Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bunny Wailer didn't sell out

How enlightening it is to watch the documentary Marley, about the life of Bob Marley, that came out last year.  My own previous knowledge of Bob was limited:  it's really my sister Reba who is more the reggae listener.  After all, she is the one who wrote a college paper on Rastafarianism and has seen a lot of reggae.

I was particularly moved by what one of his original band members, Bunny Wailer, said regarding the early career.  When Bob was getting big and his promoters wanted him to tour around, Bunny Wailer felt that much of the requests were going to compromise the spiritual nature of their music.  He wasn't interested in playing in dance halls.  He wanted to stay true to the Rastafarian spirituality of the music.   I have great respect for that statement.  Aside from the fact that he is a three time Grammy winner and learder in world music, I dig Mr. Wailer's look.

from Wikipedia

So today in spin class when a modern rap tune came on which sounds like it sampled Queen's classic "Another One Bites the Dust," I couldn't help but wonder if Jah B, as Mr. Wailer is also known as, would agree with me that this tune reeks of mysogyny and materialism that degrades the women and the human spirit.

For purely illustrative purposes here is the tune by The Sugarhill Gang I heard in spin class.  I do not honor or respect it, but it is for solely educational purposes that I place it here.  I say it's drek.  It's nah good vibes, evil!

 If you want to know the truth, both tunes sampled "Good Times" by Chic, but still...

When I read that Bunny Wailer is also known as Jah B and a leader in world music, it got me thinking of other Jah musicians I have known of.  One who is a very private person and whose name I can't even write here at the moment.  I respect his privacy.  Another is Rocker T, a Rainbow family musician who has the most beautiful tune "Thank Jah Most of All" and for whom I yet again thank our brother Adam for sharing his Happy Tape with me.  I am losing hope of ever going to Rainbow.  I don't think I could actually hack it at this point.  I need an aero bed at the minimum.  I'm not exactly into roughing it any more.

Now if that were remixed into a faster version , that would surely make a great spin tune, and none of that garbage that reinforces negative stereotypes of women in contemporary rap.