Reggae Without Lyrics

“One good thing about music is when it hits you feel no pain”

 

Reggae is…. Indescribable. It is a musical language born from a people who had no voice, people who were the downtrodden of society and cast aside. In the history of Jamaica, you will find Reggae has a prominent part to play as both a symbol of unity and peace where its lyrics held sway over the ambitions of many a youth who sought the spotlight in the good ol’ Sound System days where the One Drop ruled supreme.

Fast forward to present day where Reggae’s younger sibling, Dancehall has been dominant for the last few years and where Reggae is seen as something for the more mature crowd who are not necessarily into the raunchy and outspoken nature of Dancehall, where it is more celebrated in Europe and Japan and you wonder about the allure that Reggae has on these predominantly white/Asian cultures. You see Reggae for us (Jamaicans, Caribbeans and African races) is built in, the drums are our heartbeat, the guitar resonates with the tingles in our skin. For persons not in black culture, it is almost a rare sensation, almost like watching an eclipse and then feeling the sun on your skin again after a cold morning. Its warmth spreads and there is this feeling of calm in your body. For us, it is natural.

Lately I have been listening to to Reggae instrumentals, a strange habit I know yet it has let me have a new appreciation for where the genre is today. In the past musicians were expensive and to keep costs down, you had to keep the beat to the minimum. You had your pianist, rhythm guitarists, the drummer who was the heartbeat of the riddim with the One Drop and then of course the bassist who is the soul with the rhythmic, resonating thumm thumm in the background . Then there was one additional sound to add, whether this was a horn or a harmonica or the mento box but something to “sweeten the beat.” This of course meant that your lyrics in a sense were front and center. Think of Dub Poetry as Reggae’s other cousin with the beat helping to tell your story but can also tell a story BY itself. Dancehall as a pop variant of Reggae is a slave to the whims of its younger audience, having to move to trends and fads remember the auto tune (computer voice) phase that almost every genre went through? Exactly.

 

Reggae’s deliberate and sometimes unconscious simplicity is what gives it that ability to transcend cultural borders and norms. It’s one of the reasons why long after his death Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds even without its lyrics feels like a song that one can wake up to, “Redemption Song’s” instrumental has a feeling of deep thought, sadness and hope, “Is This Love?”  has a joyous and questioning feel to it. Reggae’s roots in simplicity and the earnestness of its everyday practitioners in the ghetto who valued togetherness and had a certain honest nature to them is welcomed even more so that it is so rare these days. After all if you do Reggae these days, you do it for the love not the likes.

Contributed by Patrick Lawson from Patricklawson.online.

Expression Wednesdays

Hi Everyone 🙂

We got a little gift with a big impact, A-Game released a song on his Birthday last Sunday. I Know you’ll enjoy it; in this sweet melody he encourages us to work towards our goals in life, despite the pressing hardships. I hope this one give you some motivation this week, it’s really catchy and what better lyrics to have stuck in your head? Take a listen to “I Know.”

Find A-Game on Instagram @AlexxAGame.

shidasignoff2

Upcoming Events!

Christmas holiday has officially began for some (like me 😀 ) while others are still confined by ongoing exams. I actually quite enjoy this season, the food, the good vibes and cheerfulness, the family time, but I love going out with my friends as well. Take a look at a couple events happening this week. Continue reading “Upcoming Events!”

Expression Wednesdays

Hi Everyone 🙂

Since this is the week following Hero’s Day, I decided to show you a part of Jamaica’s culture; a music genre born here, Dancehall. The song for today is “Needle Eye” by Spice, this is a Gyal Chune, which simply means it’s a song (tune) made for the ladies to show off their dancing skills. Take a listen but beware, it’s explicit.

It’s one of my favourites 😀

shidasignoff2

Upcoming Events!

Hey! Give thanks cause it’s the weekend!! If you’re looking for things to do, I have some options. Take a look at what’s in the streets this week. Continue reading “Upcoming Events!”

Expression Wednesdays

I have bad news everyone; with Jamaicans across the island pondering whether to roast or fry breadfruit, I fear we will soon come to an end, as a nation. The sun is so hot, persons are melting at a rapid pace, everyday. With hot heads roaming the streets and the high levels of hype gas, one day the sun and the gas will cause the island to combust. And we’re not even in June…Will Jamaicans make it to summer?

For real though, it’s been so hot lately, fans on high, A/C’s on low, using umbrellas during the day to shield your face from burning. The sun has been feeling too real. I have decided to keep any outdoor activities before 6pm at a minimum. Have you started feeling any summer vibes?

Today I want to big up Dancehall! Listen these two dancing songs below:

Featured image from Cocorrina.com

shidasignoffcomplete

Expression Wednesdays

Hey Everyone 🙂

Today I’m sharing a little information about Rihanna’s song “Work” it’s from her new album “ANTI” the song features Drake. To be honest the song annoys me, not because of the Patois used but because of the choice of lyrics, and at some parts it actually sounds like gibberish to me, don’t get me wrong, this is still a nice song to dance/whine(twerk) to. “Work” is not Tropical House, this video expounds on such thoughts, and I agree completely.

I must admit, I like the music video though, it looks like you were dropped inna one Jamaican dance. For those who have not heard the song, the official music video was released on Monday, take a look↓

Don’t forget to comment!

shidasignoffcomplete

Expression Wednesdays

It’s an Island vibe today, I say today like that isn’t always my vibe lol. So hi everybody, how you been? What’s your vibe today? Let me know in the comments below!

Please enjoy this music video, Samantha J’s “Bad Like Yuh” it was shot in her home town of Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

I like the song, it has a nice riddim, the core of the lyrics says “I know I shouldn’t but I gotta have you” it can vibe to 🙂 The music video is especially nice, now I wanna go roller skating though!

P.S. Pree them with the patties at the end, patties give life! (See last week’s Expression Wednesday.)

shidasignoffcomplete

Expression Wednesdays

Hello Everyone 🙂

I have something out of the ordinary for you, today I have a dancehall song,”Pressure” by Vybz Kartel, I was just listening to it the other day and I find it cool and funny plus the riddim is nice to bounce to. He basically talks about trying to get out of Ghetto life, to me it’s cool for the way he puts his flow but it’s funny cause he also says types of food that’s cooked in a Pressure Cooker. Take a listen.

shidasignoffcomplete

Expression Wednesdays

Hi everyone 🙂
Sorry for the late post, the song I’m feeling right now is “Credit Alone Done” by Vybz Kartel, every time I hear it I wah start dance. Check it out on YouTube here.

xShida