Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Music Review -Legalize It, forty years after

The Legalize It Album

As the saying goes, “behind every cloud is a silver lining.” My mobile phone got infected after I transferred a file to an ironically sparkling-looking laptop computer. The result: I lost all my music and picture files. 

I needed new ring tones for my device; the ones that came with the phone were some tunes that I found exotic and not so cool.  So, I logged on to www.mp3skull.com for what we call “awuf” in Nigeria.  There, I downloaded the Peter Tosh’s songs that were in the device before the crash.  In addition to those songs, I downloaded Legalize it. 

I had often overlooked Legalize it. This is because I prefer to download songs that I have not properly listened to. The only thing about Legalize it is that I had listened to it back in the eighties, from an elderly man who rented a room in our house. This time, however, I was attracted to it by the fact that it is a remixed version. I listened to it through the earphone of my device a countless number of times until I got inspired, leading to this review, forty years after the song was released. 

Playing the song this time, I became conscious of flashes in it whose reggae cores I wouldn’t have been able to understand back in the eighties, when I listened to it with a mind that couldn’t see the cultural essence of the music.

The first thing that grips you when the song begins to play is the melody of the bass guitar: simple and heavenly at the same time. Strongly tied to it, is the rasta mood and the drugging effect of the music.  Through four verses on the legalization of ganja, Tosh attested to the profound depth of his intellectual thought. 

Physically, you wouldn’t want to dance, as the creeping pace of the song discourages dancing. Emotionally, though, you dance, holding your head between your hands. Through the strong impact of the song the fading standing of Tosh in my heart was rekindled. 

In one of Peter Tosh’s songs, Moses the Prophet, Tosh referred to death prophets as men who are still “alive”, watching their prophesies get fulfilled. Listening to Legalize it, I got the strong feeling Tosh wasn’t death, ensuring he continues to entertain the world.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Secularism is the Ultimate Teacher

Aim your knowledge to where you mind points!
I have decided to print and market my book, How to Become a Music Maestro, myself. Only then did I understand what it means to market a book yourself. I reached bookshops that refused to buy, preferring to accept copies and pay only after selling. It was the same with newspaper vendors who displayed copies of the book, side-by-side, with newspapers. 

Each time I checked the bookshops to see how many have been sold, I get something like N1000 for the few copies sold. The newsstands sold better, but most were dubious, preferring you to waste the money on transportation, as you come repeatedly over the token.  

In the end, I decided that the little sales with the bookshops, plus the dignity associated with working with them, is far better. Plus, the book covers, exposed to the sun 24/7 at the newsstands, lose color and attraction so that any copies remaining may never be sold. 

Eventually, I discovered that the church was a far better place; there are music bands and choir groups in churches. There was a band leader who bought 20 copies and paid cash. In some churches, though, there were conservative pastors who thought the book teaches how to play secular music. And I wonder what is in the book points to the door of secularism. If you are going to school to study mathematics, it is all you are taught. No one teaches you “Christian Mathematics” -it is up to you to decide how you wish to use your knowledge. I hope the pastor sees this point.