The dilution and destruction of Rasta and Reggae.

White Rastas
White Rastas

When you see someone waving the red, gold, green and black and shouting “Rasta”, never assume that they have taken the time to actually study the roots of Rasta. Many who shout Rasta don’t even know who Marcus Garvey was and what he stood for. They have no idea who Leonard Howell was or what he stood for. In fact if you asked them who founded the Rastafari movement they will probably say Bob Marley.

While peace, love and harmony is the goal of Rasta, that’s not the essence of Rasta. The essence of Rasta is resistance, fighting against oppression, resisting unjust systems and revolting until there is equal rights and justice for all. These are the things that are at the root of Rasta. The primary purpose of Rasta was to resist against European aggression and oppression. In fact, if you wanted to make a soundtrack of what is currently taking place in Baltimore and Tel Aviv, reggae would have to be the primary genre to choose songs from.

So I was very surprised at the messages I got when I decided to play some reggae songs in support of the protestors in Ferguson, Baltimore and Tel Aviv. One person even went as far to tell me that reggae is love and the music I was posting was not reggae. I am not making this up. I was posting songs from Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown and Max Romeo. We are talking about the king of reggae, the prince of reggae, the stepping razor himself and a living legend in Max Romeo. The songs I posted were songs like “Revolution”, “Burning and Looting” and “Get up stand up” by Bob Marley. I also posted “Revolution” by Dennis Brown and “Equal Rights and justice” by Peter Tosh.

How could someone claim to love reggae but find some of the classic reggae songs offensive? The reason is a lot of people heard Bob Marley’s song “One Love” and have no idea what the term means or even who coined the term. “One Love” is a term coined by Marcus Garvey and it was not meant to be a Kumbaya song. One Love was a phrase for Blacks to unite and return to the motherland. Some white people also choose to conveniently ignore the part in the song where Bob Marley says, “Let’s get together to fight this Armageddon”. Who is he telling to let’s get together and who are they going to fight against? Again, Rasta is not all about one love. In fact, the motto of the Nyabinghi is, “Death to all Black and White oppressors”. So trying to stifle certain reggae songs and pigeon hole militant Rastas as weed smoking hippies is ridiculous. So I could play Bob Marley’s “One Love” but I mute the part about fighting the Armageddon and I should not play his songs like “Revolution” or “Get up stand up”? It is alright when Dennis Brown says “Here I come with love and not hatred”, but not when he says “Are you ready to stand up and fight the right revolution?”

If you are just on the Rasta bandwagon because it seems cool, please hop off. Rasta is way deeper than just being cool. Reggae is way deeper than just being cool. Big up all protestors from Baltimore to Tel Aviv. As Bob Marley said,”Arm in arm with arms we fight this struggle.. Cause that’s the only way we can overcome this trouble.”

And Cheer up to all the oppressed. As Fred Locks says, “things won’t always be the same.” We have to take the steps to make sure things change. BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!

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126 Comments

  1. true this, most of the people of today no know rasta, they hav a bob marley syndrome……… thy do not knw any about rasta thy jst smoke weed and think them r rasta……..

  2. I do not agree that change must be forced by ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Rasta way of life is not a violent way. And for what violence is concerned, this is what HIM said in his famous speech to United Nations: “we shall fight, IF NECESSARY…”. That means turn to violent ways only if necessary, if there is no other way.

    Even in the lyrics of Bob Marley that you quoted: “So arm in arms, with arms, we’ll fight this little struggle, ‘Cause that’s the ONLY way we can overcome our little trouble.” (the word ONLY is really important here). Everybody knows that Bob was against violence. And so is the way of the Rasta. If you don’t believe me, search Bob Marley Interview with Sandie Rinaldo Maple on Youtube, in which he is saying:
    “Well, I mean, yeah, we was like, we try for make really bring peace knowing that we really can’t solve a problem with a war, you know? To really solve a problem me no feel like really killing someone. Whose problem am I going to solve when I kill someone, you know what I mean? So I figured the Peace is the best thing, and that’s why I go ahead and work with it, because it was a spiritual thing, what happened.”

    • I am not disagreeing with anything you said. We have to fight when it is necessary. But are you saying that with all the oppression Blacks has gone through and continue to go through there is no reason to fight? Also, I have another question, how come we never see any white people marching with Blacks when an innocent Black man is killed by the police?

      • If you look at the photos from the riots, you can definitely see white people there too, in fewer numbers. Standing up for justice shouldn’t differentiate between races or other differences, but it should be done for righteousness.

    • Yeah mon! Much respect for the pearls of wisdom you have sewn on this. Just like the world has stereotyped rasta and reggae so have some black people. The struggle, battle, and fight is no against white people,…. it’s against ALL wicked man in a de Earth.

  3. My take on this is that too many people that are not Jamaican think that reggae is their music and they introduce their babylonian culture into the thing water it down and try to own it,you don’t see Rasta palyin other people music but everyone wants to be a reggae star cause that is the only way they will ever be known,they are killing out the real reggae for some watered down white man reggae and try to pass it of as the real thing,they want to take over our music and kill the message,I am asking the true Reggae people to take back our music,reggae was created by Jamaican musician who felt and understand the black mans plight to sing about then comes the pagans to steal our music and diminish its purpose and it’s meaning,reggae is for Jamaicans the rest of the people who play reggae are fake reggae.Time to take back our music.

    • Reggae music is BORN out of every other music, and is the ONLY genre, that contains ALL genres’s moods and expressions. Reggae music, DOES NOT belong to rastafarians,…. in fact, rastafarians adapted the music because of it’s grass roots working class origins.

      But I can tell that you are not a musician, and know very little about music. As a musician ( both live performer, and long time DJ/ sound system operator). I can tell you that ALL music is related, and music itself unites people that otherwise would war. I can also tell you that music is the ONLY realm where blacks and whites truly unify and are harmonious, which is HOW and WHY music conquers he world and everything in it.

      You ma fi do a likkle more research Dreaddie. Gwan check the bynghi drummer inna da hills mek him teach you ’bout this thing called soul fire that takes hold of EVERYBODY regardless of who or where they come from.

      Your interpretation is a bit off and does not gel with the true roots of the reggae music you speak about.

      • division tactics! one blood! Read yes… quite InI mind to hear. Watch you do not become the downpresser you fight… Inity everytime

    • So many things wrong with this article. First let’s not forget that Reggae music does not belong to any religion. Reggae music was founded long before Rasta chose reggae to be their music of choice. As far as protesting there is a difference between protesting and rioting. Rioting against innocent people destroying businesses, property, cars, etc. is barbaric. Bob Marley would NEVER of wanted that. Reggae is Reggae not Rasta.

