many Africans still boast pictures of elizabeth of buckingham as well as a caucasian Christ on the walls of their homes and become pretty indignant when they are either questioned or chastised.
It speaks of atrocities to the African race on all islands and continents and those words are heard by many in other races, creeds and genders. Hearts and minds are opened / opening and the races will eventually point to the oppressors and make a stand against the “blue print” and STOP KILLING AFRICANS!
Uses for Reggae today
1. It feels really good. Folks use it to feel better (reggae medicine if you will). The bass line puts smile on all faces.
2. Spirituality! Reggae speaks for loving a higher power and living as He would like us to be. Even if we aren’t achieving His will, the lyrics speak of pride in following His path.
3. Rebellion! Independence! As Jamaica 50 approaches, it is a great reminder of our need to get away from elizabeth in buckingham. It is IMPOSSIBLE for African nations to grow with english as well as other europeans keeping their hands and arms in our back pockets taking our minerals, lumber, bauxite, tourism, gold, diamonds, disrupting governments then calling all with black skin 3rd? Third World nations? Really?
5. Repatriation… The ideology of bringing the minds of the African to their original roots, cultures, beliefs and practices. One does not need to get on a plane – or black starliner – to Africa (although many of us should and improve tourism to Africa and improve the economy in the most beautiful land on the planet earth) but one should find pride, love and feel a sense of “African Pride” and not feel like ‘jungle bunnies’ because we do so.
6. One Love… This paradoxical theory is a great one, from a great man in Robert Nesta, speaking of acceptance of all people, all races but the paradox for me is that many of the ones dying of racism, are Africans all around the globe. No disrespect to those in Tibet and other abused races. I speak for them also. How can “One Love” be successful while the blue print encourages murder, degradation, hate and disrespect to the African? While we sing kumbayah or One Love by Robert Nesta the blue print continues to slide in to pillage and rape. It’ll take a more peaceful man than me continue to accept the abuse that the African continues to endure.
The most popular yet most dangerous music on the planet isn’t played on any mainstream radio stations because the “blue print” is stronger and longer as well as far more developed over time. Through reggae education, the world learns. Minds become more unplugged each and every day.
This is why we need reggae music!
“If you Love Jamaica, Stop Killing Jamaicans”
We have all bought into organized racism paid for by Caucasian Europeans for CENTURIES now! The Crusades were British white people going into Muslims lands and ‘converting heathens’! What God in any heaven would tell a white man to go and kill other people for any reason? Oh, “that’s their story and they are sticking to it!”
Why are Muslims terrorists? Have you ever asked yourself why? Muslim women and children are murdered every day by European and American troops daily, for centuries and we all sit back and watch and continue to call them terrorists in order to justify murder!
The “System” will continue because we idiots keep waiting for our government officials to make changes that we pray for but the reality is they are ALL corrupt ambassadors of the “System”! ALL of them! They have to be in order to keep their jobs or to win elections.
Why are white men in every black nation on the planet siphoning their resources worldwide? Why is that the acceptable norm? The American, Canadian and British rule in Jamaica leaves the island with probably the highest illiteracy rate, highest murder rate and highest crime rate per capita on planet earth! Jamaicans killing Jamaicans! Rwandans killing Rwandans! Nigerians killing Nigerians!
Why have we bought in so solidly to the idea of killing each other? Is it so that we can save our white masters some bullets?
The white man’s belief that black men are inherently stupid must be a truth based on the way that they have herded us into cooperation, through corruption as well as divisions of tribe, color, colonial brainwashing and religion.
Interesting that they tried the Darwinian theory of evolution to set themselves up as the superior race! Sure thing! A bunch of errant gasses formed the galaxy then earth, then a single celled amoeba, which became a fish, then an amphibian, then a furry animal, then a monkey, then several stages of cave man then homosapien! Sure thing buddy! And somehow, that errant gas was also capable of creating reproductive organs for all species on the planet so that we could grow!
Well, if we have all evolved from monkeys, why are still monkeys on the planet?
More importantly, if the white man is the superior being on the planet as they have set themselves up to be, is slavery the only route for the black race? Why is it we continue to follow, without question a historically, genetically corrupt race of people? Oh I know, they have the technology and the guns! Good reason!
The corruption fiscally and spiritually is on the highest level possible and those that we look to making changes are all a part of the problem, whether church or government of ALL races! ALL colors!
Yes! You and me!
