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Reggae Music Project

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K. Chen

on 20 April 2015

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Transcript of Reggae Music Project

"This reggae got soul
Got so much soul
Reggae got soul
For the young and old
Makes me want to sing and dance
and do all kinds of crazy things
When I listen to the music makes me want to shout Oh Glory Hallelujah
Makes me feel alright in the day or in the night
Rock it to my bones, move me around Reggae got soul, got so much soul
All my life I feel so good"
Toot & The Maytals, Reggae Got Soul



Influence of Drug Use
“A just a 100 pound of collie
Burning in the chalwa
I got a 100 pound of collie
Burning in the chalwa”
Cornell Campbell, 100 lbs. of Collie
Guess who?
Racial Pride:
We Are One
"United we stand, divided we fall
In the roots of the ghetto, people are fussing and fighting Weeping and crying because they're starving
Black man keep moving Black man forward on
Instead of fighting your brother each and every day
This is what I have to say
Don't fuss or fight
We must unite
And help our brother each and every day"
Johnny Clarke, In the Roots of the Ghetto
Religion or "Way of Life"?
What is Reggae?
Roots Reggae:
sub-genre of reggae that deals with the everyday lives and aspirations of African Americans.
Commentaries on social conditions
By: Kaddie Chen, Jennifer Chow, Michelle Harrison, & Sophie Cipolla
A Period

Rebellion in Harmony
De-Stereotyping 101
Core Concepts:
hatred for the white race/Babylon
superiority of blacks
hope of an eventual return to Africa
acknowledgment of Haile Selassie I as the “Supreme Being” and only ruler of black people
The Force Behind Reggae: Rastafarianism
"Legalize it don`t Criticize it,
Legalize it yea-ah-yea-ah,
and i will Adverticze it
Some call it Tamjee,
Some call it the Weed,
Some call it Marijuana,
Some of them call it Ganja,
Never mind, Got to.
I`ts Good for the Flu
Good for Asthma,
Good for Tuberculosis,
Even Numara Thrombosis
Got To...."
Peter Tosh, Legalize It

Racial Pride
"Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"
I smoke two joints in the morning
I smoke two joints at night
I smoke two joints in the afternoon
It makes me feel all right"
Bob Marley, Smoke Two Joints
"Today they say that we are free
Only to be chained in poverty
Ev'ry time I hear a crack of the whip
My blood runs cold
I remember on the slave ship
How they brutalised our very souls"
Bob Marley, Slave Driver
Dreadlocks= "racial selfhood" Unique look that is symbolized with Rasfarianism.
Rastafarian religious practice included ritual inhalation of marijuana to increase spiritual awareness
They shall not make baldness upon their head.
Leviticus 21:5
Credibility in Reggae Experience
Reaching Out
to the
All African American Male Artists?
Instilled ideas of black superiority & hatred of white population into target audience
The "sacrament" of Rastafarianism is the ganja (marijuana)="wisdom weed"
"Do you remember the days of slavery?
And a big fat bull
We must pull it
With shackles around our necks
And I can see it all no more
Burning Spear, Slavery Days
"Don't care what the world seh;
I'n'l couldn't never go astry.
Just like a bright and sunny day:
Oh, we're gonna have things our way."
Bob Marley, Natty Dread
Origin: Jamaica
Resulted from political & economic hardships during the 1970s in Jamaica
Often associated with
bloodshed of Africans
wealth of Africa

Africa (Ethiopia)
African people
What is Sentimentalized?
Repatriation to Africa
Freedom from Oppression