      • “Reggae music was founded long before Rasta chose reggae to be their music of choice.”

        you got it wrong my friend. Rasta was before reggae, not the other way around, I don;t know what Bob Marley wanted or didn’t want… that is not important in this case. The post is saying that is song “burning and looting tonight” fits what was happening in Baltimore.

      • Oh my gosh, I am laughing at these really silly uninformed posts. Reggae was developed out of Nyabinghi drumming brought from Africa and nurtured by Rastas. Reggae started not from design but by accident. The reverb coming back from the speakers when the guitar strummed gave the music the syncopation. It was being done by Rastas and non Rasta. But the drum beats were nyabinghi introduced by Rastas. But this is beside the point. Reggae is Rastafari religious music. Oh my gosh you must be a Culture Vulture.

  4. Rasta is not just for black people. It is also for white, asian, latin-american, or any other just like for black people. If you study the teachings of His Majesty Haile Selassie I you can overstand.

    • Rastafari is for black people….if non-blacks want to join, then that’s up to them….and then again, God is Jah Rastafari, Jah Rastafari rules this creation, so by default/extension, Jah is the God of all man, and hence non-black people can become Rastas to worship Rastafari if they want to. Those who are true Rastas and are non-black, accept the truth and reality of black supremacy and the death to Babylon vision….Rastafari is the most bold, and most powerful black power movement to ever come out of the earth! And almighty God Jah Rastafari gave us the one-drop syncopative heart-beat aka human life-beat to push that reality of Rastafari into the subconscious-ness…..music is not just heard but felt! Word, sound, and power! In the words of Peter Tosh, “Igziabeher! Let Jah be praised/Lightning! Let Jah be praised/Earthquake! Let Jah be praised….

      • “accept the truth and reality of black supremacy” I am sorry but your way of thinking is very racist. This way of thinking is the same false belief that has led to the oppression of black people and many other people in the first place. White people also thought they had “supremacy” and as long as some people think like that there will be suffering. If you think like that, you are missing the whole point of Rastafari teachings: “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war… until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes… there is war”. Yes, it is true that Rasta culture began to be spread by blacks, and yes, Jah Rastafari is himself a black man, but there is no such thing as “race supremacy” in the philosophy of Rasta.

        • Said a Rasta elder…” The only Rasta who is Rasta is one who defend Rastafari and black supremacy”…..if you don’t know, then now you know…peace….Rastafari isn’t fi de weakheart….

          • I’d rather listen to the words of Jah Rastafari Himself, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Lion of the Tribe of Judah, than to some man who you say is a Rasta elder…

          • Trim out mi yout,…. you don’t know a ting about Rasta nor reggae. You simply stopped combing your hair and followed fashion.

            What does Rasta mean? Is it a whole word? Where did i come from?

          • Those who always say Rasta is not just for black people are always white people trying to fit it. Rasta was built upon decades of black struggle. If you a re white you will, until things change, always be in a position of privilege to claim anything you want. You took slaves from Africa, took Rock music, now you want to claim and take Rasta. You can never be a true Rasta because you have not suffered at the hands of White oppression. Its as simple as that. When your white kids get pulled over and shot for being black then come talk to Rasta.

          • “Rasta was built upon decades of black struggle” I have to agree with this statement. But blacks were not the only ones who were oppressed, there is great suffering all over the world, in the past and even happening right now. My ancestors have been oppressed for decades by the Russian occupation. Trying to do to them what they did to us, or an eye for an eye, that will only make the whole world blind. That is not what Christ taught us, he taught us to forgive just as our sins have been forgiven through Him, and that’s not what H.I.M. teaches us either, he teaches us that we are all the same, indifferent of race, color or religion. One love, seen! That’s why revenge will not bring victory, but following the principles and words of Jah Rastafari will. I want to also quote from Bob Marley’s last known interview: “I wanna tell ya: if them want to win the revolution, them have to win it with Rasta. Cuz if you win another way, you have to go fight again. When you’re Rasta and you win, there’s no more war.”
            To be Rasta it is not necessarily to be black, or suffer from white oppression, or any other oppression as a matter of fact. No, Rasta is a spiritual thing. It is being connected to Jah. It is letting His spirit make InI righteous. Jah did not come to save just the blacks, He came to save the whole world.

          • Your post is nonsensical. You feel oppressed by Russians? Well why not join a European group or religion that is fighting Russian oppression? You can never be Rasta because the religion and life is bred in the bone. You may listen to Reggae all you want but I AM REGGAE. Just like I could never, as a black man, truly understand to my core the oppression of Irish, Palestinans, or any other non black cause. I can sympathize and empathize but I would look like a RasClatt fool if I tried to join Hamas or Sinn Fein. Rasta was founded on Black, not, white, not brown, not green oppression. Born out of European slavery and oppression. Today in the Americas blacks are the poorest group in the hemisphere. There is a reason for that. Its called White Supremacy. Not from 1930 but White Supremacy that denigrates black life today. White you can at anytime shed your so called Rasta image I can never. As long as my skin is black I will always be at a disadvantage in this white world. You? You can always go back to Iowa.

          • Rasta got nothing to do with “black supremacy” and hating “white people”. You are a complete racist. You are putting your on spin on a religion with your hate. As matter of fact Hailee Selassie didn’t even consider himself a “black man”.

          • After reading your comment I would be wiling to bet any amount of money that you have never read any to the Primary Rastafari texts. And I would be wiling to risk that by betting your a white guy trying to defend your position as a so called Rasta.

          • Rasta Elder, stop identifying the black people with Rastas, as not all blacks are Rastas. So can also black people fight against white oppression with other methods.
            There can be fake rastas among blacks too, many wearing dreads for fashion, many not knowing who founded Rasta, and some even tying their racist ideas to the philosophy of Rasta, completely blind to the teachings of His Imperial Majesty. Give us the teachings of His Majesty, for we no want no devil philosophy!

          • Let me clarify. H.I.M. Majesty was not a Rasta. He was King of Kings. His teachings while good and worth studying are not the foundations of Rasta. Marcus Garvey, Leonard Howell, Emanuel I, F. Petersburg and Rogers are the main texts. And yes there are fake Rastas everywhere. I see them shouting Rasta this and Rasta that but they have no idea who and what Marcus Garvey said. But either way, Rasta without Black unity, black culture developing with white culture is not Rasta. It might be hippism but not Rasta.

