Words by Steve Bennett, Erin MacLeod, Jesse Serwer and Jillioniare—
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Words and Photo by Erin MacLeod—
People tend to have a pile of preconceptions about Jamaica. Whether it’s a dreadlocked, Bob-Marley soundtracked Rastafari image or an all-inclusive beachfront package vacay picture, the island looms large in the world’s imagination. But expectations and assumptions are very different from reality. Sure, reggae and dancehall are popular throughout Jamaica, but there’s a love this nation has for certain performers that tends to shock visitors. Whereas cool kids around the world might shy away from expressing a love for Celine Dion, for instance, in Jamaica it’s accepted that she’s just amazing. And it doesn’t end there.
Words by Erin MacLeod, Photos by Martei Korley—
“I have no voice but I am not silent. I use tools beyond my physical body to communicate. Across the years my voice has been expressed mostly through the written word via a computer, and now, in recent years it has become my artwork, more than words, that has satisfied my deep need to connect with people in an authentic way.” – Astro Saulter
You may have heard that Jamaica just celebrated a big birthday. VP Records is keeping the 50th anniversary celebrations going by releasing Reggae Golden Jubilee – Origins of Jamaican Music – 50th Anniversary, a 4 CD set of a hundred tunes. VP Records President Christopher Chin and music historians Dermot Hussey and John Masouri also lend their expertise to the extensive liner notes. The selection itself, however, represents the range of Jamaican music released over the past half-century and each track has been hand picked by former producer, record label owner, member of parliament and prime minister Edward Seaga.
Out come November 6, 2012, it’s an amazing collection of music, from ska and rocksteady to dancehall, with one drop, rockers, steppers and roots rock reggae in between. More than anything, however, we can’t wait to see what 82-year-old Mr. Seaga has to say about Mavado and Elephant Man, who are featured on the compilation alongside greats like Derrick Morgan, Prince Buster and Byron Lee.