Virunga (2014 Documentary)

I am familiar with Virunga, the volcanoes and mountain gorillas thanks to the incredible music group, Samba Mapangala.  Naturally, I am looking forward to watching this Oscar nominated documentary by Orlando Von Einsiedel.  You can watch the official trailer here and I’ve also embedded a relevant song by Samba Mapangala, called “Les Gorilles de Montagnes“, for your listening pleasure.

VIRUNGA is the incredible true story of a group of brave people risking their lives to build a better future in a part of Africa the world’s forgotten and a gripping expose of the realities of life in the Congo. In the forested depths of eastern Congo lies Virunga National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places in the world and home to the last of the mountain gorillas. In this wild, but enchanted environment, a small and embattled team of park rangers – including an ex-child soldier turned ranger, a caretaker of orphan gorillas and a Belgian conservationist – protect this UNESCO world heritage site from armed militia, poachers and the dark forces struggling to control Congo’s rich natural resources. When the newly formed M23 rebel group declares war in May 2012, a new conflict threatens the lives and stability of everyone and everything they’ve worked so hard to protect.”

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“Le Métèque” – Live Acoustic Reggae Cover of Georges Moustaki’s classic song , by Alpha Blondy

The Egyptian / French / Greek / Italian musician, Georges Moustaki released this in the late 1960s and is one of my personal favorites, both lyrically and musically.  The Ivory Coast artist, Alpha Blondy, did a great job covering this classic in a reggae style and tweaking it appropriately.   Watch & Share the original official music video by Moustaki, the live acoustic reggae version on TV5MONDE as well as the studio version off Alpha Blondy’s latest album, “Mystic Power”.  A song of love and suffering, the lyrics are so good, check them out below the videos!

http://tune.pk/player/embed_player.php?vid=1836351&folder=2014/01/11/&width=600&height=350&autoplay=no

Avec ma gueule de nègre métèque
De Juif errant, de rasta grec
Et mes dreadlocks aux quatre vents
Avec mes yeux tout délavés
Qui me donnent l’air de rêver
Moi qui ne rêve plus souvent
Avec mes mains de maraudeur
De musicien et de rôdeur
Qui ont pillé tant de jardins
Avec ma bouche qui a bu
Qui a embrassé et mordu
Sans jamais assouvir sa faim
Avec ma gueule de nègre métèque
De Juif errant, de rasta grec
De voleur et de vagabond
Avec ma peau qui s’est frottée
Au soleil de tous les étés
Et a tout ce qui portait jupon
Avec mon cœur qui a su faire
Souffrir autant qu’il a souffert
Sans pour cela faire d’histoires
Avec mon âme qui n’a plus
La moindre chance de salut
Pour éviter le purgatoire
Avec ma gueule de nègre métèque
De Juif errant, de rasta grec
Et mes dreadlocks aux quatre vents
Je viendrai, ma douce captive
Mon âme sœur, ma source vive
Je viendrai boire tes vingt ans
Et je serai prince de sang
Rêveur ou bien adolescent
Comme il te plaira de choisir
Et nous ferons de chaque jour
Toute une éternité d’amour
Que nous vivrons à en mourir
Et nous ferons de chaque jour
Toute une éternité d’amour
Que nous vivrons à en mourir

“Good Feelings” – Adolf Fayaman featuring Lion Boy aka One Zeal (Official Music Video 2015)

lionboyLion Boy (One Zeal) is a talented Cameroonian Reggae singer based in Johannesburg. Rague Entertainment artist, Adolf Fayaman, recently collaborated with Lion Boy to create this awesome video for his hit single “Good Feelings”.  The track is the first single from Fayaman’s latest project, the “Good Feelings” E.P. The video was shot in locations around Johannesburg, South Africa.  Big up the artists for sharing such powerful, strictly positive vibes and energy. Keep living it up and making good music!

“Shotta” – No-Maddz (New Official Music Video December 2014)

Kurt Wright is the director of this brand new official music video for the Sly & Robbie produced track “Shotta” by Jamaican reggae dub group No-Maddz.  Once again, No-Maddz deliver a modern yet mystical groovy dub sound combined with powerful images and conscious lyrics about the realities of crime, guns, the police & army. Check out the video & lyrics below.