          • Rasta Elder, here is where you are mistaken. How can you say we mustn’t listen to the words of Ras Tafari because he “was not a Rasta”?! That is stupid. Rasta people are His followers foremost, that is why we are called by His name. He is the most high, and how can you say that words coming from the highest consciousness are to be deemed inferior to others’?
            And how can we achieve world peace and unity if just the blacks unite? No, we must all unite, because we are all God’s children, there is no partiality in front of God’s eyes.

          • Oh my Jesus was not a Christian he was a Jew. But Christians the world over revere him. Go do some studying and come back and talk to me. Bumbaclat.

          • Rasta Elder, yes, Jesus was a jew. But are’t His words and commands of most great importance to Christians? And did Jesus limit his teachings to just Jews? “You must love one another” that was His command. And Rasta is also Christian, but you probably think His commands and teachings are also not important, like you think so of His Majesty’s?

          • Jesus teachings are important, very important. Particularly his message of love. Haile Selassie’s teachings are important. But one must use their brains. Jesus taught in a specific time, in a specific place, for a specific people. If you took everything in the bible on face value we would still be stoning women for adultery. Christianity has its usefullnes so does Rastafari. You have to be able to discern what is important for you and your levity. For me its Rastafari. It helps to guide me toward greater spirituality and love of self.

          • Exactly, Jesus’ message was particular for that time and place. But Haile Selassie I came in our age, as King of Kings, and He came with the same message as Jesus, a message of peace and love. So you cannot say anymore that no, the bible is too old and does not refer to us, and you cannot ignore the message of Jah Rastafari, or consider it of no importance, because it is clearly written and elaborated. Stop transforming Jah message into one that promotes violence, racism, and secularity!

          • White people are always trying to flip racism toward black people when they cannot face the truth. Why don’t white people tell Jews they are racist when Jews tell non Jews they cannot be Jewish? Why? Because Jews know full well that their way of life would die if everyone could simply claim Jewishness. No! This article is on point. Rastafari was created out of black oppression. White Power denigrated black life and therefore out of a necessity black folk in U.S. and Jamiaca created Rastafari! When you decide to give up all of your White Privilege, turn in all that you have gained from simply being white then you can come talk to I N I about Racism!

          • “and therefore out of a necessity black folk in U.S. and Jamiaca created Rastafari”
            Nobody “created” Rastafari! Rastafari, Haile Selassie I, came because He was prophesized, because the time has come.

    • Rastafari is a black power movement for black people to liberate themselves from white supremacy and colonialism thats what the leonard howell and his followers said when the movement was formed in the 1930’s and if you dont believe me go and read the history or watch the documentaries

  5. Too much fakers thinking that dreadlocks and a Jamaican accent makes Rasta…understanding the fundamentals of Rastafarianism should be attained before…

    • Ras Indi, are you out of your mind. Of course Rasta was created. Just like Christianity was Created. You must be a faker Rasta that hasn’t read anything.

      • Rasta Elder, you are looking at Rasta as merely a creation of man, you are missing the spiritual part altogether. You are calling me a faker Rasta but you are the one who is ignoring the words of His Imperial Majesty, you are the one saying that Rasta is about war and violence, and not peace and love, you are the one saying Rasta is about race supremacy, and not about unity and one love! Let Jah decide who is a faker Rasta in this case.

    • What are you talking about? HIM is not a teacher. His words have nothing to do with what you are talking about. HIM was always speaking about white racism. He was an advocate of Africa for the Africans. The founders of Rastafari created Rasta for the liberation of black people, not white, Asian, Latin or any other race but Black. These are facts beyond change. Why don’t you go join hippie movement.

  6. “When you see someone waving the red, gold, green and black and shouting “Rasta”, never assume that they have taken the time to actually study the roots of Rasta.”….so also never assume they have not taken the time to study. Why you only advocating readers to not assume pipo waving rainbow know who JAH is…yet u don’t wanna advocate they DO know who JAH is when em chant? … JAH is the Judge of Man and pipo never should assume either. its none of ur business. you not JAH..so stop. I find this article out of order and creates strife….religion is personal. ..stop with ya unbalanced fussing. Every coin got 2 sides….assume it has both sides or stop unbalanced propaganda. 1love.

  7. Bob Marley is half white his father was White. It doesnt matter ehat race or color you are as Bob said “me dont depend pon white side nor black sides me depend pon God side” . Now seen? Rasta is a way of living seen? If you know God If you accept H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I Jah Rastafari King of Kings Lord of Lords Conquering The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah From The Lineage of King Solomon And King David. Seen? A Lion Heart. Rasta Heart

      • Bob Marley is half white, but he made millions not from his white side of the family but by his black side. Almost every single black person in the States is part white or Native American or something else. But that doesn’t seem to stop them from getting shot on the streets by Police. Your argument is nonsensical and lacks merit.

        • Elder of Rasta yeah mon! Seh dat! Seh it again! Bob Marley’s father doesn’t mean sh#t! Bob Marley’s father was a piece of sh#t, and a rcist f#ck! Didn’t want to look pon him own son….”Just one a dem slave stories weh a white man tek a black woman and breed har” – Bob Marley (describing his Dad in an interview)

    • I guess there are two Bob Marleys. One when he was with the Wailers (Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer) and one after he left the group to join Chris Blackwell.

      • What the hell are you talking about? There was only one Robert Nesta Marley, born to an English man (Robert is not an African, nor Jamaican name,…. neither is Marley) and a Jamaican mother (Cedila, who also had some white ancestors).

        As for reggae? Clement” Sir Coxsone” Dodd is the inventor of the genre,which grew at the same time and under the same social conditions as blue grass, jazz, and r&b of southern USA and it took off from there.

        • Reggae music is Rastafari music…..and is globally identified with being such….when people think reggae, dem t’ink Rastafari! “Reggae music is a music invented by Rasta people and we play it how we want to play, when we want to play it, and we know why we want to play it too. Reggae music carry certain earth force..” – Bob Marley (Time Will Tell video)

  8. Rasta is first and for most about the African man and even scientists have discovered that the oldest in a di Abyssinia,furthermore their is genetic evidence that the black gene is more dominant than all others thus confirm as a fact that all of the human race is indeed one and most importantly African.Songs like one love and one heart echo this sentiments ,in the song one love bob says “One Love! What about the one heart? One Heart!
    What about – ? Let’s get together and feel all right
    As it was in the beginning (One Love!);
    So shall it be in the end (One Heart!),
    All right!
    Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
    Let’s get together and feel all right.
    One more thing!” and in the song one drop he says “Feel it in the one drop;
    And we’ll still find time to rap;
    We’re makin’ the one stop,
    The generation gap;
    Now feel this drumbeat
    As it beats within,
    Playin’ a riddim,
    Resisting against the system, ooh-wee!
    ” However since everyone one has there on perspective of life at any given time in space,it is no coincidence also there difference among st even similar subjects,but by uniting those differences one gets closer to the whole.

