NOISEY JAMAICA II: EPISODE 1

Vice and The House of Marley are proud to present “Noisey Jamaica”, an immersive six episode journey into two Jamaican musical groundswells shaping the island of their birth and beyond. From the revolutionary young reggae movement led by charismatic artists such as Chronixx and Jesse Royal to controversial new dancehall artists like Alkaline. Noisey Jamaica reports on one of the most dynamic chapters in Jamaica’s rich musical legacy. Check out the first episode below.

Directed by Andy Capper, this six episode documentary series travels from all over Jamaica to report on one of the most dynamic chapters in Jamaica’s rich musical legacy since the advent of Reggae. A new video will be posted each week.

In addition to showing the parallels and exchanges between Reggae and Dancehall, “Noisey Jamaica” will trace the history of Rastafarian culture that eventually led to the evolution of Reggae. A sound and style that conquers the world several times over, produced global super-legend Bob Marley and became a turnkey for Jamaican culture.

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Marlon James’ New Book Explores the Attempted Assassination of Bob Marley

 

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From the Fader Magazine: ISSUE 93, on stands now:

Ever since his 2005 debut, John Crow’s Devil, Minneapolis-based author and Macalester College professor Marlon James has used his novels to delve into the history of his native Jamaica. His past books focused on slavery and religion, but his new novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, tackles a moment that’s usually only discussed in whispers: the 1976 attempt on Bob Marley’s life. That foiled plot—carried out by several poor, young Jamaicans about whom little is known—remains shrouded in mystery and conspiracy theories. James’ book shifts the focus away from Marley himself and, as such, does little to offer a definitive account of the affair. Instead, it uses the story’s question marks and convolutions as a means of exploring an equally complex time in the history of Jamaica, marked by Cold War politics abroad and growing tension between the conservative Jamaican Labour and the socialist People’s National Party. The author utilizes dozens of narrators, including a Rolling Stone writer, a CIA agent and a host of Jamaicans who speak in varying strains of dialect. Over the phone, James discussed the roots of the novel, his fascination with this vibrant and turbulent era and the world-wide success of the country’s most famous cultural export.

 

Where did you get the idea to tell the story of the Bob Marley attempted assassination?

I’ve been interested in this story since around 1991, when I read an issue of SPIN magazine with Jane’s Addiction on the cover. There was this article by Timothy White, who wrote the Bob Marley biography Catch a Fire. He wrote an update where he went further into the one incident in Marley’s life that no one wants to talk about, which is when these men tried to kill him. One of them went on to be a major player in the ’80s crack trade, and another was assassinated with a bullet to the head in East Germany. Those two were really striking to me. I’ve always been interested in who these men were and what happened to them.

Why did you use so many different perspectives to tell the story?

I couldn’t figure out whose story it was. It couldn’t be just these killers, because some of these guys were barely 15. There was brutal poverty and boredom, then they tried to kill somebody and they disappeared. I soon began to realize it was everybody’s story. The more I looked into it, the less interesting Marley himself became to me. He’s just called “The Singer.” That’s why the novel became so long, because I started to think about the whole world around the incident. You should write until you fall for your characters, even the villains, and I eventually fell for all of them. The risk was that it could end up being scattered, but I think it’s just highly populated.

What was the state of Jamaica at that time?

You grew up in a political culture—in the ’70s, in particular, because there was so much propaganda and the Cold War. My grandmother’s wall had a picture of [former Jamaican Prime Minister] Michael Manley, but no pictures of us! At the same time, the ’70s were so culturally vibrant. Education was free, so there was suddenly a middle class. It says something that it was such a violent and crazy time and that everyone was recording here. The Rolling Stones did Goats Head Soup, and pretty much every version of “Start Me Up” was recorded in Kingston. The cultural exchange that was going on was just incredible.

Where did Marley fit in the cultural landscape?

My grandfather’s generation was the first to really be inspired by the Black Power and Black Arts movement. People forget that these movements really disliked Marley. He was half-white and he came across as this unintellectual, unwashed ragamuffin who suddenly became the voice of black struggle. Everybody has a revisionist history of this now, but Marley’s death was the first time many people in Jamaica heard him on the radio. Still, reggae used the voice of the people to talk about serious issues. The idea of me writing a novel in dialect would have never happened in 1962. It barely happened in 2005. The idea that this voice could be used to speak about injustice, trauma and freedom is a concept that the ’70s gave us.

