Today Jamaica will go to the polls for the first general election since the siege of Tivoli Gardens and the Dudus extradition raised troubling questions about who really runs things. But if you listen to reggae music, you already know…
Song after song tells us that “Jah run things,” and all his children are supposed to be on the same side. That’s what this JLPNP T-shirt spotted at Miss Lily’s Variety is trying to express.
Overstanding the big picture is the first step to defusiing the old divide-and-rule tactics. And listening to some good Reggae music is a great way cool off the pressure and help people elevate their mental state. So we send out this playlist of 22 crucial selections along with a prayer for both peace and justice. Let it go…
Bounty Killer “Fed Up” (Remix) If Warlord did rule the world…
Mavado “Change Right Now” Can’t believe them ah delete people.
Vybz Kartel “Mr. Politician” You plan to trick ghetto man?
Mad Cobra “Live Together” Shang productions provides Cobra with a Bogle-ready riddim and a bully pulpit “fi counsel the two parties.” Listen up.
Buju Banton “Politics Time Again” Many of the Gargamel’s songs have taken on new meaning since his incarceration, none moreso than this one.
Josey Wales & Admiral Bailey “Ballot Box” Two champion DJs issue a joint denial of any alleged involvement in election shenanigans.
Admiral Bailey “Politician” Proving he knows about much more than “Punany” Mr. Bailey spits fire on this harcore reality tune set to Jammy’$ original “Cat’s Paw” riddim.
UB40 “Folitician” Astro goes H.A.M. over the mighty UB40 rhythm section.
Super Cat “Jah Run Things” When the Don Dada himself says “none of them no run things, not even me” you know we’re talking about that next-level respect. No matter how much the “Ghetto Red Hot” Jah Jah have everything under control.
Brian & Tony Gold, Buju Banton, Terry Ganzie, Tony Rebel “Tribal War” Rude boys, be wise. And listen keenly to Penthouse crew’s 90s remake of the John Holt classic.
Cherine Anderson “Kingston State of Mind” Real talk from the sweet soul sister… don’t take her simple.
Papa Biggy “Times Of Trouble” Crucial Techniques 45 from this criminally underrated big-belly DJ who was using the name Biggie long before Big Poppa came along. “Only rub-a-dub music can cool off the heat.”
Half Pint “Political Fiction” Half Pint’s lyric about “Living so near and yet so far,” captures the absurdity of the divide-and-rule tribalist system. Like the man says, “It’s a pity.”
Buju Banton “From Jungle To Back O Wall” The Banton bemoans the plight of the pawns on the chessboard.
Anthony B “Naah Vote Again” Mr. Fire Pon Rome talks his mind over a deceptively bouncy and cheerful riddim.
Sizzla “Simplicity” It’s not the labba labba nor the back stabber.
Ken Boothe “Peace Time” Perhaps the hardest of all the crucial Clappers productions. One of the world’s greatest vocalists puts it all down on the track.
Leroy Smart “Ballistic Affair” Let us all live as one.
Half Pint “One Big Family” When George Phang’s Power House label dropped this tune, it was a major statement. “So many times we have been victimized.”
Delroy Wilson “Better Mus Come” The song that came before the movie of the same name.
Peter Tosh “Equal Rights” / “Downpressor Man” Everyone is crying out for peace, but the Stepping Razor is crying out for justice. That’s what makes him so dangerous.
Bob Marley “Revolution” Lessons learned. If a fire make it burn.