    • Rastafari is primarily about black supremacy and resistance against white oppression and death to Babylon! In the song “One Love”, there is the line where Bob Marley sings, “Is there a place for the hopeless singer/Who has hurt all mankind/Just to save his own” …..that is the white race who Bob Marley is referring to! And in the song “Revolution”….Bob Marley sings, “If ah (it’s) fire, mek it bun!/If ah (it’s) blood mek it run! And that means the necessary violence via God and man that it will take to destroy the oppressors! Don’t get it twisted, Rasta is about peace but violence when necessary….and as stated by God almighty/Jah Rastafari/Emperor Haile Selassie-I, “We Africans will fight if we find it necessary as we are confident in the victory of good over evil”…..the necessity is in many scenarios, including the horrid police brutality in America…the big fight is yet to come! But we will be ready and we Africans will win! Also, the speech by Jah Rastafari was put into music with the title “War”! by Bob MarleyAnd I know there is no doubt about war means! That is the equivalent of death! The fools and the wise can make their interpretation…in the meantime…”chase those crazy baldheads out of town! Rastafari is for the redemption of the black race..no agent(s) of satan can dilute it….no matter how hard they try! Non-blacks can become Rastas if they want, but they must be prepared to hear the truth of black supremacy and accept the fight against the Babylon system of mostly oppression against the Black people of the world.This a most wonderful article…..who have ears let them hear!

      • You don’t even have a clue what Rastafari actually means. You still think it’s one word, which shows how little you know.

          • And Rastafari comes from Ras Tafari…means HEAD BLOODKLAAT CREATOR (and even elaborated similarly by Peter Tosh in an interview)….sound like yuh just read likku book and tink seh yuh is somebody…”remove yall”! lol

        • I don’t know who you think you are talking too…yuh must nuh know wise from idiot lol….Bob Marley WROTE “War” by putting the speech of Haile Selassie to music..so yes Bob essentially wrote “War”…..feel how yuh waan fi feel!

      • Marrywarnher Stewart, you have completely missed the message of the song “war”. It is meant to be an ANTI-war song, not a song calling to war. During all his life, Bob Marley was always against violence and war, in everything he did. Listen to the song again. Watch a live version of it on youtube. There is a reason why when he played this song live, at the end of the song he sang:
        “some sayin’: we don’t need no more trouble!
        We don’t need no more trouble!
        No, no no, no more trouble
        What we need is love, to guide and protect us all
        If you’re up look down from above,
        Help the weak if you are strong!”
        There is a a reason why he played No More Trouble and War together as one song live. Watch him play it live on youtube! He even sings “no more war” numerous times.
        Stop distorting the message of Rastafari! Stop spreading violence and confusion!

  9. Well said!!! Music and creation should address relevant issues most definitely. That’s the reason todays music is so weak and meaningless. Lyrical content says a lot and when combined with a captivating melody it serves a greater purpose.Revolutionize the music.

  10. Did Bob Marley’s teachers not say they gave him the teachings of RastafarI to spread messages in his music? Reggae may have humbLe roots in RastafarI teaching, particularLy from his majesty, Selassie I, but it has grown to be a globaL phenomenon… and no music shud b prosecuted for such. Sure, maybe some youth sing different messages or use the techniques of the music to spread something more different, but the appreciation is there, whiLe various people face various difficulties. At this point, Unity has been established and it is onLy arguments n justification-seeking words Like this that continue any and aLL dis-unification. Sure, peopLe wud luv hearts, rainbows, n love to controL aLL kinds of music (and cultures), but as Long as most r singing out their heart and aspirations, and tie it to one theme, y the judgment??! Be and stay in Peace and Harmony… please <3 #MuchLove #OneLove #PLUR

  11. it has become really popular to be a rasta now, huh?. Every dopehead from all around the world thinks he’s become a member of Twelwe Tribes of Israel after he smoked a joint.
    so its a good question, has Bob Marley really done good for Rastafari or not? Maybe too much popularity isnt so good really?

  12. The devil and God walk shoulder to shoulder….like one of the Boboshanti hymns say, “every-everywhere Jah army go satan follow/satan follow Jah army band/satan follow Jah army band/satan follow!….ofcourse with a truth as powerful and as militant as Rastafari, you will find agents and wolves in sheep’s clothing who want to change and/or attempt to destroy the message….ah natural t’ing dat mon…..and if it was not for Bob Marley, the world wouldn’t know about Rastafari! It’s because of the prophet, Bob Marley, why reggae deh inna all parts of the world….those who deal with evil and darkness know who the real Rastas are….and so therefore too much popularity doesn’t cause anything harmful to Rastafari, because those who know know!….and furthermore, the Twelve Tribes is only one of the 7 mansions of Rastafari…there is the nyahbhingi and the Boboshanti too – the latter being the most militant sect!

    • Reggae was international well before Bob Marley made his first single. You are talking nonsense that you copied from someone else. Learn the facts, because right now, you are disgracing both the music and the Ras.

      • You ah talk pure fart! “Reggae was international well before Bob Marley made his first single” MY @$$! Bob Marley popularize reggae, whether reggae went international before Bob doesn’t mean sh#t! Bob Marley (and the Wailers) “invented” reggae – so to speak….dem ah de boss….feel how yuh waan fi feel. And who you telling ’bout copy from someone else, man move weh! The SCORCHING HOT truth of Rastafari burns those who think they want to be in the Rasta movement for dilution of the STRONG liquid – sneaky lil sellouts…

  13. It brings the village down if faithful like we don’t educate & inspire the open minded about all Reggae inspired by Rasta sensibility even the Jesus Dread Yabby You had his own ideas Joe Higgs made an effort to inspire certain youts about H.I.M in his communal meals youts like Wailers, Wailing Souls & so many of Reggae’s greatest & never get credit until him passed away Backawall was the nerve center of Rastafarian musical celebration until the powers of the day evict & burn so they could build low cost housing for votes but Jah Mansion have rooms for all of faith in H.I.M

    • True Karl! All mi keep see is Twelve Tribes…mi haffi laugh lol…Rastafari have many mansions!