Well, we must get past the thick smoke of organized confusion and chaos put in place to keep us all distracted. Simple! Ok, even I don’t buy what I just wrote but it is still truth! Black, white, male, female, Asian, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Bible, Koran, Taoist, Rasta, atheist, agnostic whatever! What each and EVERY religious leader will tell you is that your meeting with the Almighty is singular!
One on One! You by yourself!
He isn’t going to ask you what your mom, dad, the church, your interpretation of the Bible or the Koran, or what the priest or rabbi, or your wife or your husband said! You will answer by yourself, to Him!
If you are a decent person who does not believe in God or the devil you must at some point wish for less contentious situations on planet earth? A place one isn’t judged by skin, color of eyes or nationality? Aren’t we aware that we degrade one race that we actually degrade all races? One does not need a belief in any deity to want better?
Yes many of us left the country to reside in ‘foreign’ lands and grateful that we don’t share the levels of violence that native Jamaicans face daily, monthly and yearly. It does not mean that we do not feel the pain of those living in Jamaica today!
One of the common excuses used for the turn in Jamaica’s fortunes was attributed to Prime Minister Michael Manley speaking of a socialist government. That may be true or false. For me it is a load of hogwash propaganda! Mr. Manley was a Jamaican seeking better for Jamaicans! The ‘great powers’ could not allow that! Hence Manley was a communist and Jamaica needed to be saved from itself! Sure we did! Look at the way Jamaica is today! ANY alternative would have been better in my opinion!
As I have alluded to earlier, the murder rate, violence and rape in Jamaica, the land of my birth, are all astronomical! It won’t make news now, because of tourist season! Whenever ‘they’ wish to devalue the Jamaican dollar again, you will read more about the MASSIVE crime in JA. Canada, America and Britain will continue to feed the corruption so that they may extract the profits of the rum, tourism, bauxite, blue mountain coffee for us fat cats that reside here! So in the end, we are all responsible! Those who do the killing in JA, those who pay for the killings here in North America and JA and those like me who throw up their hands in the air asking, “What do you expect me to do?”, along with others like me who think that the corruption is so deep it is impossible to change.
I have great pride in being Jamaican born! I am very proud of many things Jamaican! I feel exceedingly blessed that we have influenced this planet in many positive ways with great leaders like Marcus Garvey, Robert Nesta, Peter Tosh, William Howell, Winston Rodney, Joseph Hill, reggae music, Rastafari just to name a few things and people. Every time we murder another Jamaican, we have eliminated a “world changer” coming among us, possibly ‘the one’ to end the violence not only in Jamaica but on this very planet. We may have eradicated the inventor of a cure for breast or prostate cancer, MS, HIV and AIDS, who knows!
I see great potential to Jamaicans figuring out the puppets that we have become and willing to stop being lead like mascots day in and day out. I have a simple mantra. It is not a quick fix but can be a catalyst for a long term solution to this problem if we follow the words that state:
“If you love Jamaica, Stop killing Jamaicans”
Yes I am exceedingly grateful for my more lawful Canadian life! I can travel any time of the day or night and not worry about any level of crime or violence for the most part. I have clean water, electricity, too many luxuries to mention, the same that I had a as a child in Jamaica in the 70s. What happened? Interesting the black nations who declare ‘independence’ from white world, seem to deteriorate greatly. Is it the black people and their ignorance to self governing, or is it white world continuing to interfere in a negative fashion? Can we all take a look at Haiti? With the MILLIONS / BILLIONS generated by the tourist trade, rum, bauxite and other industries, why are Jamaican’s starving?
It is difficult as a Jamaican born / proud Canadian citizen to sit idly by and say or do nothing! What is Stephen Harper doing besides aiding in the rape of Jamaica?
I am pretty sure the first question to be asked is, “What are Jamaicans doing for themselves?” Black on black crime is a worldwide epidemic so I start with JA and Canada.
Even if wi ‘bad mind’ against those a ‘foreign’ or those with more money, or new car, or new house or from a different political party or whatever we see that divides us, the one thing that binds most of us, is our love for Jamaica and pride in being Jamaican!
