The philosophy of reggae music – according to Banton

There’s something very wrong with the above image and it is the irony of evolution vs the unchanged core philosophy of reggae music.

If a person is below any given age, they will not recognise the cassette or the 7″ record and then, even those above that time driven age, may not understand so let me take a moment to explain. Before I do that, you may have noticed that with the record being on the right hand side, if it were a cassette reel, means that side has played and the only thing left to do is a choice of rewind or turn over. Be that is it may, what is to be written here is somewhat unforgiving similarly, already mapped out with the “done talk” in hand.

For the real gurus of reggae music, you will easily know that reggae music holds a core standard, a moral code, a value that will never change.

Sure, there is reggae music out there that doesn’t seem to participate but it is not down to the individual song, rather it is down to the individual artist/producer/studio/dj/vendor/promoter and indeed reggae fan.

Let’s be brutally honest here, most music holds a similar core value, where an artist sings or raps about life, in some way. But ‘murder on the dance floor’ holds a similar trait to any other song that simply hypes up how music is good or indeed wicked, hence it being murder on the dance floor. This is merely paying homage and ‘bigging up’ if you will, the music industry’s venue in that moment. Other songs will be vocal about how in love someone is, or the possessions one may brag about and again, these songs are or can be great but they are far from the low slung fire burning moments we can hear in various music genres including of course, reggae music.

The aforementioned irony of evolution is simply a clot about the change of tools we use over the years. From the pin and motor music box, through to vinyl records, cassettes, VCR, mini discs, CD, DVD, BLUE RAY (twas but a fleeting glance that may have stuck for some while the communication industry fails to deliver such stream quality) to the long able MP3 and players and VDJ type softwares out there. When I was making the image above, I initially thought of the reel being replaced by a record and then wondered how to incorporate other mediums and gave up after a moment or two because I could have been drawing for a long time, if not pondering how, for an even longer time and left it as it is.

While all that is a visual stunt, the core of reggae music is far from a stunt. In fact, to even suggest it as a stunt would insult the average fan, producer, dj or artist.

The core of reggae music is and always will be about the betterment of society. The patternisation of verses of reality. Like the songs for syria children after political bombings, the concert for the victims of the manchester bombing, the heal the world productions, reggae music is very prominent in dedicating it’s very existence to making the world a better place. I for one do not consider some artists as reggae artists if they don’t have songs in their catalogue regarding reality, while their catalogue is full of sexual or gyallish or indeed braggish songs.

Bounty Killer, Shabba Ranks and many more alongside the veterans before them, Sizzla, Capleton (we must link again fire), Anthony B, Chronixx, Lutan Fire, Bugle, Jah Vinci, I could be here for days listing names, are all genuine reggae artists. I also refuse to entertain the rumours of certain artists because we are talking about the core of reggae music, not the falling of stars. These artists all have a wide variety catalogue and one thing they all have in common is they all sing for the poor. Against the violence. The persecution. The suffering. The crying mother, the lost and hungry child. These artists are and always will be heavily respected by people like me. People who respect those who voice out for the less fortunate.

Needless to say, the core of reggae music is not only dear to me, but Banton Radio, Banton.Org will not leggo the core. For example, we will not sponsor it’s removal.

It would be idiotic to try and list the sheer quantity of fire tunes out there and all of them are quality. A ridiculous notion is of how true that is.

I have to extend my heart out to all who know this. Who live this. Who hold this as dear as I do.