  14. Point in Fact: Rastfari was founded upon black oppression! Period. Black Oppression. You can say you are Rasta all you want but only Black IS Rasta. I N I are born Rasta! Black oppression makes Black Man and Woman Rasta by definition. Africa is oppressed, Jamiaca is oppressed, Black man in the States are oppressed. White Man in Europe and America is Free. As long as there is White Privilege that gives benefits to Whites just for being white you can never be Rasta. Just like I N I as a Black Man could never be Sinn Fein, or PLO. The Role of Rasta is Black Liberation, not smoking Ganja, or listening to Bob Marley records. Its about Liberating the black mind and the black body. Whites have no role to play in this liberation struggle, except to liberate your own minds and work to destroy White Power.

  15. Who the hell put you in charge of reggae? People listen to it because it moves them! It’s not up to you to decide who gets to listen to reggae!!! Newsflash: You don’t have to deeply agree with lyrics to love music… I LOVE Sizzla Kalonji, it doesn’t mean I believe that anyone should burn a gay village to the ground. I’m not even so sure Sizzla would set gays on fire, but he sure sings about it “fiyaburnbatiman.” I’ll drive around with my little blonde ponytail blasting “African Woman”, right by your house. I like George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” it doesn’t mean that I love Krishna, even IF it moves me deeply spiritually. Stop quoting, One Love, we all know the lyrics! I think you should expand your reggae collection. The idea of armagedeon comes from the Bible!!! In fact, here’s another reggae song taken from the book of Psalms, Rivers Of Babylon by the Melodians. “By the rivers of Babylon where we sat down, and there we wept when we remembered Zion.” Sure it ties into a feeling of diaspora and nostalgia,but the Jews wrote that bro. Babylon precedes Marcus Garvey by thousands of years…In fact, sometimes even the musicians in the band don’t give a f* about the lyrics. I would say on a much deeper level, reggae really is more about fat bass lines. I’m gonna leave you with some more reggae lyrics I want you to ponder:
    “zungazangzungazungazang”- Yellowman
    “Shouldely whop, shouldeley whop, shouldely whoa ZING!” -Barrington Levy

    • You missed the entire point of the article. Most kids that listen to Rap music are white not black. No one cares. The point of the article is that white people are trying to be Rasta without knowing anything about the music or religion. You don’t see Black man running around playing Yiddish music and wearing the Jewish cap. If they did Jews would be outraged. So why shouldn’t black people be outraged with White people with white privilege run around wearing fake dreads and blasting music that is spiritual music for black people. Reggae is black spiritual music! The next time you drive around blasting reggae music with your pony tail in the air remember that no white kid will ever be stopped by the police and shot for doing the same. Fyah Burn.

      • And then again, mi don’t mind white people playing music either….because “in reggae music are the seeds of destruction” of their Babylon system….so let the vibrations ride through the air…and you’d be surprised at the kind of white folks that love Peter Tosh lol!

        • MS, you are so correct! The more the music is played the greater chance that Babylon can be destroyed. But the war must be waged in the hearts and minds. But before that there must be Black self love and black unity in Africa and the Americas.

          • Most def Elder of Rasta….”Reggae will get bigger and bigger until it reach it’s rightful place which is Africa”…..”Nothing could be better than Rastafari and African unity”

    • “I would say on a much deeper level, reggae really is more about fat bass lines.” A wah kinda madness you ah chat seh mon?! Bass represent thunder (as in nyahbinghi! Bass is a divine low frequency…bass in reggae is the face of Jah! It’s like the visual acoustic representation of the face of Jah Rastafari…Reggae’s bass is the most unique-est musical bass on earth! And Yellowman nuh sing nuh bloodklaat reggae! Yellow man sing dancehall! Dancehall is not reggae, Dancehall is just Jamaican music..

    • : “By the rivers of Babylon where we sat down, and there we wept when we remembered Zion.” Sure it ties into a feeling of diaspora and nostalgia,but the Jews wrote that bro. Babylon precedes Marcus Garvey by thousands of years…In fact, sometimes even the musicians in the band don’t give a f* about the lyrics. I would say on a much deeper level, reggae really is more about fat bass lines. ”

      Actually the Hebrews wrote that… the original Hebrews from Africa. Your comment is the exact reason this article was written. To a culture vulture like you, reggae is only about “fat bass lines”..To the creators of reggae it is much more. I don’t mind culture vultures like you listening to reggae, please do. My issue is when you culture vulture try to tell us that we should not play certain songs in support of protests in Baltimore, Ferguson or Tel Aviv. “Arm in arm with arms”.

  16. “We need no non African assistance to defend our soil.-” HIM

    The historical reality is that as muslims, Mali, was destroyed by muslim foreigners, as christaians, Ethiopia was attacked by christian italy, as jews, Beta israel, has been abused discrimated against ane forcebly sterilized by european jews. Now we see white people in their arrogance trying to make Rastafari palatable to them, even to the point of trying to “school” Black people on how we should interpret our movement. white people should fight racism amongst their own people, it is far more common there.

  17. I appreciate that you are opening doors for others to research the history of of the movement, or roots reggae, but your assertions are incorrect. Let’s start with Garvey. Garvey was an open critic of the rasta and more so of Selassie. While his words inspired people associated with rasta(and reggae), and Garveyism certainly should be mentioned as a contributing ideal, the man himself had nothing good to say about the religion or its god. As a man who essentialy led the back to Africa movement, I find it odd he chose not to live there. Your own web site states a clear vision for moving to Africa yet you do not go either. You know why? You are scared of losing your easy life to walk the talk. On to Howell, he did in fact declare himself to be God and was institutionalized not because he was a political threat as has been speculated, but because he was crazy. His group was a cult and nothing more. While above you make a specific reference to what ‘white people” fail to realize or recall is in line with his racist beliefs. Note that I am white. Here are the tenants of Howell’s ‘religion.’

    – Hatred for the White race (That kicks me out of the club)
    – The superiority of the Black race (Racist assertion)
    – Revenge on Whites for their wickedness (Perhaps, but not all whites are involved with slavery or oppression and again, it is racist)
    – The negation, persecution and humiliation of the government and legal bodies of Jamaica.
    – Preparation to return to Africa (More than possible but no one including Garvey want to go)
    – Acknowledgment of Emperor Haile Selassie I as the Supreme Being and the only ruler of the Black people. (Howell negated this by declaring himself God and Garvey called him a “coward.” )

    So yes, the original purpose was to fight oppression, specifically white oppression in a nation ruled by whites, that was formed as way station for the slavery trade. Does this have anything to with the events in Baltimore? No. three of the charged officers are black. The city is run by black people. The officer in N. Charleston that helped to cover up the murder of Scott was black as well. The issue at hand is unchecked power and a resulting culture of corruption, not racism. Racism exists but it is being improperly cited in these instances. ‘Looting and burning’ your own neighborhood liquor and drug stores is not resistance, it is not rebellion, it is not religion; it is excess. Our biggest national problem is socio-economic disparity and a subjective legal system. The minute you need a ‘good’ lawyer the system has failed as it favors the wealthy. Once the judges start letting bad charges stick because they need to play ball as part of the system, it has failed. If the kids in Baltimore want to rebel they should do so by getting out of the city and exceeding their parents examples. Break the cycle and live your life. You are not chained to your parents failures. Tel Aviv huh? More of that peaceful religion stuff?

