Monday, February 13, 2012

Reggae Misunderstood

Reggae Symbol
It is ironic that an avid reggae fan as me does not attend Marley Day celebration in my city, every year it comes round. My reason is the fear of the expected disorderliness at such a show as many misunderstand Reggae. One is sure that at such venues, people with the impression that reggae is an excuse for lunacy will dance uncontrollably until they bump into you from right, left and center thereby causing a fight. Prevention is better than cure. I think about that and stay at home.
Reggae is misunderstood by a diverse social spectrum. During one of the Marley Day anniversaries, the family of the late Reggae King invited different artist from around the world. Each of the invited artists performed a chosen song of the Bob Marley. I watched how American singer and song writer, Chrissie Hynde make a cartoon of her frail-looking body by insisting on dancing reggae-wise. I also always observe how youths in my neighborhood with Reggae music ambition crash out for misunderstanding Reggae by talking like drunks in their music projects. To the potential fan, this is irresponsible and unacceptable.
Sister Chrissie Hynde, to me, justs bordered herself as the place of reggae is never a place of captivity. Rather, it is a place of freedom, which happens to be one of the fundamental philosophies of reggae music.
The great men of Reggae music demonstrated this liberty in the splendor of their works. Bob Marley often demonstrated his regality and his amazing personality that personifies a pastor and the Rude Boy in one. There was Peter Tosh with that thing in his voice that leaves you acknowledging that, truly, he is a messenger from Jah. One cannot fail to perceive Mutabaruka’s chastisement of men who refuse to belief in the equality of man. Don Carlos is always emphasizing the reality of Zion and what one must do to ensure he gets there. Then there is the cool Max Romeo and his blissful controversies and the Burning Spear reminding all black people of their African ancestry regardless of where they may be.
Reggae acknowledges that uniqueness is intrinsic and that it is that very resource that has sustained the culture itself. It believes in the emancipation of oneself from mental slavery thereby allowing your inherent identity to show and make the world a better place. So when next one attends a Bob Marley memorial, he should remember to be himself thereby allowing others to opportunity to have the best of fun.