KINGSTON- Jamaica – Reggae music was built on the concepts of uplifting the down trodden and being the voice for the underprivileged. With reggae’s child dancehall taking over the forefront of Jamaican music however, it is easy to think that the days of positive music coming out of the beautiful island of Jamaica are long gone.
Not only is the music coming out of Jamaica as violent as gangster rap, but words such as ho, bitch and even the N words are common place in some of Jamaica’s top artists’ lyrics. Even Rastafarian Sizzla Kalonji who was once a bright ray of sunshine to reggae music, can now be heard toting gangster lyrics on a regular basis. And if there was ever a true definition of oxymoron, there is now a reggae artist who calls himself the gangster Ras (Rastafarian).
The message in Jamaican music has not died however. For every gun, alcohol and sex filled song from a Movado, Munga Honorable or Vybz Kartel, there is also an uplifting conscious song from artists such as Taurus Riley, Queen Ifrica and Jah Cure.
Then there is Vineyard, a breath of fresh air from the TCOOO label. Not only is this artist bringing back the positive feeling to reggae, but his style is so fresh and unique it is difficult to stop listening once you turn on his music. His current single “You don’t have to be like them” is a favorite for radio DJs, selectors and fans alike.
The song one of the most downloaded reggae songs on ITunes and other digital download sites and it is also a crowd’s favorite on numerous social networking sites such as MySpace and imeem.
“You don’t have to be like them” which tackles peer pressure in today’s society is only one of the beautiful songs on the artist’s debut album. For reggae fans who are longing for reggae to go back to its roots, Vineyard is an artist ho is taking it there. His album entitled “Do you want to live” is beautiful, sweet, conscious, uplifting and should have reggae fans wanting for more.
Reggae music with a message is definitely alive and well, it will never die. Those with doubts just have to listen to the likes of Taurus Riley and Queen Ifrica and of course the brightest light to shine in reggae in a long time, Vineyard.