LYRICS
Intro by Mr bad to the bone

Chorus

From him get up in the morning
Haffi pop it off
Top shotta nuh laugh, people scream and bawling
Haffi pop it off
All station staff
(Repeat)

Verse 1

Just a little squeeze off the trigger
Love tot hear the sound of the gun when it fires
Love to see people get flat and scatter
Change their good, good names, now they are shottas
Whole heap of things them youths yah don’t remember
Like when their mothers used to change their diapers
Take them to school, pay all the teacher
Evening comes, daddy provide the dinner
When they’re sick, their mothers bleach with them at doctor
Now them a walk, rape, rob and murder
AK 47 in a hand over shoulder
Daddy got a glimpse and him pants full a water
Wee Wee, Mr bad to the bone

Chorus

From him get up in the morning
Haffi pop it off
Top shotta nuh laugh, people scream and bawling
Haffi pop it off
All station staff
(Repeat)

Verse 2

Bap, man dead out a street
Daddy hear on the news say him one boy do it
Mama belly ban, head in a hand
Asking Lord, what me do wrong
Why fi mi one boy turn gunman
A wonder if a the company weh him keep
A wonder if a true, him used to love roam the street
Used to love roam the street (times 4)

Bridge 1

Shotta beat it till a morning
Nah hear when mama calling
Him full a tough chat and talking
And a run when big dogs barking

Chorus

From him get up in the morning
Haffi pop it off
Top shotta nuh laugh, people scream and bawling
Haffi pop it off
All station staff
(Repeat)

Bridge 2
Mama, Babylon a carry me in a jeep
Them a box and a kick me, mama don’t make them do it
Mama, from mi little and a grow, me afraid a soldier and me don’t like police
(Repeat)

3 Reggae Music Videos with Powerful Images and Lyrics Pertaining to the Slave Trade

Junior Reid – “Same Boat” (2012)

Stephen Marley featuring Capleton & Sizzla – “Rock Stone” (2014)

Chronixx – “Capture Land” (2014)

Watch, Listen and Learn!

To read more on the subject, check out my research paper “Mutiny Aboard the Slave Ships in the 18th century: Implications for the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Mutiny Aboard the Slave Ships in the 18th century: Implications for the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Original Research Paper written by rootsnwingz 3 years ago on the historical significance of mutiny during the slave trade.  Many thanks to my professor, classmates and the librarians who helped me with my research. 


Mutiny Aboard the Slave Ships in the 18th century: 
Implications for the Transatlantic Slave Trade

mutinyMural painted by Hale Woodruff.

“The trade of slaves is in a more peculiar manner the business of kings, rich men, and prime merchants, exclusive of the inferior sort of Blacks.”
– John Barbot, European Slave Trader (1682)

The present research paper primarily deals with the phenomenon of resistance onboard ships by Africans against their enslavement during what is commonly referred to as the “Middle Passage”, i.e. the voyage across the Atlantic from the West Coast of Africa to the Americas. Insurrections of this kind flourished in the 17th and 18th centuries and had an undeniable impact on numerous aspects of the slave trade, including the slave traders themselves, who were forced to adapt to these new conditions of the transatlantic slave trade.

Therefore, I will make use of primary accounts of mutiny aboard the slave ships from the 18th century with the hopes of gaining a better understanding of its impact on the slave trade. In short, I intend to argue that the slave traders generally considered mutiny as merely a financial setback and thus the adoption of measures to prevent or restrain insurrections became a priority for the management and organization of slave ships. The ultimate point this paper hopes to make is that mutiny had a real effect on the slave trade, in the sense that it made the business of trading slaves more costly and risky for the European traders, which consequently reduced shipments to the New World. Continue reading

House of Riddim meets L.U.S.T – Mama Africa (New November 2014)

l.u.s.t
Austrian roots reggae producers House of Riddim present “Mama Africa”, by L.U.S.T, the reggae group composed by legendary Jamaican singers Singing Melody, Lukie D, Thriller U, and Tony Curtis. Sweet and positive vibes with a serious contemporary and relevant message, this is a powerful piece delivered excellently by L.U.S.T and their beautiful vocals. The song is a warning to all people to stop ignoring the poverty, corruption, disease and injustice in Africa today and a cry for unity, equal rights, justice and peace. Listen here for free:

Christos DC featuring Kenyatta Hill – “Talk to Me” (Official Music Video 2014)

The Washington D.C. based Greek American Christos DC, aka Christopher Vrenios, and Jamaican Kenyatta Hill, son of legendary singer Joseph Hill of the reggae group Culture, present the first single and music video off Christo’s new 2014 album, “Long Road”. Christos DC is an up-and-coming reggae artist and CEO at Honest Music; a multi-instrumentalist with a beautiful voice. The message is simple and very relevant considering today’s smartphone and social media obsession: we have to talk more to each other. Great music and lyrics by both artists, much respect to the Greek and African diaspora for keeping it real!