 

By: Colin Joyce

Article Link: TheFader.com

Best of Sean Paul

Sean Paul, now how can you forget a name like that? When it came to dancehall reggae, Sean Paul owned the 2000s. Hit after hit after hit after hit, Sean Paul’s music was played at parties and in clubs around the world. A decade later in 2014 and you will STILL hear your favorite Paul song being blasted on the streets. Check out the videos to his top hits:

Get Busy

I’m Still in Love With You Ft. Sasha

Temperature

Ever Blazin’

Like Glue

Gimmie the Light

Beyonce – Baby Boy

Sound System Culture: A New Book Reveals Huddersfield’s Hidden Reggae History

The good people at Fader Magazine wrote a great article about a new book on UK sound system culture. Sound System Culture, Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems focuses on the market town of Huddersfield. Check out Fader’s article below.

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  • Earth Rocker sound system inside Cleopatra’s (later named Silver Sands), Venn Street, Huddersfield, late 1970s. Clockwise from left: Papa Burky (Stephen Burke, operator/selector), Ducky Ranks (Donald Senior, MC), Yellowman (Robert Daley, crew member), Hunter (Brian Chester, crew member), Pumpkin (Errol Allison, crew member) and Greaves (Andy Greaves, MC). One of the biggest and most respected sound systems in the north of England, Earth Rocker was formed in 1975 by Stephen Burke, who was born in Huddersfield to Jamaican parents. The main selector and operator for the sound, Burke is a cabinet maker by trade, and continues to build boxes for sound systems across the UK and Europe to this day. According to writer Noel Hawks, who used to work at Dub Vendor record shop in South London: “One of our top mail-order customers ran a sound in Huddersfield. We used to send him up a box of pre-release singles COD nearly every week. He was so regular I can still recall his address, including the postcode, over thirty years later.” That customer was Stephen Burke. Photo courtesy Stephen Burke

Today the UK’s Notting Hill Carnival will be winding its way through the streets of west London for day two of the annual celebrations, five decades on from the very first event in 1964. A celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture in the UK capital, at its heart is music—steel pan bands, Carnival parties and dozens of sound systems set up in the cordoned-off streets. The UK’s love of sound systems has its roots in the late ’40s when hundreds of people from Jamaica and across the West Indies were invited to move to Britain and help reinvigorate the country following World War II. It was thanks to that first generation of Caribbean settlers that some truly unlikely places went on to become thriving centers of sound system culture—like Huddersfield, a small town in the north of England. In the slideshow above, Al Newman of One Love Books shares a series of fascinating photos from his new title Sound System Culture: Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems and explains below how the book came to be.

Al Newman: “The Sound System Culture book was conceived by Huddersfield-based historian Mandy Samra as part of a larger heritage project that also included a film and touring exhibition, documenting the rich history of reggae sound systems in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

I was first contacted by Mandy a little under a year ago, just before the exhibition began touring, when she approached me to design the book after seeing one of my previous books, Clarks in Jamaica. I loved the subject and the little-known history of the Huddersfield sounds and ended up getting much more involved in the research and editing, working with Yorkshire soundman Paul Axis’ text, and eventually publishing the book through my company, One Love Books.

In this excerpt from the book, Mandy explains how the project came about: “While never an insider of the sound system scene, I’ve always had an interest in sound systems and around five years ago I first had the idea for this project, but did not know where to begin. One day I was talking with my boiler man, Michael Royal, who revealed that he had been a sound operator for Duke Warrior, a Huddersfield-based sound system that had been active during the 1970s. Two people, who on the surface shared little in common, found a connecting thread in their interest in sound systems.”

We are now looking to expand the project into other UK cities, eventually building up a history of sound systems throughout the whole of the UK.”

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Sound System Culture: Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems is available now from One Love Books.

Written by: Ruth Saxelby

Article Link: http://www.thefader.com

 

Music Monday: EarthToYourBrain Mixshow #009

It’s Monday and it’s starting to finally feel like Fall. New York Fashion Week had the city going crazy, but now its over. This mix curated by Nylles Vernon will cool your spirits down from the hectic, week long transitions from party to party. Pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy!

