Words by Kaya.lah
Photos by Birhan Tonge
On this day in 1930, Ras Tafari Makonnen was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia, taking the new name Haile Selassie the First. To honor the occasion, reggae giant Pressure Busspipe has chosen to premiere his newest video release, “Lion Is A Lion,” set in Ethiopia. Shot earlier this year in the eastern highland capital of Addis Ababa and surrounding areas, the native Virgin Islander made “the trod” back to the Motherland to capture the fullness of his fervent message. The visuals come with a special intro by Nyabinghi Shashamane elder Marcus Selassie, AKA Ras Solomon Wolfe.
“This was Pressure’s first time in Ethiopia,” director Birhan Tonge of Royal Ras Productions explains. “He wanted to experience Ethiopia on his own without any promoters sending for him. We spent 10 days in Ethiopia shooting the video piece by piece so he can still enjoy his first time in Mama Africa, [going to] Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Wondo Genet, Shashamane. I wanted to have an organic feel to the video, nothing Hollywood. It was just me and and assistant at times. But we made it happen!”
Produced by by Mastiksoul and the I-Grade Records camp, with kette drums by Vaughn Benjamin and Jah David, “Lion is a Lion” is available on iTunes and other digital outlets on November 11th. Check out the catalog from Pressure Busspipe right here and stay tuned for more.