Words by Jesse Serwer—
Sure, we love our culture tunes and badman tunes but, as any sound man (or gyal) knows, the most lighter-worthy, forward-inducing reggae/dancehall tunes are those that blur the lines between—and transcend— these two categories. A Bongo nyah is an age-old term describing a Rasta man who is also a gangster man, so you know with any song that uses it, you’re getting a little bit of both and, most likely, a big, big chune.
Reggae OG Little Roy was the first to acknowledge and describe this particular Jamaican figure in song, back on 1970’s “Bongo Nyah” and, now, Stephen Marley has added to the canon. Set to appear on Marley’s upcoming Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life (due out this fall), “Bongo Nyah” features the walking, dictionary-definition of a bongo nyah, Spragga Benz, ‘longside his brother Damian, over a Nyabinghi-influenced hip-hop beat. In other words “Bongo Nyah” is real bongo nyah. Stream it below, and leave your thoughts in the comments.