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Author Topic: There Is No Rebel  (Read 10205 times)
Posts: 435

« on: July 05, 2011, 07:21:11 PM »

'There is no rebel'

by Mel Cooke


In connecting Rastafari and reggae, notably through Burning Spear's commitment to Marcus Garvey, Mutabaruka expounded at length about the content and direction of reggae at the University of the West Indies, Mona, on Thursday evening.

He was the first presenter at the symposium 'Saluting Reggae Vanguards', examining the contribution of Burning Spear, Dennis Brown and Sugar Minott.

At one point, Mutabaruka said, "There is no rebel with no cause anymore. All of the rebel them no have no cause. There is no more apartheid to sing about, but make we examine whereblack people reach in these times."

The poet and broadcaster moved into an often caustic look at reggae's content from an assessment of the impact of Spear's focus on Garvey.

"I think the music of Burning Spear is the cause for the resurrection of Marcus Garvey's philosophy in this time," Mutabaruka said.

He then questioned how some people talk about reggae as a 'one-love', 'pie-in-the-sky' music, while it is redemption and the fight against white supremacy that propelled reggae to where it is today.

Too much compromise

Mutabaruka said that with the desire to internationalise music, Jamaican artistes and producers were making too much of a compromise.

"We want to internationalise the music so much. We cyaa talk say Black people a suffer still in the Caribbean and Africa."

Then there is the Bob Marley line, "I feel like bombing a church, now that I know the preacher is lying." Mutabaruka said people try to philosophise the line, but "I don't know about any other way you can bomb a church!"

"Is like we a water down the thing to satisfy a different taste. And is like we no realise we can't free others if we don't free ourselves."

Specifically about Marley, Mutabaruka said, "Them love him as a pop artiste but not as a Rasta. If them did love him as a Rasta, them wouldn't a hol' Rasta man a road for a spliff."

And in music content, marijuana seems to be a very easy topic.

"Spliff appease everybody," Mutabaruka said.

And there was laughter when Mutabaruka remarked about how uniform in length some persons locks are. "Man a wear locks now and it jus' even. An' a reggae artiste now. Every night me sit down and have nightmare about it," he said.

Commitment to Africa in lyrics is one thing, but in practice it is another. "How much artiste ever take up him money and go Ghana and spend a two week? Him gone a Miami or New York, go smoke ganja with him friend or coke," Mutabaruka said.

Posts: 435

« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 07:18:56 PM »

Ibo Cooper puts One Love into context

By Basil Walters


The symposium held last Thursday on the eve of this year's International Reggae Day at the UWI, Mona, had some stimulating discoures on the music. One interesting dialogue centred on what could be deemed the demystification of the Bob Marley anthem One Love.

There is a growing perception that this song has been promoted in a way that has not done justice to the revolutionary spirit of Marley, and has been conveniently used to sugarcoat his militancy

The song One Love has been featured in Jamaica Tourist Board television advertisements since 1994. In 2007, Stephen Marley and Richard Branson re-recorded the song in Jamaica to promote Branson's Virgin Airways flights to Jamaica. One Love is also the title of a romantic reggae movie from 2003, starring Ky-Mani Marley, one of the sons of the reggae king. The song appears in flick Marley & Me.
"If it wasn't for Rastafari you wouldn't have any Bob Marley. Bob Marley was propel by the philosophy of Rastafari and by extension Marcus Garvey...and when you hear people talk about reggae music as if it is a pie in di sky one love one heart lets get together and feel alright business, you wonda how it reach there so," asked Mutabaruka.
The radio host and Rastafari philosopher stressed, "Because I know that it is the philosophy of redemption and the fight against white supremacy... when Bob Marley talk bout it take a revolution to bring forth a solution; when Bob Marley sing I feel like bombing a church because I know that the preacher is lying; people try to philosophise it and characterise it...but people don't want to believe that Bob Marley was in that mindset....is like we kinda want water it down."
However, Ibo Cooper while argreeing with Muta, articulated his position. "Nothing is wrong with One Love. Nothing wrong with love, because love is the foundation and people fi love and express the love. And the music we call reggae have that side of it," Ibo posited.
However, Ibo Cooper while argreeing with Muta, articulated his position. "Nothing is wrong with One Love. Nothing wrong with love, because love is the foundation and people fi love and express the love. And the music we call reggae have that side of it," Ibo posited.

"The revolutionary image, you can dry your tears and still go out there militantly....But the biggest and baddest militant, I know that at some point in his life has felt a softness for love," Ibo admitted before using the analogy. "You cannot get to Blue Mountain without passing Irish Town. And when you reach Irish Town don't pretend sey you deh a Blue Mountain... so there is nothing wrong with One Love eventually."
He added, "but you have to define that freedom or else you will keep on fighting even when you have won the wars. You have to define that freedom. And in many instances, I am talking about the next generation, some of them don't have no idea now what that freedom mean.
"So if you listen some of the lyrics, dem a fight the same wars. Some of the wars done. But they have no idea what the freedom mean. We have to define the freedom and the freedom is defined in love. And it does mean that at one stage hopefully every race will sit around the table and respect each other as human beings because His Majesty sey soh. Until the colour of a man skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes. But Him sey, prerequisite to that you have to dash weh any concept of supremacy.
The song One Love is a smash reggae hit by Bob Marley & The Wailers from their 1977 set, Exodus. It was first recorded with a ska flavour by the original Wailers, on their 1965 debut album The Wailin (sic) Wailers.
In that same period (December, 1999), the prestigious Time magazine selected Exodus (which contains One Love) as the album of the century despite competition from the top 10 all-time best albums as compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Giving their reason for choosing Exodus the management of Time magazine in their special publication of December 31, 1999 wrote: "Every song is a classic, from the message of love to the anthems of revolution. But more than that, the album is a political and cultural nexus, drawing inspiration from the Third World and then giving voice to it the world over."

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