The Many Faces of South Africa’s King of Reggae – Lucky Dube!
LUCKY DUBE – RESPECT (Aug. 3, 1964 – Oct. 18, 2007)
A Tribute – Gone But Never Forgotten
Words and Photos by Lee Abel
“Bob Marley said,
‘How long shall they kill our prophets
while we stand aside and look’
But little did he know
that eventually the enemy will stand aside and look
while we slash and kill our own brothers
knowing that already they are the victims of the situation”
Delivered by his grandmother on a farm near the small mining town of Ermelo on August 3, 1964, he was not given a name. He was not expected to live. But like every other challenge, save one, that was to follow in his 43 years, he refused to be a victim. The Apartheid system in South Africa provided little opportunity for proper health care, quality education, or employment. Its rigid laws cruelly dictated the movements of black families and individuals. Furthermore, his father had a liquor habit and abandoned the family before he was born. His mother Sarah left shortly after to seek domestic work in Johannesburg, hoping to send money back, rarely able to. He stayed behind in a mud hut, cared for by his beloved grandmother who nourished him, body and soul.
Spragga Benz’s Son, Carlton Grant, Jr., Killed by Kingston Police
Article and Photo by Brittany Somerset
Sept. 5, 2008 Kingston, Jamaica – A source in Jamaica, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, spoke exclusively to Brittany Somerset about the tragic, untimely demise of 17-year-old Carlton “Carlie” Grant, Jr, son of Reggae veteran Spragga Benz, who was allegedly murdered by police in downtown Kingston, late in the evening on August 23, 2008.
It’s reported that at approximately 11:50 p.m., Carlie and a friend were leaving a video game rental store on the corner of Church and East Queen St. The friend begins, “Carlie was stopped on his bicycle while coming from the store with a teenage friend. Police stopped him and told him to get off his bike, and he obeyed. He identified himself. He said, ‘I’m Spragga Benz’s son.’ The police smirked as if in disbelief. They did not think Spragga’s son would be in the ghetto, but he was visiting family. The police fired one shot into the air, and told them to run. Carlie’s friend took off running. Carlie stayed where he was, with his hands in the air. One of the policemen whispered something to a second officer, and the officer then shot him at point blank range in the face. They executed him. All reports of Carlie having a gun, firing at police, or running, are completely false. Carlie stayed at the scene, and declared himself. After they shot him once in the face, and when he collapsed to the ground, he was shot a second time. This was murder.” Continue reading
Junior Reid and Michael Rose: Veteran Vocalists Blend Genres and Eras
By Angus Taylor
August 29, 2008 – London, England – A sparsely attended Forum in Kentish Town witnessed two veterans who have fought to stay current in an ever-changing reggae market. Former Black Uhuru singers Michael Rose and Junior Reid faced a tough assignment in a one-third capacity crowd wearied by an afternoon at the sound systems of Notting Hill, but their steely professionalism and refusal to let nostalgia rule made this a select gathering to remember.
Despite being announced with little fanfare, Dawn Penn and the Righttrak Band dutifully warmed up the place; building to her smash hit “No No No.” Roots artist Iqula followed with a fiery set featuring an electric cello while clenching a red gold and green flag in his fist, exiting to the first hearty cheers.
Michael Rose and the Dubline Band took no chances making their entrance, starting with stripped down renditions of “Party Next Door,” “Sponji Reggae” and “I Love King Selassie,” furnished by tinkling piano and hard, reverberated snares. Continue reading
Sly and Robbie, along with Cherine Anderson and the Taxi Gang, opened for Slightly Stoopid, and Pepper, Aug. 30, 2008, Boca Raton, Florida Photos M. Peggy Quattro
SLY and ROBBIE: Reggae Disciples Standing up for Reggae
Words & Photos by M. Peggy Quattro
August 30, 2008 – Miami, Florida – With careers spanning more than 30 years and hundreds of thousands of recorded tracks, SLY and ROBBIE – aka the Riddim Twins – are still standing up for Reggae. Equal partners in the studio or on the stage, these world-renown artists, performers, and producers represent Reggae to the fullest. Fueled by, what Robbie calls “God power,” this ageless duo is having a seriously fun time doing it.
I caught up with Sly and Robbie, long-time friends and colleagues, after their rousing performance with Reggae Rock Dubsters Simply Stoopid, Internet sensations hailing from southern California, and Hawaii’s popular threesome, Pepper. Continue reading