“Babylon Brutality” – Marlon Asher (New Official Music Video 2015)

marlonasher
Best known for his hit tune “Ganja Farmer”, Marlon Asher, the Trinidadian reggae singer from Enterprise, Chaguanas, returns to the frontline with a brand new powerful song and video against police brutality. Marlon Asher’s perfect flow, positive vibes and conscious, original and notably relevant lyrics depicting the sad, unjust sociopolitical climate, combined with a big sound, reaffirm his singing talent and ability to create reggae masterpieces. “Babylon Brutality” is the first single off Marlon’s upcoming album “Illusions”, out January 13th 2015. I am happy to see Marlon making quality productions once again and getting the recognition he truly deserves. I await the new album’s release in anticipation and with high hopes. Enjoy & share the excellent reality tune & video here!

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“Hands Up I Can’t Breathe” – Steel Pulse (New Single December 2014) Listen & read full lyrics!

Brand new tune by the legendary reggae band Steel Pulse and David Hinds, livicated to the lives that have been recently unjustly taken by police brutality and racist discrimination, in particular the shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, this past August. Once again and after all their years of making music, Steel Pulse always deliver a notably strong and relevant message. Still chanting down Babylon as 2015 approaches… Listen and read / share the full lyrics below!

Lyrics (transcribed by rootsnwingz):

Should I run away

Don’t get disillusioned
By this racist institution
The bigots are out there with their weapons too
Yes they’re aiming just to gun down our children

So let me tell you this time around
Yes, we’re gonna draw this line right now
Our common goal is to stand our grounds
You got the city on lock down

Don’t shoot, I got my hands up
Don’t shoot, I put my hands up
Shoot I to keep my mouth shut
What do you want from me?

Don’t shoot, I got my hands up
Don’t shoot, I put my hands up
No doubt, you got the handcuffs
I’m choking, I can’t breathe

Why should I run away? Curfew!

Do I lay dead as a victim
Another statistics to the system
All kinds of crazy shit flow through my mind
Do I left to raise my children
So I’m gonna tell you this time around
What goes around, yes will come around
Is it defiance that has me bound
You got this whole town on lock down

Don’t shoot, I got my hands up
Don’t shoot, I put my hands up
Shoot I to keep my mouth shut
What do you want from me?

Don’t shoot, I got my hands up
Don’t shoot, I put my hands up
No doubt, you got the handcuffs
I’m choking I can’t breathe

I’m down on my bended knees
I’m choking I cannot breathe
I beg you don’t tazer me

Why should I run away?

Is it because I’m happy?
Why you so trigger happy?

Don’t shoot!

police brutalityUndercover cop pulls pistol on unarmed civilians in Oakland, California.

“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.

“What Really Happened in Hyde Park?” aka “Babylon”, a short story by rootsnwingz

Note by the author:  “This short story was originally written in the Spring of 2012 as part of an assignment for a  ‘Poetics of Murder’ university class.  Many thanks to my professor and classmates as well as all my favourite crime authors, particularly Edgar Allan Poe and Agatha Christie, for their inspiration.  All rights belong to rootsnwingz.”

Mr. Colin Brown was a retired detective who regarded himself as a true English gentleman. Therefore, as usual, on the morning of the 11th of November 1970, he got ready for his weekly appointment at the renowned “Bernard’s Gentlemen’s Barbershop” and walked out of his flat and into the gloomy London weather. Continue reading