Monday, February 4, 2013


Today had me thinking about how a lot of people perceive reggae music. Last Friday was Marley's favorite singer, the crown prince of reggae Dennis Emmanuel Brown's birthday. My friend and I went out that night to see our buddies from Angono, ska stalwarts NEIGHBORS perform for a Robert Nesta Marley event in Marikina.  

It's a saddening sight that we've noticed that some of the bands that played that night are just out there not to remember and embraced the man who addressed the social issues of his homeland and had given voice to the political and cultural nexus of Jamaica, But simply because Bob Marley smoked weed. 

Reggae is not all about smoking weed and loving Bob. I’m tired that weed’s presence seeps both blatantly and discreetly into all sorts of lyrics. So much to my dismay that I got up on the mic like Kanye West bum rushing Taylor Swift and started lambasting a band that night using reggae and hip hop music as a poor excuse for their choice of medium complete with their fake ass Jamaican patois singing and rapping about nothing else but Marijuana from the beginning of their performance up to the end of it.  

Reggae music in and of itself is brilliant – it addresses social issues like racism, equality, overcoming the odds, being true to oneself, having faith, love, endorsing sustainable living, and much more.  Morgan Heritage sang, “You don’t haffi dread to be Rasta,” which is a nugget I hold onto, because it’s expressing that it’s what’s on the inside, or what’s in your heart, that counts. If I apply this adage to this particular issue, I come to the conclusion, You don’t have to be high to be  enlightened. For those indie bands out there in garages all over Philippines, you don't need to get high or turn your locks into dreadlocks. 

And remember reggae is not just about the acquisition of a Bob Marley’s Legend CD. 

One more thing about the band that I had bum rushed unlike Kanye who apologizes to one of the talent less individual in the world I will not apologize at all because the crap you put out that night is like her voice, when not treated with effects, is incredibly annoying.  

And for the readers of this blog there are some great, trusted reggae, punk, hardcore and ska event producers as well as equally great bands out there all you got to do is to sift through the dross. Please do not settle for anything less as Robert Matthew Van Winkle had said - ANYTHING LESS THAN THE BEST IS A FELONY.