 

 

“In this week’s session I kept things a little more mellow and went back and found some gems as always as well as a bunch of flips and great remixes from your favorite artists such as Frank Ocean, Sango, Kanye West, Kuma, Pheo, Quadron, FURNS, Insightful, Eric Roberson, Da-P, 10A, Cassie, k u n, DEEP SHOQ, Blackbear, Musiq Soulchild, Alex Isley & many many more” – ESSNTL

Catch up on past EarthToYourBrain Mixshow Sessions: soundcloud.com/essntl/sets/earthtoyourbrain-weekly-mixshow

Jhene Aiko “Souled Out”

Jhene Aiko has kept fans on their feet for so long prior to the release of her album “Souled Out” — most in part because the Los Angeles native has a poetic voice that can make the coldest of people warm inside. iTunes reviewers have given this album a five star rating, and we would like to add another star to that batch. Click the photo to be linked to her iTunes page.

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If you are not familiar with Jhene Aiko, check out this video by R&R Productions as they spend a day with her out in London.

Skateboarding Connecting Youth In Ethiopia

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How it Started: 

Ethiopia Skate began as a peer group of young skateboarders led by 16 year old Abenezer Temesgen who would practice and share gear every weekend. As the community grew it attracted photographer Sean Stromsoe and other foreign skaters who each made their own imprint on the history of skating in Ethiopia. We are stoked to learn language, balance, and patience through skating with friends.

We are an international group of skateboarders working to make the world more connected. 

We vision to connect Ethiopian skateboarders and coordinate opportunities for foreign skaters to link up with locals at skate spots around the country. We want to give access to equipment and maintain skate spots as we help guide this influential youth culture” – ethiopiaskate.org)

Ethiopia Skate | Skateboard Journey

“Basically it’s a bunch of young skaters from every spectrum of life (rich to poor) helping each other progress through skating. The community gives a platform for skaters in Ethiopia to meet each other and meet foreign skaters when they visit.

We are getting several hundred boards in the next couple months and will be passing them out to youth organizations, schools, and individuals to help the sport grow, because now there is no access to skateboards (even for purchase)” – Sean Stromsoe.

Ethiopia Skate | A Message to the World

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Young Naod

Interview with Sean Stromsoe (Ethiopia Skate Member and Photographer):

When did Ethiopia Skate officially form?

Ethiopia Skate started as a peer group of young skaters in Addis Ababa who on weekends would meet and practice in a vacant taxi parking lot. They were lead by 16 year old Abenezer Temesgen. With a major lack of gear and no place to buy a board in all of Ethiopia, they helped each other keep rolling by sharing their own gear. I met them by coincidence one day in June 2013 and we launched a campaign to connect these skaters to the world community in an effort to make a skate park and get more decks for the 30+ kids. We ended up discovering that there were more young Ethiopian skaters and several German and Swedish skaters living in Addis Ababa, and the community was born.

What type of initial reception did you get from the local kids and their parents?

It really depends on the person, but most are thrilled to see skateboarding and cheer when the skaters land difficult tricks. Some guards think the wheels will crack the concrete while others encourage the experienced skaters to jump their stairs or whatnot.

Do you or any of the members of the team speak the languages spoken in Ethiopia? If not, how did/do you guys deal with the language barrier?

I’m learning to speak Amharic, the main language spoken in Ethiopia’s capitol. School in Ethiopia is taught in English so it’s easy to communicate with simple phrases. Right now there are only 2 skaters from abroad working with us in Addis, the rest are local. Everything has been happening on a community basis, since most of the kids don’t have phones they communicate directly with each other when there’s a skate session or when we need to meet at the skate spots.

How much has Ethiopia Skate grown from its initial start?

In a year Ethiopia Skate has kept this core group of skaters rolling while connecting many local beginners and experienced visitors. We’ve built small ramps at youth centers and schools and are working on an actual park. Social media has been our best friend throughout all of this, by connecting a small group of skaters in Ethiopia to the world community. It’s really rewarding to show the world a different side of Ethiopia but also a different side of skateboarding, something closer to it’s roots. 

Where do you see Ethiopia skate going in the next five years?

The introduction of skateboarding in Ethiopia is looking similar to its beginnings in Los Angeles so many years ago, a bunch of kids eager to find skate able spots and pioneer a sport that thrives in the concrete jungle. In five years we think there will be hundreds if not thousands of new skaters across Ethiopia as access to gear will become more readily accessible.

