Welcome to another week. Reggae Sumfest 2019 was a musical explosion out of Montego Bay, Jamaica! I’ll post about all that a little later this week because music needs space to breathe. For now, let me share my Monday Music Mix volume 2 with you! Enjoy via Spotify or YouTube (below). Scroll down for all the foot-tapping details on the top-6 playlist.
Track 1 “Nobody Man” by Sevana (2019): Perhaps people have been misunderstanding the old saying that “there’s someone for everyone.” That saying was not to suggest that there is one someone for everyone to share; rather, the saying was meant to remind us that each one of us can and will find the one. Fairy-tale idea or not (and I say it’s not), Sevana’s brand new single “Nobody Man” delivers a timely message to side-piece women to stop sharing or “borrowing” somebody’s man and look their own man and their own self-respect. I ran this song on repeat all day Friday because I love how Sevana always uses her voice to sing truth, ranging from the part-time-love-ting on this track to climate change on last year’s “Justice” (2018). “Justice” is particularly important when you think about what devastation is currently threatening Jamaica’s hinterland, Cockpit Country. Please watch this info video and please do your part to stop the mining and save Cockpit Country.
Track 2 “Follow Me” by Aly-Us (1992): This song often mixes into my music world because it is beauty put to a beat. “Follow Me” is Jersey club gold. I dare you to listen and not clap along. I dare you to listen and not get caught up in this sonic ascension to freedom. “We must stop fighting, to achieve the peace… Follow me, why don’t you follow me, to a place where we can be free…” This rhythm. These lyrics. This song is a prayer to dance above the stresses of life.
Track 3 “Fresh & Clean” by Jaz Elise (2019): Bubble to this strong song by newcomer Jaz Elise. Hailing from the country’s capital city, she is a Jamaican singer making her mark for 2019. Yes, “Fresh & Clean” was just released on July 2. She brings an Afro-beat-funk with this track that stirs Outkast memories while also happily haunting me with the strength of Nanny of the Maroons. Ain’t nobody dope as Jaz Elise for this one. Take her advice, “You got to be a rebel… Keep your heart clean so your days can be better.”
Track 5 “She Nuh Ready Yet” (1997) by Spragga Benz: No long talking; this will forever be one of my tippy-top-rated anthems. Sumfest brought “She Nuh Ready Yet” into high rotation this week and I am so glad for that.
Track 6 “Black Hypocrisy” by Spice (2018): Reggae Sumfest 2019 had some big, bold singing and deejaying. It even had some history-making moments. But Spice’s performance was the best performance of the festival. If you don’t want to take my word for it, just watch here. I played “Black Hypocrisy” quite a bit going into the weekend and every time I listened to this song about the damage that colorism causes, I wonder if color inequality will ever be erased. For more of my take on this track, see this Riddim post from 2018. Spice, you are a true queen!