    The music is the same accidental result that formed the Beatles. It was people listening to American R&B and soul and turning it into something else. If you listen to the pulsing beat in most early reggae it is similar to say, the Rolling Stones. The bass is a slow rolling off beat product. Add ska to the mix and there you have it. It is really not mystical or confusing. Note that Curtis Mayfield is credited as a writer of One Love. Look at the fact Bob was listening to Mayfield and used his song to reissue a similar message. Fighting Armageddon is a simple biblical reference as is expressed in many of Bob’s songs. One Love was intended to be a political statement at a turbulent time in Jamaican politics.

    Rastafarianism is simple a hodge podge of random events that collided. While the basic tenants of fighting oppression are the fuel behind the movement, the bells and whistles are accumulated. Howell introduced ganja use and dreadlocks. He also specifically went against the Old Testament. Garvey through random remarks had an unintentional effect by touting the African king to be crowned. He never intended for it to be Selassie but rather a metaphor for a rising black power. Bob Marley was half white and was quite close with some white people, even having children with white women. He did not stick to the Old Testament nor did he live by Garvey’s words. For a period he strongly supported Zimbabwe and saw his efforts thwarted by crooked politicians there just as exists all over the continent today. If your issue is to be color let us all be glad that people are not storming your neighborhood to cut off the arms of all of the males as is occurring on African continent. People are not stealing your daughters. Cruelty is a shared trait within humanity and knows no color.

    Rastafarianism as a religion is not a serious concern. What it has morphed into in pop culture is actually more beautiful than its original manifestation. Of course people should know the classics and quit saying 311 is reggae, but groups pushing forward such as Stoopid, Sublime, The Movement, Tribal Seeds, Fortunate Youth, and so on are the face of a mixed love. SOJA put out one of the best reggae albums of all time imho with Babylon yet they have stated they have no need for the words that make up their name which is an acronym of ‘Soldiers of Jahs Army.’ It is silly to believe that at this point that being rasta is anything more than and ideology against oppression that supports love while seeking to break away from the “rat race.” I have to question your motives and I suspect true bigotry in this article as well as others on this site. One commenter said it was time to “take back” the music. Take it. What you really want is the success of the music, not the music itself. No one is forcing you to listen. You can play or listen to anything you like. Who cares if some white guys shout ‘One Love?’ The religion is defunct and Bob can sing about blowing up a church but he very few lived the religious path as described. Why would you insult your white partners in the revolution? Have we not been a critical part of change? Are we simply “white” or are we the kids who fought to get Mandela freed? Are we the same “white” people who elected the first black governor in Virginia and the first black president in the USA? Did black people do that on their own? Are we only to be known as a color and somehow we are ignorant to history due to our color? I think you need to take a hard look in the mirror. Your understanding of rasta history is weak and I read deeper than your internet education in the 80’s.

    To close, the people reading this should play music. Listen to music. Educate yourselves. Love each other. Recognize hypocrisy within yourself. Ask the bigger questions.be the change. Be happy. You do not need to live by some religion to create change. Wear your hair as you like and if it is a political or fashion statement that is up to you. If you want to have Bob Marley/Minor Threat/EN Young/John Denver in your playlist then you should. Quit being so serious in your fun. the only reason you have the time to do so is your privilege that you refuse to acknowledge. Don’t be led by the Wizard who hides behind the curtain. It’s a lie. Do not buy into some bigoted blogger who pretends to be an authority. Oh, the other day whoever sits behind this alias on Facebook was called out misquoting Marley. It is selective reading, if they are even reading, based upon bias.

    • “Rastafarianism as a religion is not a serious concern. What it has morphed into in pop culture is actually more beautiful than its original manifestation.”

      That proved my point 100%. Another culture vulture hell bent on distorting and destroying Black culture.

      • – Howell introduced ganja use and dreadlocks.
        -Rastafarianism as a religion is not a serious concern. What it has morphed into in pop culture is actually more beautiful than its original manifestation.
        – SOJA put out one of the best reggae albums of all time
        – I have to question your motives and I suspect true bigotry in this article as well as others on this site.
        -The religion is defunct and Bob can sing about blowing up a church but he very few lived the religious path as described

        YOUR IGNORANCE IS PALPABLE.

        • Yeah I like SOJA but that might have been a bit of exaggeration, but then again music is subjective. And the writer does say “IMHO” which again, is just an opinion.

          • There is a difference between informed opinions and just plain ignorant ones. Any person that ranks SOJA as having an album worthy of consideration is ignorant of music and should never be given space to write anything.

    • rasta has no ISM! your taste in… egghm reggae is suspect to any reggae enthusiast. this article is a divisive tool, but you may be as well… think about it. peace

  18. Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior…now Bob might sing the words but H.I.M. Haile Sellassie spoke the words & gave inspiration & the vision to Bob Peter Bunny & many other Reggae artists, including white Brethren. To dismiss one Culture to build your own is as Colonial as the British Empire. If it wasn’t for white people accepting Reggae music it would probably still be confined to the tiny island of Jamaica, in America it’s the white youth who flock to the stores to buy the latest Sizzla album. Be humble & thankful that whites listen to & play Reggae music because that’s one less colonialist you have to fret over. Blessed Love Hail H.I.M.

    • It does seems that way don’t it? But not everyone will fall for the banana in the tailpipe. When they buy so they can weaken and contort it, it is no good. And actually the ones who would weaken the Rasta message of resistance are the ones we really have to worry about. They might buy reggae and hip hop but you will never see them protesting police brutality against Blacks or fighting any injustice Black people face. Good try though.

      • I have marched with Cesar Chavez, fought cops in South Central, been arrested in San Francisco for protesting police brutality long before it was a fad, so please don’t say never because even Malcolm X gave respect to John Brown. If you’re trying to prove a point then you have failed miserably but only succeeded in alienating people who otherwise might support you. Such a shame because racism is not just a “white” complex & His Imperial Majesty declared that truth. Nice try tho…

        • Your comments hardly make sense. First of all I really commend you for fighting Cesar Chavez, fighting cops in South Central and being arrested in SF. This makes you about 100 yeas old then? Hardly. Anyone that claims to have fought so much against white supremacy would automatically understand the nature of this article. Next Malcolm X did commend John Brown but so did Fredrick Douglass. So what is your point? Just because one fights against police brutality doesn’t mean that one should go dawn a Brown Beret and proclaim he is Chicano. That would be absurd.

