Monday, September 11, 2006

Anthony B-

Photo by Joanne SavioBMSS brings you one of me favourites Ragga / Dancehall artists. Dis one isa man called :Anthony B, born Keith Blair is the living personification of Afrikan consciousness in Reggae. His single "Nah vote again" was a major factor in making the Jamaican elections of Thursday, December 18 1997, the most peaceful one since the insidious cancer of gun violence was introduced in West and Central Kingston, prior to the elections of 1967. Like his hero, Peter Tosh, the most revolutionary of the Wailing Wailers, he is an uncompromising Pan Afrikanist, in the tradition of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jamaica's first national hero and the founder and leader of the largest Afrikan organization ever, the Universal Negro Improvement Association and Afrikan Communities League, U.N.I.A. and A.C.L.

The traditional route of most Afrikan singers is via the church and Anthony B is no exception. Growing up in Clarks Town in the parish of Trelawny (a parish noted for the heroic Afrikan freedom fighters, the Maroons, who defeated the English military), his Revivalist grandmother and Seventh Day Adventist mother, immersed him in the singing, call and response and clapping mechanics of rural Jamaica. In this rural environment that Afrikan culture is best found and preserved in Jamaica, not Kingston nor urban St. Andrew. Like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, The Maytals, Justin Hinds & The Dominoes, Twinkle Brothers, the Clarendonians and countless other Jamaican Stars, Anthony B honed his vocal skills in the church and school choirs and then entered the secular world. His deejaying debut was on the local sound system Shaggy Hi-Power. Moving to Portmore in the parish of St. Catharine in 1988, the musically keen teen hooked up with other aspiring teenage deejays, Determine, Mega Banton, Ricky General and Terror Fabulous on Lovers Choice Sound. Other Portmore acts that he knew or flexed with were Little Devon, Agony Polish, Cobra, Baby Wayne, Grindsman, Ronnie Thwaites, Professor Nuts and others. He steadfastly refused to deejay girl lyrics when they were ruling the roost in the early nineties.

Patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait. In combination with Little Devon (the Half Pint sound-a-like singer) he made his debut single "The living is hard" on the Wizard label in 1993. Anthony B tried King Jammys, Black Scorpio and other studio producers after but none saw fit to help plant musical corn of the budding genius. Undeterred he was looking for a break at Black Scorpio studio one day when Little Devon introduced him to Afrocentric producer of Garnett "Mama Africa" Silk fame, Richard "Bello" Bell of Star Trail Label fame. The rest is history or blackstory !

Recordings and releases followed quickly and his first hit was "Repentance time". The bigger hits "Fire pon Rome", "Rumour" and "Raid di barn" followed in quick pursuit and his landmark debut album Real Revolutionary was released to popular acclaim in 1996. Late 1997 his second worldwide album "Universal Struggle" was released and again excellence is consistent. The album is one of the best in Reggae for 1997 and 1998. Lyrically, thematically and rhythmically versatile, the album encapsulates Afrikan consciousness and the Peter Tosh-like deliveries and clarity of vocals are indelibly present throughout.

He was the most devastating deejay at Reggae Summits 1997, at Catherine Hall in Montage Bay, Jamaica - a consummate performer. Anthony B, indeed another Reggae king in full musical swing !! Y father use to make it up as a drink in Jamaica.

Source: "Jet Star Reggae News", Issue 4. (Jan. 1998) Writer: Mango

Friday, September 01, 2006

I got a spring in my step!

Yep! it's here! Spring. Don't u just love it when u know the year is over in just 3 months! That's what i'm celebrating. It just means that we are on the final quarter of the year. Have u achieved anything, yet? Better make haste! To celebate all this spring bruhaha, here's some pix :

Political Notebook

This is sourced from

Talkshow diva Oprah Winfrey is a woman of incredible stature who has achieved amazing things.

These achievements include being the recipient of the 2004 UN Association of America’s Global Humanity Award. She is also the first black person to make it into Business Week’s top 50 list of the most generous philanthropists in the US. She has given an estimated R1,8billion to charity.

People who watch her shows will remember how she showers her mixed-race studio audiences with incredible gifts, including cars and expensive jewellery.

Many will also recall how Winfrey expelled international designer Tommy Hilfiger from her show. This was after Hilfiger had confirmed the racist remarks he had made about him not wanting African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews and Asians to wear his clothes.

Despite all this, in South Africa Winfrey has been branded a racist by some whites.

Her sin? Her decision to give 150 poor black girls an opportunity to get the kind of education that would equip them to achieve more in the future.

Without such an opportunity, trapped in the cycle of poverty these girls would most probably drop out of school before matric, and so become trapped in the poverty cycle.

This opportunity comes in the form of a R400million leadership academy for girls currently being constructed in Meyerton. The school will be opened in January with an enrolment of 150 girls aged between 11 and 15, They will be from grade 7 to grade 8. Upon completion in 2011, the school will admit 450 girls from grade 7 to 12.

Last week Winfrey came to South Africa and confirmed the admission of the first 73 girls. The next 77 will be announced soon.

Upon hearing that her daughter was admitted, one of the mothers called Winfrey an angel.

This angel’s other sin was the decision not to open the school open to children from rich families . Her target is girls from families with an income of less than R65000 a year.

In factSome of her rich critics argue that she should have allowed them to pay for their children because they can afford to do so.

By making the school exclusive to the disadvantaged girls she was discriminating, they argued.

It is common knowledge that most of the poor people in this country are black. This is so because they were the victims of a racist system that deprived black people were deprived of any opportunities for self-development.

Winfrey has said that she can actually relate to the girls’ experiences because she is also from a poor background – as a black person growing up as a black person in the racist US.America.

So what makes her racist for having decided that she would would use her wealth to ensure that these girls do not suffer the hardships that she went through?

One can only assume that those opposed to her initiative continue to harbour negative feelings about black people getting opportunities for self- improvement. Maybe they are the racists, not Winfrey.

For me a racist is someone who believes that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

I don’t believe Winfrey shares this belief.