When I was 14 my parents took me to see a movie for my birthday.
This movie, Cool Runnings was my first exposure to Jamaican music and culture. With all their bright colors and unique language , it was unlike anything I’d seen or heard before. Then a few years later I saw another Jamaican movie
Cool Runnings was a silly Hollywood version of Jamaica. The Harder They Come was a gritty 1970’s movie filmed in Jamaica and showed the real life on the island. Jimmy Cliff to me is head and shoulders better than Bob Marley. The movie follows Cliff as a teenager who experiences the harsh reality of the music business and turns to dealing ganja and becomes an outlaw. Great flick and the soundtrack is my favorite reggae album ever
Jamaican music falls into two categories. Roots and Culture. And Slack music. Roots and culture lyrics are spiritual and positive. Rastafarian beliefs are a part of the message, which is very much just grounded Christian beliefs. Reggae, ska, rocksteady, and skiffle music are all variations of traditional Jamaican music. Slack music then, uses braggadocio and violent themes in their music. Dancehall music is the hip hop of Jamaica. The music became extremely influential on the youth. And the music became increasingly vile. Promoting murdering gays and extreme masochist treatment of women. So in response to this, as group of young artists wanted to reclaim the bright bouncy riddims and positive vibrations of classic reggae music. But without being a nostalgia act. Enter Chronixx
The 25 year old grew up in a musical home. His father was Jamaican soul singer Chronicle. He began at age 14, producing and writing riddims, the musical background that artists sing or rap over. He became part of a movement towards Roots and Culture. Chronixx takes what was and brings it forward. Makes it fresh and not some Bob Marley clone.
If you enjoy reggae music, give this a listen.