    • Again, the article underscores why you statement is absurd. No one is saying one race is superior. The article is articulating the idea that Rastafari is a black religion for and by black people. No one would dare tell Jews they needed to open up their religion to Hamas or the PLO. So why do whites insist on demanding Rastas open up Rastafari? Again for the 100th time. Rastafari is built on black oppression and the overcoming of that oppression. Whites could never understand the depth and breadth of white subjegation nor could they ever know what its like to be marginalized as a black man. Period. Whites have their own history and culture. There is beauty in being Irish, German, Greek, Scandanavian or what have you. Why not learn that culture and accept it? Is it enough that Whites colonized Africa and stripped it of its natural resources that you now want to colonize and strip Rastafari? Find your own moment for your own time and your own culture.

  19. Elder I never fought Cesar Chavez I marched with him in the late 80’s the riots in South Central were in the early 90’s & police brutality awareness day is Oct. 22nd every year. No I’m not 100 years old I’m 45 I raised my half Japanese & Irish Children with the knowledge that Haile Sellassie is the living Almighty God & no matter how prejudiced a Man can be it won’t change who I Am, your views about race are from a nationalistic point of view, much like the very racists you condemn. I know my heritage, my ancestors, where I come from & where I’m going. Until the colour of a Man’s skin is of no more importance than the colour of his eyes..WAR. There are two sides to choose from LOVE or WAR. I choose LOVE & not some pie in the sky hippy fantasy but real love which must be fought for & protected by those who are willing to GET UP STAND UP.This is a quote to which I have chosen to live by, all men are created equal.

    • Again, no one is that silly to believe your story. If you are 45 you were born in 1970. Which would have made you about 10 when CC was marching. So either way if you were t10 you seeming seemed to be everywhere marching. No, again no one is disputing the idea that racism is wrong. We black people have fought more against racism than anybody on this planet and black people are the most forgiving people on earth. What the article is commenting on is that Rasta is a black religion for and by black people. If you marched with CC, good. You marched as a half white half Asian. You didn’t march as a Latino. Did you demand to be considered Latino when you marched? Adopt Latino culture? If you did that would have been absurd so why do you do it here? You will never and could never know what its like to be a black person. Rastas is for a set of people during a set time. Why not join Sinn Fein or the Asian Berets and march in solidarity with Rastas rather become a culture vulture?

  20. Elder why you so filled with hate? Take a step in my shoes then judge for the judgement in which you judge you shall be judged. You let your emotions blind your reasoning. Like I say no amount of a Man’s prejudice can change who I am. Peace be upon you.

    • You must be white because no one but white people say things like that. Just don’t be a culture vulture.

  21. Elder if ignorance is bliss then you must be the most blissed out person on the planet. Alienating potential allies is a fools paradise worthy of a fool. Peace be upon you.

  22. Rasta is against WHITE SUPREMACY. And Christianity is a product, a tool and a feature of WHITE SUPREMACY. Afrikans were enslaved and dehumanized by Christian men. Our Great-grand parents were raped and sodomized by Christians. Colonialism was a political project instituted and executed by European Christian men and women who prayed to Jesus, Jahovia and God before killing, robbing and plundering our people and lands. Apartheid was a Christian project; Botha, Verwoed, Malan, De Kok, Basson and all the devils that killed thousands of our people and destroyed thousands of our families were Christians. The god of the oppressor cannot be the same god for the oppressed. The religion of the oppressor cannot be the same religion for the oppressed. Otherwise, we are damned fools!

    AFRIKAN BLOOD DEFENDER MOZIAH GARVEY OUT AZANIA .

  23. What a story!!! I am JFK, founder, singer and solo guitar player of dutch reggaeband Jah Mission. The songs I sing I wrote myself, some titles are “Rise Up”, “Why”, “Mr Know It All” and “Jah Mission”.

    “What you gonna do when the policeman come for you?
    What you gonna do when dem judge don’t believe you?
    What you gonna do when jailtime awaits you?
    What you gonna do when dem lawyer don’t speak the thruth?
    RISE UP, RISE UP, RISE UP”

    This is a chapter taken from my own life and I sing it always straight from the heart.

    “Why there is war in the world, why the truth can’t be told?
    Why the people fight a holy war, why has it come this far?
    Why can’t they understand, why won’t the violence end?
    Why not love eachother in stead of hate eachother?
    WHY OH WHY”

    This is what I daily ask myself when watching the news.

    “You want all to be yours, you’re making matters worse
    You think that you’re so smart, but you have an unrighteous heart.
    You’re stealing from the poor, always wanting more,
    never enough in store, but Jah Jah keep the real score.

    Mr know it all
    I know you soon will fall
    than no one hear your call
    at last you’ll feel humble and small”

    This song I wrote for every corrupt politician in the world, no matter if he’s black or white or for all I care green.

    I have white dreadlocks and blue eyes, I am the only one within my family looking like this, my parents and my two brothers have brown or black hair and very dark eyes. We are of Roma origin mixed with original European travellers and we are all musicians, we feel the music with every fiber in our body. We are called gypsies by mistake because one route into Europe was from India/Pakistan via North Africa to Spain, the many English people who lived there thought they came from Egypt and start calling them gypsies. My ancestors were called “zigeuners” in Germany and the Netherlands, the word zigeuner are actually two words, ziehende gauner, what travelling thief means. When people see me they don’t know my background and they treat me like anyone else, but as soon as they hear my name things change.

    So my hair is blonde and my eyes are blue and that should be reason to call me fake or wanna be rasta when everything I write and sing is coming straight from the heart and is created because of the talent Jah has given me. I feel blessed that I can tell people about love, unity and Jah, and that He created us all, no matter what colour.

  24. You are in fact incorrect. To say that all music is born from other music and that it contains ALL genre’s of music is both sophomoric but irrelevant and clearly misses the point of the article. Saying that Reggae music doesn’t belong to Rastas is like saying blues music doesn’t belong to African Americans. Only someone that has real issues with identity would even bother to say something as ignorant as that. Furthermore, to say that all music is related is like saying that we can trace the evolution of music back to the the Gregorian chant. So what if we could. The issue is where and when and how the music was founded. It wasn’t white kids from Portland nor English kids from Liverpool. The music was founded in Jamaica by Rastafarians attempted to play Ska. Ska has historical and cultural roots with a variety so music strains from Europe, America and East Asia. But so what? The music is from Jamaica and it is the religious music of African Rastafari. To deny this subjects your argument to racial bias.

