Ear High 002: Best Reggae Bands
I themed this week around dancehall and reggae music. Not as an intentional decision, but as an honest reflection of my current desperate desire to be somewhere tropical. There’s nothing like lighting up and pretending that you’re in the Caribbean, chillin’ under the sun (except for maybe actually being in the Caribbean, chillin’ under the sun). But that’s not realistic right now. When you literally can’t get dry or warm, the best you can do is pretend, and that’s what this week’s EAR HIGH is all about. Pretending to be warm and dry. FUN!
Ganja and reggae go together like sandy beaches and clear waters. They’re a match made in Jamaica (aka heaven). So for today’s EAR HIGH we’re going to take a mental vacation to the beaches of Jamaica. Start with a hand rolled, filter free joint of Pineapple Haze. This sweet sativa has tasty notes of pineapple and cool mint. It’s in your best interest to buy yourself a coconut water and smoke this while drinking it, so the flavours marry in your mouth to resemble a pina colada. Then repeat after me: “I am in Jamaica right now.”… “I am in Jamaica right now”. Say this until you believe it. Visualize the island vibes until your dream feels so vivid it temporarily subdues reality. takes bite of fresh papaya while looking out to small waves of crystal clear blue water
The core of reggae flavour lays in classic off-beat rhythmic patterns and deep, meaningful lyrical themes. The genre stemmed from the Rastafari movement in the late 60’s. Coincidently, many rastafarians also believe that cannabis is a plant designed for the healing of all. The messages you hear in reggae are usually ones of uplifting positivity, resilience, and ultimately PEACE.
Now that you’ve mentally transported to Jamaica and smoked your delicious joint of Pineapple Kush whilst drinking a coconut water, you’re ready to experience the culture even further with some great tunes. This is really a vacation.
Knocka Fya by Midnite
Midnite is a 6 member roots reggae band that started in the late 70s. Their sound is reflective of classic Jamaican roots reggae, and a large majority of their music features a signature “chant and call” style that lends the band a spiritual, rastafari feel. Like with most reggae they focus on enlightening listeners on man’s power against the political, economic and social turmoil of the present and past. My favourite track from them is called Knocka Fya. The track has a super laid back swing to it, it instantly puts me at ease and has me feeling blissful. The dubby bass repeats itself religiously as the soothing vocals play with interesting melodies. I’m so happy that I’m chilling in a hammock by the beach right now listening to this track.
Who Knows- Chronixx & Protoje
Chronixx and Protoje are both really popular reggae artists from Jamaica. What I like most about these 2 is their youthful style. Protoje comes from a hip-hop background, so he has this definite slick, hip-hop delivery that you don’t often find in reggae. Chronixx on the other hand, has been recording gospel and reggae music with his father Chronicle since he was 11 years old, giving him a natural reggae demeanour. The two of them together make for a super interesting mirage of chill reggae, hip-hop-esque vibes. For me, this song is notable largely due to it’s overly inspiring video. If you’re having troubles visualizing your mental vacation, just watch this and you’ll instantly feel like you’re living it. The scenery through Jamaica is so beautiful, and the video is so well done, it feels like you are there with them vibing under the sun. Watch the video below:
“Life is a dream if you have gratitude so go tell the regime they can’t stop what we do
Information, you think on your own
or else you’re a slave to the things that you know
what do you know if you learn everyday?
So be careful a’ things we a’ say.”
So much wisdom.
Ting-A-Ling-A-Ling by: Shabba Ranks
If you’re a hip-hop lover you might have heard the name Shabba Ranks before. In 2013, popular hip-hop artist A$AP Ferg released a song called SHABBA, that quickly became a club anthem, You could find partiers everyone screaming “Sh-Sha-ba-RANK! Sh-Sha-Shaba-RANKS” every time it came on. The song was actually about the one and only dancehall legend, Shabba Ranks himself. Ranks was one of the most acclaimed dancehall artists of his time, peeking in Jamaica in the late 80’s. He flows with a very distinct raspy voice and slack style that you simply can’t misplace. This energetic track is a good one to get high and dance to. Just close your eyes and pretend you’re in the hills of Jamaica at a crazy party, smoking herb and bumping good music.
By Tee Krispil