“…born and raised in Washington, D.C. by parents who sang opera and taught voice professionally. He takes his name from his Greek heritage using a nickname given to him by his grandmother & also to represent his birthplace that set the tone of his musical journey.
His sound is best described as a blend of Downtempo, Reggae with overtones of jazz”.
Read Christos DC’s impressive bio here: http://www.christosdc.com/about

Honest Music Productions. Cinematics by ViZionCreative.

http://www.christosdc.com

Kenyatta Hill – Afrikan (Official Music Video 2014)

Kenyatta Hill is the son of the late legendary Jamaican roots reggae singer Joseph “Culture” Hill, who is known primarily for his work with the band Culture in the 70s and 80s. This is one of my favourite tracks off Kenyatta’s new LP “Riddim of Life”. His voice resembles his father’s, who must have been a huge influence on him, as he was and still is to so many people. All in all, a great new artist with a powerful message in his music. The video, shot in Jamaica, is very well made and is full of beautiful cultural scenes. from Kenyatta singing on the beach to food, music, sports, art, nature and, of course, the people.

An Honest Music Production. Visuals by DUB AFRICA.
http://www.honestmusicdc.com http://www.dubafrica.com

Tiken Jah Fakoly – Live Acoustic on TV5MONDE, June 2014

Full Live Acoustic performance by Tiken Jah Fakoly on TV5Monde’s Acoustic L’intégrale.  Real music featuring Tiken Jah’s voice and players of West African string instruments (including a kora).  Video also includes an interview with the artist. Very powerful…

  1. Plus Rien Ne M’éttone aka Ils Ont Partagé le Monde
  2. Dernier Appel
  3. Tata
  4. Le Prix du Paradis
  5. Initié

“When Britain Loved Rastafari”, by Ras Cos Tafari, Sister Stella Headley, Ras Shango Baku, Dr Robbie Shilliam, Ras Rai I and Sister Addishiwot Asfawosen

Insightful essay on RasTafari, taken from http://www.discoversociety.org, July 2014, Focus Issue 10.

What does the British public know about RasTafari? Perhaps they might recognise the colours – red, gold and green – although they might mistake them for the Jamaican flag instead of the royal Ethiopian standard. The word “stoned” might come to mind, implying the use of a “drug” called Marijuana, which to members of the faith is a holy herb and used as part of a sacramental rite. No doubt they would be able to sing a line from Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”, while probably being less familiar with the singer’s more political Pan-African oriented songs such as “Africa Unite”.

Older members of the public might also think of the iconic cover of The Clash’s Black Market Clash, where a lone “dread” (Don Letts) confronts a line of police. In this respect, they would be referencing a time before the current Muslim scare when young Black men with dreadlocks occupied the position of public enemy number one as muggers, drug dealers, fanatics and rioters.

clash album cover
It would not be unfair to say that in Britain RasTafari has largely been apprehended as either a colourful curiosity or a corrosive cult. Yet it is neither of these. At its root, RasTafari is a movement of Pan-African redemption, confronting the inequities forged in the days of slavery and colonialism that continue to reverberate across physical, mental and spiritual dimensions. RasTafari take their name from the title that the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie I held as crown prince. Ras is a rank, meaning “head”; Tafari can be glossed from the Amharic as “a person who inspires awe”.

As a movement, RasTafari finds its compass and energy store in a faith (some would call it a “livity”) that centres upon the divine nature of Selassie I and his consort, Empress Menen – the Ethiopian Alpha and Omega. Many observers of the RasTafari movement are captivated by its aesthetics and music. Some will sympathise with the RasTafari ethos. Most, though, will be confused by the overwhelming love demonstrated for Selassie I, which they will interpret as evidence of fanaticism, cultism or the result of harmless recreational smoke.

In fact, RasTafari carefully utilise diverse and complex theological and cosmological traditions to “sight up” the nature of Selassie I’s divinity, expertly weaving together Biblical prophesies, doctrines of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and indigenous cosmologies that arrived with those Africans trafficked illegally across the oceans to work as chattel on plantations.

Hence, for RasTafari, the fundamental challenges posed to humanity in the twentieth century and beyond are manifested in the life, experiences and utterances of Selassie I with Empress Menen. But you do not have to rely on our testimony alone. For there was a time when even the British public loved RasTafari. Step back into this history with us, because we want you to know us better.

Rally around the Red, Gold and Green

It is July 1935 and Mussolini has amassed Italian troops on the frontiers of Ethiopia. After manufacturing a border “incident” the previous year, Mussolini wants to reverse the historic defeat suffered by Italy from the armies of Ethiopian emperor Menelik II at Adwa in 1896. Like all reputable European imperialists, he is determined to stake out his own place in the sun – the horn of Africa. And he has already taken Eritrea and Italian Somaliland.

Click here to continue reading.