This is a tribute to one of Jamaica’s greatest musical icons, Muhammad Yusef Ali (yes he is a knock out), better known as Cecil Bustamante Campbell (yes, he should have been Jamaica’s first Prime Minister), even better known as “Prince Buster.”
Prince Buster, Jamaica’s first super star, turns 75 years old, today (May 24th 2013).
Many happy return, rude bwoy. May you continue to wash all our troubles away.
Bless up this special day, Malcolm X, we’ll never forget you:
X-RESURRECTION by Steel Pulse
Born in Omaha Nebraska
May 19 Year 25
Was the son of a Garvey teacher
We will keep his name alive
Youthful years were full of adventure
Drifted to a life of crime
In jail he learned to be our leader
Thank God he was released on time
Spoke out against Jim Crows injustice
And never turned the other cheek
There’s no room for non violent protest
Yes these words were what he preached
Taught us bout Pan Africanism
To put my people back on their feet
Take whats ours robbed by the system
He said by any means
Let Malcom live through us
Black liberation is a must
They have tried to rid his name
From history books and magazines
They even tried to criticize
His greatness and philosophy
Against all kinds of exploitation
For all of us he bore the pain
We won’t let him be forgotten
No he did not die in vain
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
We need to resurrect that spirit
A lease of life the people need
To fight resistance from the system
He said by any means
Live Malcom live through us
Black liberation is a must
By any means by any means
By any means necessary
Raspect: Thanks to Malcolm X, we keep on growing, keep on learning.
We are here in Peru tonight, 16th May 2013. This is a tribute night for UK radio DJ, John Peel who died right here 8 years ago.
For those unfamiliar with John Peel, he was the Radio 1 DJ who played a major role in breaking British Reggae to the public. It was at a time when reggae was very much shunned from national radio and got little to no exposure in any of the music advertising media that was out there.
John found a loop hole in the system whereas there was a limitation to the amount of airplay reggae was to get, it did not out rule the idea of having the music performed live on the radio. So British reggae upon went live – with versions of the studio songs that Radio 1 were refusing to play.
John, this is to let you know that your efforts will never be forgotten. The restrictions and barriers on our music was going on far too long. You had the courage and ingenuity to out-think your employers at RADIO 1. For that we remain grateful, always.
May 10th is also the National Day for the Abolition of Slavery and the Slave Trade in France. This has been commemorated for the 7th year now, this year.
As a matter of fact, although slavery was abolished by the French in 1794 when it became a republic, the effect did not come into reality until some 54 years later, in 1848. This came about after a series of uprisings throughout the colonies, especially in Guadeloupe. One of the main characters was Victor Schoelcher, a French abolitionist writer and the main spokesman for an abolitionist group from Paris. He formed an abolition society in 1834, working for the abolition of slavery on the Caribbean islands. His program to continue publishing articles against such atrocities started in 1833 ’til 1847.
Exactly four years and two months after his release from Victor Verster prison, May 10th 1994, Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the first black African democratically elected President of South Africa. This was the beginning of a “Government of National Unity.”
This eventful day was attended by over 4,000 guests and was witnessed across the world by at least a billion viewers.
These were trying times. I never thought I would live to see the demolition of the Berlin Wall or the first Black president of the USA or even the release of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. So this one is for the non-believers; “Faith DOES move mountains.”
I’m sad to announce that Cedric Brooks, of the legendary Skatalites band, passed away last Friday, 3rd May 2013. He was 70 years of age. Before he joined the Skatalites, Brooks was renowned for his work with Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari and the Light of Saba. He began his music career in the late 1960s as a studio musician, playing on Burning Spear’s “Door Peep.”
Our condolences to the only surviving band member, Lester Sterling and also Cedric’s sisters and seven children.
More information on the brilliant Cedric Brooks here >>
A great “Big Up” to Willie Nelson, who turns 80 years old today and still is in better shape than his guitar. Willie, wherever you are right now, you have a heck of a lot to be proud of..
Being born during the years of the Dust Bowl, you have certainly made a change to the lives of the croppers. May your years continue to be prosperous and your heart be as concerned as ever. ‘Cause there is one thing that we Steel Pulse, the farmers and YOU all have in common, and that is: “THE ROOTS” yah!
As you know by now, Richie Havens passed away yesterday on Earth Day.
I had the good fortune to see him live for the first time at a club in Birmingham called Barbarellas. I must have been about 19 years old at the time.
Years later, Steel Pulse went on to be on an opening billing with him in D.C., in the early 80s. To this day I have yet to see anyone strum the acoustic guitar with the energy he had. Richie, you will never be forgotten!!
This is of special interest. Today, April 4th 2013, marks the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Here are a few excerpts from his last speech, given the day before he was killed in Memphis, Tennessee [full speech >>
Recently, in the United Nations General Assembly, we sang a song in honor of Dr. King. We all still have much to learn. Here are just a few select quotes that stand out as beacons in a world of injustice:
“A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: ‘This is not just.’”
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death”.
“I have not urged a mechanical fusion of the civil rights and peace movements. There are people who have come to see the moral imperative of equality, but who cannot yet see the moral imperative of world brotherhood. I would like to see the fervor of the civil-rights movement imbued into the peace movement to instill it with greater strength. And I believe everyone has a duty to be in both the civil-rights and peace movements. But for those who presently choose but one, I would hope they will finally come to see the moral roots common to both.”
Here’s a video of the proceedings at the United Nations on March 22nd. Steel Pulse joined the various guests as part of the Commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. On the video, we come on at the 1:16:31 mark, for about 18 minutes, and then for the finale - at 2:07:44 – where we join Marcus Miller and the rest of the celebrants to perform Bob Marley‘s Get Up, Stand Up.
Steel Pulse was truly honored to be a part of this special occasion. Here’s an interview I did with UN Radio.