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.

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