  25. man i read this post and iam very sad from what i read here. i mean the downpressors that you talkin about is people that make another people feel sad and bad.

    its no metta if its cool or fashion. rasta got to be spreading all around the world in many diffarent way. some say fight and struggle some say happines and joy. but in the bottom we all rasta want to be free and happy.
    rasta is unity, we need to halp each other in our own tools to run a away with unity from the system who try to control our life with their way of violence. and when we fight them in riots we just playing their game.
    one love means that everybody got to get together to fight the armagedon(end of the world).
    one love, one destiny, to all rasta people around the world, and there is a lot.

    • I am sorry that you feel that way. But there are other movements that you can join. Try the Rainbow Movement. And just to let you know that One Love does NOT mean that everyone should get together. One Love was coined by Marcus Garvey and it was meant for the different groups of black people in the world to get together, not for black and white or any other groups. Sorry.

  26. Why do most pple who called themselves rastas live a dirty lives! Most live in ghettos, weed is there daily doze!,, did marcus smoke weed? Was he dirty and unclean man? Pple should stop missusing this rasta thing.

  27. I think is about we as hunans fighting against any oppression and corruption..that act is manifested in most humans..so I believe is not about color..but its about human beings who thinks they are superior…we see that in our race..community,friends..where ever…let’s fight for something right..

  28. For me rasta means to be free of the oppression etc.nuff man and wombman and child were rasta before the rastafari movement amd before haile selassie and marcus garvey garvey related selassie and christ and the bible .i man rasta i man dont deal with christianty thats book made for slaves i man is free

    • The notion that people are free to make up their own idea of what Rastafari is itself comes from the reggae proliferation. Rastafari refers to a revealed faith primarily, and a social movement proceeding from persons of this faith secondarily. The fundamental tenet of the faith is that Emperor Haile Sellassie I of Ethiopia is God Almighty, and the corresponding point of the movement is that African peoples are sovereign, and should reclaim and exercise that sovereignty fully under the leadership of the Emperor. None of the aforesaid is subject to any dispute or contention, yet in the post-reggae era an endless sequence of confusion, corruption and opposition has plagued the movement, substantially arising from the reggae proliferation. I would say, “Please stop” but I already know the futility of reasoning with the reggae massive.

        • I have not said “destruction”, Ras Tafari is indestructible. I have said, “confusion, corruption and opposition has plagued the movement”. I and I will deal with it. His Majesty sees and knows all things, His judgments are perfect.

  29. Very interesting article. May be you should publish articles to build the knowledge of ones that are serious about becoming a true Rastafari. Give us the training ,the history,the creation of Jah Rastafari. not by facebook, but by e-mail.thank you

  30. Oh dear. Please can we stop these isms and schisms. White man is and always has been free? Er, not my male ancestors – in the work house, toiling the land, forced off the commons, and intentionally starved in famines. And what about my white womb man ancestors? Working longer hours than the men for less pay in dreadful conditions, with no political rights. Things are better now, but there is still dreadful inequality here in the UK, which I fight against. OK, OK, I know it’s not so harsh as the deplorable treatment of black slaves on the ships and in the fields. That was plain wrong. But so was slavery of white women to men and poor men to rich tossers. Moreover, I’m pretty sure that I don’t play fake reggae. I play the basslines from the heart, channelled from a spirit greater than I. I can’t see how being black gives someone exclusive rights to being a wise and spiritual elder. One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright. There are many ways to fight the armageddon and I’ve seen plenty of white people getting up and standing up for their rights on many issues. Against racism, against fascism, against climate change, against gender inequality, against the electoral system and on and on and on.

  31. ps. I met plenty of fake black rastas when I visited Jamaica. Fashion dreads exist EVERYWHERE, no matter de colour of de skin.

  32. The problem of Rastafari culture appropriation is a direct consequence of the surging popularity of white reggae musical acts like SOJA, Iration, Rebelution, Jah Roots, etc. Some of these groups do not claim to be Rastafari, some obscure their beliefs, and some are outright culture appropriators.

    Lyrical themes tend to reflect common misconceptions that the basic tenets of Rastafari culture are:
    1. Use of cannabis.
    2. Infatuation with reggae music; especially that of Bob Marley.
    3. Adoption of dreadlock hairstyle.
    4. Using words like ‘Jah’, ‘Ganja’, ‘Irie’, ‘Roots’, etc.

    If the complaint of culture appropriation is ever made against these groups, typical rebuttals will include phrases like, “It’s just all about the good vibes”, and, “Rasta is whatever I interpret it to be”. This will be accompanied by accusations that the inquisitor is “just being negative, man”.

    As such, the ‘cool’ or ‘fun’ parts of Rastafari can but celebrated, while the difficult parts requiring lifestyle changes and self-discipline can be foregone without consequence.

    For example, the aforementioned group SOJA (Soldiers of Jah Army) even wrote a song in response to complaints they’ve received of culture appropriation called ‘Can’t Tell Me’. In this song lead singer Jacob Hemphill goes on to list numerous aspects of his lifestyle then makes the claim, “I don’t really care if it’s Rasta to you”, implying again that Rastafari is a completely subjective concept open to wide interpretation- and you ‘can’t tell’ him otherwise.

    Such a statement seems to be a copout designed to alleviate any sense of responsibility to uphold any Rastafari standards whatsoever. The musician can be promiscuous and sexually indulgent, regularly use foul language, use tobacco, eat meat, drink liquor, ignore scripture, etc., and yet still claim to be a Rastaman.

    This is culture appropriation at its absolute worst. If Babylon seeks to downstroy Rastafari this is an effective start. Brainwashing the young masses into thinking Rastafari is nothing more than a subculture centered around smoking weed and listening to Bob Marley; one which anybody can claim to be without being held to any standards or practices whatsoever; meanwhile diluting this truest of movements with the derivative ocean of banality that is self-indulgent ‘Babylon’.

    SEEK KNOWLEDGE
    ALL PRAISES TO THE MOST HIGH

  33. So, if you are White, it’s OK to listen to reggae music as long as you don’t culturally appropriate the lifestyle, the dress, the beliefs, the vocabulary and hairstyle? Smoking weed is not religious to me and I would never claim it to be. Can I still wear my Bob Marley & I Love Reggae Music t-shirts with my baldhead or am I just Jafaikan it? Is visiting Jamaica still OK? How about donating mote than 1000 US to a new school for challenged children in Savannah-la-Mar. Is that acceptable or just Babylon guilt?
    Can I please get the user instructions? I just like the music and the Island.

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