"We know where we're going, we know where we're from.
We're leaving Babylon, going to our Father's land."
Bob Marley, Exodus
Suffering & Rebellion
"It is plain to see we're in a devil situation
Sufferin' in the land, Lord
Nearly half of the world on the world of starvation
Sufferin' in the land, Lord
And the children are crying for more education
Sufferin' in the land, Lord
Let's singin'"
Jimmy Cliff, Sufferin' in The Land
"The rebel in me Can touch the rebel in you
And the rebel in you
Can touch the rebel in me
And the rebels we be
Is gonna set us free
Then it would bring out the rebel in me
Jimmy Cliff, Rebel in Me
Optimistic Answer to Oppression: Reggae
"Slavery came and took its toll
In the name of John Bull Dog
Said we turned our backs on God
Lost the powers that we had
As our back's agains' the wall
Ask ourselves about the fall
Rise Rise Rise
Hold onto your culture"
Steel Pulse, Not King James Version
Why Should I Trust You?
We are Free by Burning Spear
Declaration of Rights by Johnny Clarke
I Shot the Sheriff by Bob Marley
Nuff Suffering by the Wailing Souls

Its good for meditation man
The international herb
And it was way from creation man
The international herb
Even the doctors knows about it too
The international herb
Scientists they know about it man
The international herb”

I took a spliff this morning
Of the international herb
It make I feel so groovy man
The international herb
It gives me inspiration in music man
The international herb”
-Culture, The International Herb

“Legalize it, yeah, yeah
That's the best thing you can do...
So you've got to legalize it, and don't criticize it
Legalize it, yeah, yeah, and I will advertise it”
Peter Tosh, Legalize It
“Soldier in the herb field, burnin the collie weed
Police in helicopter, a search fi marijuana
Police man in the streets, searching fi collie weed
But if you continue to burn up the herbs, we gonna burn down the cane fields”
John Holt, Police in Helicopter
Reggae music gave Rastafarian people a basis for an alternative subculture of resistance in the face of racial hostility

Rebellion in reggae music:
a negative view on Babylon system
promote rebellion with encouragement in lyrics
Rock With It!
Bredren- slang for “brethren,” fellows, friends, or colleagues
Bush weed- marijuana of poor quality
Cah- because
Fi- for
Ganja- marijuana
I in I- me, myself, and I
Jah- Lord, God
Mek- make
Sah- sir
Spliff- a very large cone-shaped, marijuana cigarette
Yah- you; or yes

Some Reggae slang to know...
"This reggae got soul
Got so much soul
Reggae got soul
For the young and old
Makes me want to sing and dance
and do all kinds of crazy things
When I listen to the music makes me want to shout Oh Glory Hallelujah
Makes me feel alright in the day or in the night
Rock it to my bones, move me around Reggae got soul, got so much soul
All my life I feel so good"
Toot & The Maytals, Reggae Got Soul

Reggae Dancehall: Who's ready to show us your moves?
Why is Dancing important in Reggae?
Reggae music tied to the soul & body
Release built-up stress from unfair treatment
Make performances more lively to contradict some of the sorrowful topics (Example: Slavery, Oppression)

If reggae were a person, he/she might look something like...
Tabula Rasa
Connection =
Reggae's endgame

The ultimate goal of reggae was
Through clearing the mind, artists hoped to connect with themselves on a deeper level and ascend to a higher plane of spirituality--and, hopefully, to a higher quality of life.

There's more to reggae than
smoking! As these celebrities prove,
being an avid user of
marijuana does not make
you a legitimate reggae artist.
(Sorry, Bieber).
So who is the "Target Audience"?
The short answer is:
.....But there are a few specific
demographics targeted-->

Young working-class
Poor + disenfranchised
Reggae = Musical Gumbo!
With reggae, almost everything is on the surface, especially love of God. Music was how the Rastafarians expressed their religious fervor, and much as how drugs were used to ascend to a higher plane of existence--one closer to God--music was their gateway to spiritual connection. This is why all reggae music tends to share the same slow, pulsating beat. It’s thoughtful. It’s in no rush because its primary goal is to connect.
Gumbo: DELICIOUS West-
African dish. Usually made with rice, chilies, lots of leafy veggies, and whatever else you happen to have on hand.
Reggae has its roots in struggle. The heart of the genre is in awareness--articulating the struggles of your "Average Joe" while also advocating for historically unrepresented sectors of the population.
Part of reggae's uniqueness is in its purity--Jamaica lacked the commercialism of the American music industry, so reggae was free to develop without the pressure or superficiality that came with it. It is truly an 'organic' style of music--free to develop naturally.
It's yummy!
One of the most oft-recurring images in reggae is that of the 'Exodus'; the treacherous journey the Jews took to flee plight-ridden Egypt.
For reggae artists and their listeners, the magic of the genre lies in the interaction of the lyrics and the imagery those lyrics provoke. Songs are brought to biblical proportions through metaphor, rhyme, and reference to scripture. The audience was to feel that they were finally grasping something that was elusive, or just out of reach before.
Prize: "Weed" Brownies
Sylford Walker - Burn Babylon
It's a long, long, long, long, long..
It's a long time, I man a burn up the collie weed.
But it seems the Babylon them them them..
Come fight 'gainst I.
Them a fight 'gainst I.
I wanna know.. the reason why.

