Yes Mi Irieites,
We’re thanking those that appeared at the Republik club, first night. We were in awe of your support, with many of you appearing to see both us and Matisyahu, days before. Stay blessed now.
Aloha for ever!
Hail Mi Irieites,
Let’s take a minute to pause and remember Ruby Dee – civil rights activist first and actress second.
Dee and her late husband Ozzie Davis were well-known civil rights activists. She was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Both Dee and Davis were both friends of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, with Davis giving the eulogy at Malcolm X’s funeral in 1965. In 1970, she won the Frederick Douglass Award from the New York Urban League. In 1999, Dee and Davis were arrested at the headquarters of the New York Police Department, protesting the police shooting of Amadou Diallo.
Steel Pulse were honored to share a moment where our lives intersected – through Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing.
Bless you Mother Sister… R.I.P.
Yes Mi Irierites,
Stay tuned for more news on this event…
Yes Mi Irieites,
After 3 days of travelling from the Caribbean, to the South Pacific, we have finally landed in Guam…. And got : “leid!” (pronounced laid). Yes, it really took us that long to get here.
The reception has been warm as usual, with that incredible looking limo waiting for us once more outside the airport.
Why can’t everyday be a Guam day?
As tired as we were, we all went out to the “Jamaican Grill” restaurant. There we met two of our youngest ardent admirers, 13 year old Roman, and Veronica. These two guys were filling me in on the culture on the island.
To begin with I had no idea after coming here, for what must be the fourth or fifth time, that the country had been strongly influenced by the Spanish language and culture, for the past three and a half centuries. The formal name of the indigenous people are the “Chamorros,” who have called the island home for the past 4,000 years. Then it became a strategic point for the US before WWII. Japan occupied the place for a few years during the attack on Pearl Harbour. Now today, it is one of the many islands across the globe that has “Ragge Music” as their back bone and link to the world.
“Ferdinand Magellan and a Captain Crook
Pirates of the ocean glorified
Written in your books….”
Hail Mi Irieites,
As we celebrate the life of Dr. Maya Angelou, we must cherish her strength, her voice, and her commitment to justice. The news of her death was, in her own words, “expected, but still unwelcome.”
And so it is with all leaders of the Earth. Their passing leaves a hole in the world, one that is never quite filled.
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,
When he beats his bars and would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings –
I know why the caged bird sings.
It is easy to let the desperate troubles of the world drag us down, but Dr. Angelou is an inspiration for us all to never get weary – doing Jah Work.
Here she is with Malcolm-X in Ghana all those years ago:
And here are a few quotes from this Queen of the Arts:
We were truly blessed to have had her here fighting for us all. The caged bird is free at last. Farewell, and rise!
Yes Mi Irieites,
Here it is as promised, a portrait of Malcolm X, finished in time for what would have been his 89th birthday. If you have been following this, I had put up the preliminary sketch Feb 21st 2014 and did promise to have something presentable for this day.
I know I will get a few slagging offs from those who are defensive about this individual, but that is how life rolls sometimes. Just enjoy that I’m enjoying getting into other areas in my leisure time.
“Put away the misconception
That he came to teach us hate
So wake up from your sleep and slumber
Wake up before its too late”
In the meantime, Steel Pulse gives a shout to others born on this day May 19th: Grace Jones and Rohan “The Coffee Man” Marley.
And guess who I shall be painting next…
Blessings Mi Irieites,
We are at this moment in Lima, Peru’s capital and having a blast. While between press conferences and interviews, I’ve managed to tuck in to some of the dishes in this country of diverse culture. It is amazing just to witness the variety of fruits and vegetables that this place, the back bone of the Andes, has to offer.
i’m tasting a blended smoothie, which includes bananas, almond milk, walnuts and one of Peru’s most favoured fruits, the “lucuma.” For the millions out there that don’t know this fruit, it’s hard to describe it really.
Let’s put it this way, it’s about the size of an orange. The fleshy part has the colour of an egg yolk and it’s dry taste, is that of a cross between a roasted breadfruit and a baked sweet potato – just loaded with all the B vitamins. Incidentally, it is used here to make ice cream!
Thanks Peru! Now being freshly energized with these healthy foods, Steel Pulse will definitely be giving y’all a great show tonight.
Hail Mi Irieites,
Middleweight boxer, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, became quite a controversial figure in the mid-70s thanks to icons like Muhammad Ali and Bob Dylan. Born May 6th 1937 in Clifton New Jersey (a mere 6 weeks before Joe Louis became Heavyweight Champion of the World), Carter, after serving a series of time in Juvenile centres, joined the US army at an early age. It was in the army that he became an active pugilist, going on to turn professional by age 24.
Unfortunately, his career was stopped in its tracks in June 1966, when the authorities wrongfully accused him of a triple murder that took place in a bar in Patterson (not Floyd), New Jersey. And although he was not identified by the survivors of the shooting, a trial took place the following year finding him and a friend that was with him at the time of his arrest, guilty. There he was -sentenced to life imprisonment.
Carter and his supporters contested the sentence over the years. Finally there was light at the end of the tunnel when the judge declared him a free man, in November 1985.
But like l said, it was the likes of Ali and Dylan that brought home to the nation the injustice served on this individual. Carter wrote a book during his incarceration in 1975 titled “The 16th Round.” Dylan read it and wrote a song called “Hurricane,” of which he went on to perform it at the Trenton State Prison; the prison where Carter himself, was “residing.”
In 1999, Denzel Washington starred as Hurricane Carter, a film of the boxer’s journey to freedom from behind bars. By this time Rubin Carter was already living in Canada and, talk about lightening striking twice, he was arrested once again. Only this time he was mistaken for a drug dealer wanted by the authorities. They realised their mistake when they acknowledged that Carter, then aged almost 60, was not in his mid 30’s like the suspect they were looking for.
Once again, I have lucked out on meeting this incredible person. But his quest for survival through the injustice will always stay with me. Rubin went on to be quite an active speaker at many events. He earned himself, among other things, two honorary Doctorates of Law, in 2005. Steel Pulse announced his death yesterday evening while performing to our fans in Vail, Colorado. The “Hurricane” passed after a two-year fight with prostate cancer. He was 76 years old. We share our love and condolences with his friends, families and the supporters that believed in his innocence.