So I simply request once again:
If you Love Jamaica, Stop killing Jamaicans”
JAMAICAN INDEPENDENCE??? Yes Rastafari people, Greetings… I n I know that Jamaica, Trinidad and a few more Caribbean countries celebrate 50 yrs of Independence this year. We also know that our history in the west as a people has been violent and oppressive, and that we should examine and assess what it is that people are being festive about. I personally was born in Jamaica; I love my native home, my people and my culture, what I n I don’t love is the corruption and manipulation of the populous by corporate installed governments with hidden agendas. Should we celebrate getting a harder task master than the previous one? In the last 50 yrs Jamaica’s literacy rate has plummeted, health care is dismal, unemployment is out of control, and private sector business has been on a steady decline, and the JA dollar…well you know. Our track and field prowess on the world stage is often overshadowed by a seemingly violent society of gangsters and thieves with government officials as the educated leaders of the garrisons’ as they are now called. Corruption on the highest level is the accepted way of life on the Island in the sun. The future generations of youth lack the education and opportunity to excel, leaving them little equitable choices for the future. Shall we overlook all these things because we live abroad, even though we face the same things in our new places of residence? Over the years Rastafari has contributed so much to the music, arts, culture and lifestyle of Jamaica, while being unrecognized and ignored by the central government. It seems strange how the tourist board uses our music and imagery to lure visitors to the Island. The reality of the situation is the same for poor people of Jamaica, unrecognized and ignored, But Rastafari always defend the poor. I an I celebrate over 500 yrs of surviving the hardships and brutality, of being robbed and cheated and still standing strong as the children of slaves, of leading the Diaspora in the fight for equal rights and justice and recognizing our identity as Africans of noble heritage, being who we are and not what Eurocentric’s label us to be. Jamaicans should be active in letting the government know how dissatisfied they are in the direction that they have taken the country these last 50 yrs, with our educated leaders selling us out for shekels and pieces of silver, while they live in high security mansions, avoiding everyday people in their self indulgent Hollywood lifestyles. Focusing on Jamaica here is not about forgetting the rest of the Caricom, but outside of Haiti our situation is the most drastic example of Eurocentric globalization. Trinidad for example, is oil rich and has one of the highest literacy rates not only in the west but internationally. Yet they now suffer an increasing crime wave because of government negligence and greed. Tourism is not going to save the day for anyone but these foreign hotel and resort investors. What happen a yard is destine to happen to other Islands, un less people wake up, America’s interest in the Caribbean is for America’s benefit…seen. I man recently read an article at this web address, ( Jamaicans.com) yes I, a very watered down version of the political history in the last 50 yrs….ridiculous yes, but these are the things that the so called intellects put forward to the public, all these things were done for our own good and are a process still in the works…Yea Right! As stated before, the progress that Jamaican people have made in the last 500 yrs, was not because of the governments, but by the grace of the Most High and the resilience, hard work and determination of the mixed multitude of heritages (out of many one people) that make up the Jamaican nation. That is what makes me proud to be a Jamaican, not 50 yrs of roast bread fruit leadership. For these few words I give thanks Pablo Nap-T Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”
― Haile Selassie I Haile Selassie defied expectations of the Jamaican authorities, and never rebuked the Rastafari for their belief in him as the returned Christ. Instead, he presented the movement’s faithful elders with gold medallions – the only recipients of such an honor on this visit. Jamaican Gleaner archives Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. Psalm 33: 12
Some words as well as images brought to you by Loralie Bromby our CRW correspondent in Montreal.
Montreal Reggae Festival 2012
Words from fan 1
"Overall the festival this year seemed more organized.....a better line-up, legendary artists and new upcoming artists, nice mix of Dancehall and Roots. The energy of the festival was nice, good vibes. Would like to see more of our favorite local Canadian artists...
"As a Canadian artist, I feel that more of a budget should be dedicated to local artists. It always seems hard to get in touch with the festival to get on the line-up. When we do get on the show, the payment offered is either nothing, or almost nothing. It is important to have the well-known International artists, but it would be nice to see more of the money flow into the local music market"
Fan 2" Irie time! Jimmy Cliff and Taurus Riley were the highlights for me! Jimmy still inspiring and puts on a mesmerizing show. Good talent,good food, everything nice!"
Fan 3" Didn't see much of the local talent, wasn't highlighted that much. Whatever happened to the free Love Stage? This year was definitely better than last".
"As 4 changes to the festival, i would say the new fence n the distance it set between the artist n the crowd was unnecessary.
I only went 1 day, but was very excited to see such a good line up, n ending with such a legendary performer as Jimmy Cliff"
"yes ii think local artist should be promoted, but not all lumped in 1 nite, because then nobody comes out and most people miss even seeing them They should be better dispersed / inter-worked, maybe between the more recognized artists or at least on the same day"
Seems like this festival continues to be a positive for the Canadian reggae scene and certainly needs our love and nurturing in the years to come.