I made a post a while ago about my thoughts on SOJA’s grammy win. The Jamaica Observer apparently thought my words were worth sharing.
Kinda cool. But I think its important to include the words from my follow up post, because they shed light on the real issue at hand:
I’m glad I said what I said the other day about the SOJA Grammy controversy. HOWEVER, I had a few conversations based off of my post that really reminded me of the fundamentally crucial parts I LEFT OUT of the argument. Unfortunately, while I take these omissions as obvious FACTS, I know many people don’t consider the intricacies of the culture and musical history. So thanks to those who reminded me to spell it out. Mainly, it’s okay and fine that we as foreigners love and embrace reggae music and even make it our own, BUT WE MUST remember the 400 years of systemic oppression, racism and prejudice underpinning every part of the industry that make it easier for non-Jamaican bands to tour and become successful in the states and worldwide. We foreign reggae creators/lovers have had the space to grow and explore reggae music largely BECAUSE of the crazy obstacles (financial/political/bureaucratic etc) facing Jamaican acts and their inability to travel/tour. THEREFORE, while it’s great to love and embrace and even embody the culture WE MUST ACTIVELY SEEK WAYS to create an equitable playing field for the originators of the culture and music. Of course that is easier said than done, but if we don’t acknowledge that fact AND TRY to make the change then we are living a luuuu! That being said, congrats to SOJA on the win! I want to say thank you to those of you who are considerate and approach these topics with care and respect. Reggae music is my life’s passion and I believe we should show it and it’s originators respect in every way!