 Our German buddy Daniel Scheidler has been working on a locally produced longboard which can be seen here: afrigadget.com

Thanks to our supporters

 

Cali Am Jam Bringing Skateboarding and Health Awareness Together As One

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Cali Am Jam is a nationally recognized skateboarding contest series founded by Robert Ferguson and House of Marley skater Karl Watson. Cash prizes, merchandise giveaways and a full scholarship to the Element YMCA Summer Skate Camp are just a few highlights of Cali Am Jam. This all age and skill set event is based in Northern California and brings out a beautiful crop of event seekers.

Not only does this community driven event put on an amazing skateboard competition, but it also raises awareness to problems that affect the community. 2014 focused on Diabetes in the Bay Area, Cancer Awareness near the state capital and Autism support in the Central Valley. What better way to spread awareness than to gather your community together over a little competition.

“Platform for our youth: It’s highly important to re-edify the youth and get them more involved with the community whether its skateboarding, filming or lending a hand and being creative”

House of Marley supports initiatives that get the community aware and active. We thank Robert and Karl for their hard work and dedication to those around them. Now go grab some friends and show them up with that tre flip. Roll forever!

Check out their video from their last event of the year:

 

Cali Am Jam Commercial:

Bob Marley Inspired Ben & Jerry’s Flavored Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s, the makers of the most creative ice cream flavors, has done it again! “Satisfy My Bowl” is the company’s newest flavor, inspired by the legend Bob Marley. Banana ice cream with caramel, cookie swirls and chocolatey peace signs fill all of your dairy desires. Unfortunately, is it not available in the United States and will be released in Europe this October. Lucky them. Make sure to sign the petition to bring this flavor to North America in 2015! 

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We’re celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Bob Marley’s Legend album with this tasty tribute, supporting Bob’s vision for a fairer world. In partnership with the 1Love Foundation, this flavour will help to fund a youth empowerment programme in Jamaica. Music to your ears AND your taste buds! What makes this all the sweeter is that the inspired (ahem, LEGEND-ary) flavour name comes courtesy of Camilla Bishop – thanks Camilla, you’re a legend! Peace, 1love & Ice Cream, from Ben & Jerry’s” – (benjerry.co.uk). 

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The Story Under the Lid 

“Bob Marley stood for more than just music – he inspired millions to think about peace, love, and world equality…and, like us, he stood up for serious matters, but in a fun and uplifting way! Our co-founder, Jerry, always said “If it’s not fun, why do it?”, and we’ve continued to work with that ethos in mind.

We were honoured to be approached by Bob Marley’s 1Love Foundation to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley’s “Legend” album, and what sweeter way to honour this than with a special edition Ben & Jerry’s tribute flavour!

Whilst busying ourselves in the kitchen, creating a taste-sensation worthy of this honour, we asked fans to suggest a ‘Legend’-ary name for it. The first person to come up with the winning name was rewarded with entry to our flavour hall of fame and, when the new flavour hits the freezers in Autumn 2014, the winner and their flavour name will appear on every Legend-ary tub. The lucky winner also gets to dig into their prize of a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!

You know what makes this partnership even more euphoric? Proceeds from this flavour will fund a youth empowerment programme in Jamaica (run by 1Love Foundation), which uses music and creativity as a tool to better the lives of Jamaican youth, and supports Bob’s vision for a fairer world! We think that’s pretty cool…

We’ve also had the honour of sponsoring a video for the Bob Marley track “One Love”, which will be sourced from Tongal, a video production crowd-sourcing platform. Keep your eyes (& ears) peeled; the video will be launched in September 2014!” – (benjerry.co.uk)

Click on the photo below to sign the petition to bring “Satisfy My Bowl” to North America in 2015!

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House of Marley x AfroPunk Fest Recap

AfroPunk Fest was fire! Commodore Barry Park was filled with positive vibes, great music — and STYLE. There are no words to express how beautiful this past weekend was. The people of New York City and beyond came together through art, music, and fashion and blessed Brooklyn with two wild festival days. And the House of Marley “Get Together” and Gold Stage area was the zone! The DJs filled the air with music the crowd could dance to all day long. Thank you Brooklyn!

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Photos by: Eddie Grams

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