Babylon fight 'gainst Natty Dread;
Babylon no fight 'gainst the rum head;
Babylon no fight 'gainst the wine head;
Only a, Natty Dreadlocks.
Say Natty Dread up ina Babylon,
Natty dread all over Rome.
Dread in a Babylon,
Dread weh de wicked gwan.
Babylon come..
Come see I a burn up a likkle iley.

Babylon falling..
Babylon fall!
The wicked one drop.
Wicked one shall feel, the fire of..
Babylon dread, say Babylon dread.
Fire can burn, burn Babylon..
Burn Babylon:
It ago dread weh deh Babylon.
Natty Dread up in a Babylon,
Natty Dread all over Rome.
Oh, he no want, in a Babylon, no..
Place call African land,
That's the place where we wanna go.
Way up in a African-can-can..
That's the place where my forefathers were,
That's the place where we wanna go you know, oh.
Natty Dread, dreader than dread,
Dreader than dread, blood Babylon..

Bob Marley- Babylon System
We refuse to be
What you wanted us to be;
We are what we are:
That's the way (way) it's going to be.

You don't know!
You can't educate I
For no equal opportunity:
(Talkin' 'bout my freedom) Talkin' 'bout my freedom,
People freedom (freedom) and liberty!
Yeah, we've been trodding on the winepress much too long:
Rebel, rebel!
Yes, we've been trodding on the winepress much too long:
Rebel, rebel!

Babylon system is the vampire, yea! (vampire)
Suckin' the children day by day, yeah!
Me say: de Babylon system is the vampire, falling empire,
Suckin' the blood of the sufferers, yea-ea-ea-ea-e-ah!
Building church and university, wo-o-ooh, yeah! -
Deceiving the people continually, yea-ea!
Me say them graduatin' thieves and murderers;
Look out now: they suckin' the blood of the sufferers (sufferers).
Yea-ea-ea! (sufferers)

'Cause - 'cause we've been trodding on ya winepress much too long:
Rebel, rebel!
And we've been taken for granted much too long:
Rebel, rebel now!

From the very day we left the shores (trodding on the winepress)
Of our Father's land (rebel),
We've been trampled on (rebel),
Oh now! (we've been oppressed, yeah!) Lord, Lord, go to ...

Common Images in Reggae
refers to the system built on slavery from the Bible, when the Jews were captured and forced to undergo hardships in Babylon. Rastafarian people can connect this to the Transatlantic Slave Trade or Triangular Trade.

"Easy, Natty, easy
Nah take it so rough
Easy, Natty, easy
Babylon too tough, yeah
Babylon too tough"
Gregory Isaacs - Babylon Too Rough

is the name of a drug from a cannabis plant, often referenced in their music and is popular among many reggae artists.
I like marijuana you like marijuana
I like marijuana you like marijuana
I like marijuana you like marijuana
We like marijuana too
-Have A Marijuana
David Peel
"Pride in Color"
is a sense of identity and happiness in their race. Rather than being embarrassed by their culture and trying to seperate from it, many reggae artists feel more comfortable being proud of their culture and showing their love for it.
Black is the color of my skin
Black is the life that I live.
And I’m so proud to be
the color that God made me
-Black Pride
Kofi-Brown Sugar
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