Words by Tony Lowe, Video by Tony Lowe and Taliesin Gilkes-Bower—
For the first time in years, dancehall has some competition in Jamaica. Touching down in Kingston over the last year, the energy of the “new roots” movement was impossible to miss. Chronixx’s smash-hit “Odd Ras,” an anthemic manifesto for the young and righteous, rang seemingly on repeat from every sound, and increasingly common live performances by Jah 9 and Protoje blazed with mythic power. Armed with Rasta philosophy and criss Rockers style, this tight-knit but massive crew of young musicians—which also includes Jesse Royal, Addis Pablo and the Suns of Dub, Kabaka Pyramid, the No-Maddz, Raging Fyah, Kelissa, and more—are bringing roots and culture back into focus.
Meditations is a documentary series revolving around the everyday spiritual life of these musicians. Chapter 1 features singer Jesse Royal and Ras Jammy (of the Suns of Dub) harvesting ackee and preparing an ital feast at Gabre Selassie’s home overlooking Kingston. The vast hillside gardens of Gabre’s “Shaolin Temple” are a place of respite for Kingston’s young musicians during the day, and home to his famed Rockers Sound System sessions by night.
Enjoy this Meditation, and stay tuned for Chapters 2 and 3 featuring Addis Pablo, Ras Michael, and more.