Welcome to Playlist, where I discuss songs, artists and albums maybe even movies and series. I have had my doubt as to whether to add this to my posts or whether it would even be a success for the same reason American planes don’t fly over Somalia. But alas, this is my blog. I can pretty much put whatever I want. You cant shoot me down! Plus I subscribe to the theory that you are what you eat. Don’t look at me like that, soul food people! And hence, we can pick up a lot for our journey.
I will be reviewing songs from various artistes, mainly from lovers rock (a sub-genre in reggae) conscious music and contemporary reggae as well as gospel reggae. If this is where you part ways with my blog then you will be missing out on knowing what this type of music is all about and what it helps achieve. I feel like people usually have this healthy disdain for reggae without giving it a chance, while at the same time listening to what I would call crap music. Cough. Hip Hop. Cough. Not convinced? Your loss.
For my first Playlist post we start off with…
Playlist: Serious Times.
Artiste: Windel Beneto Edwards a.k.a Gyptian.
Album: My name is Gyptian
Released: 12th September 2006
I had my hands on a Gyptian album, his first album, before he was recognized outside of Jamaica courtesy of one of my lovely sisters. Before my Tarrus Riley craze, for a long time Gyptian was my favorite artist. Funny how I can’t stand either now for basically the same reason. They commercialized, had worldwide success then crossed over to dancehall. The catchy ‘Butterfly’ is when most people got to know Gyptian. But it was ‘Hold Yuh’ that smashed him to prominence as a worldwide artist. That was from his fourth album. After that he more or less crossed over and started doing dancehall. And as he kept releasing commercially successful songs and grew more and more recognized, I grew less fond of Gyptian.
The song above is the 6th track from his debut album, My Name Is Gyptian released in September of 2006. The song brought Gyptian prominence in his home country and he was thought of in the mould of Jah Cure and Fantan MoJah who were also at the beginning of their careers, making socially conscious music.
The song speaks of social ills and how we are living in ‘serious times’. He also recommends remedies to violence and crime; socializing. I suppose he meant that if we interacted with one another the we would minimize misunderstanding. And the chorus concludes by insisting that life is more precious than gold and gives the spiritual message of giving thanks because we are unaware of what hold tomorrow. With the famous Nyabingi drums setting the mood for a cry for justice, Gyptian shows concern in his voice and you hardly tell that he is just 22 years of age. The saxophone caps off an incredibly deep and powerful 5 minutes and 36 seconds of pure raw and socially aware track.
This song introduced me to Gyptian. When he was still referred to as Egyptian, and then Igyptian, finally settling on Gyptian. I was still new to the genre and eager to learn about every of its artists and its every history. For more resources you can find lyrics to serious times here and its video here. Have listen!
You can also throw suggestions of a track or artiste or album you want me to review.