Words by Kaya.Lah—
The reggae monolith Midnite don’t often make music videos, but when they do, they have been memorable. (In fact, it was right here in 2011 that Midnite pemiered their very first video, for “Mongst I & I”). Such is the case with the group’s first visuals from their recent Zion I Kings produced album Beauty for Ashes, for the single “Same Boat We,” with the Ancient Child seen on Midnite’s album covers brought to life by Midnite frontman Vaughn Benjamin’s eldest son, Senuah Benjamin.
With the opening scene you are put in Midnite’s world, with Senuah’s uncanny resemblance to the wise gaze seen on Midnite CD covers over the years. “Same Boat We” takes you through a scenic tour of Western St. Croix as both the Ancient Child and Vaughn Benjamin make their way into each other’s orbits. LargeUp Rashad Martinez of Forever Kings and Paul Cusin of I Sigh Creations for the creative idea and video production. (Side note: I always thought this was a great album concept, so let’s hopes they carry on the storyline.)
With its insightful lyrics and poignant chorus (not to mention a hypnotic guitar lead and the scene-setting melodica), the song renders Roots music in true form.
While we’re bringing it to you today, Midnite and I-Grade Records timed the release of this message of unity and togetherness to coincide with St. Croix’s celebration of the Emancipation from slavery by Danish Governor Peter von Scholten on July 3, 1848. Culture bearers that they are with songs like “Same Boat We,” Midnite has always kept Virgin Islands music grounded. You can check out more from the album Beauty for Ashes here.