Featuring Artist Samory I
written by Sista Irie, photojournalist
DIGITAL RELEASE / CD / 2LP
[Rorystonelove Gilligan] Black Dub Music
Release date: 07/14/2017
Black Gold is the roots reggae album the world has been craving. This exciting new release by breakthrough artist, Samory I, is remarkably distinctive due to inclusion of world class Jamaican musicians, the amazing talents of producer, Rory ‘Stonelove Gilligan’ and a chorus of angelic singers, all giving birth to another crucial turning point in the revitalized roots movement. Hearing this album made my heart jump for joy!
Black Gold is outstanding in every way. The tracks are intellectually crafted teachings enhanced by Samory I’s haunting and emotionally charged voice. Samory I and producer Rory Stonelove have created a unique work of art speaking directly to the essence of the black cultural experience reminiscent of legendary social activists Peter Tosh and Burning Spear. The extraordinary musical mix is embellished with masterful dub interludes while at times sparking memories of riddims made famous by reggae legends such as Ini Kamoze, Bob Marley and Black Uhuru. It’s as if everything great that formed the foundation roots of the seventies was blended into a new renaissance of the highest caliber.
Samory I takes his name from the historical warrior king, Samori Toure, a hero of resistance against French colonization in West Africa in the 19th century. This young blazing artist uses lyrical talent to dive into the deepest corners of black history while paying homage to the spiritual anciency of Rastafarian theology. Heart-rending tracks such as Son of David, Not Because, Lost Africans, Is It Because I Am Black provoke vivid imagery calling out painful historical challenges experienced by the black race balanced by the blessings of hope and empowerment through the faith of Almighty Jah.
A unique and thought provoking perspective arises when Samory I sings “Think because dem black, dem better than the old slavemaster. They still have the whip on our back and em drive a little harder.” (Not Because) Samory I further stresses “Who should I man fear, when they are the same? The proposition is the same.” Although, many of the tracks on Black Gold refer to emotional tribulations, the vibe is well balanced with songs such as Serve Jah, There is a Spirit, Jah Power and Fear of Jah to soothe and medicate fear into exultation. “Rasta never trod Earth alone.” (There is a Spirit)
Hit single “Rasta Nuh Gangsta” furthers the ever necessary reminder, especially to many ignorant baldheads of the world that “Rasta is son of Jah and need no gun.”
Outstanding horn solos performed by hornsmen Dean Fraser and the late Nambo Robinson (see below for full list), along with a rapturous percussion, lends professional quality to the overall production not found in many of today’s roots reggae releases. Rory Stonelove’s masterful excellence is key to the outstanding quality of this release. No stone was left unturned.
When powerful music seeps into the brain cells and flows smoothly through the bloodstream, a robust sense of inner peace and thankfulness lends way to euphoria. Black Gold is black love. Black Gold is survival of the black race. Black Gold is the knowledge of black beauty, talent and musical perfection. Black Gold is going to be your new most favorite album.
Musicians performing on Black Gold: Kirk Bennet (drums), Mitchum Khan Chin and Cortland “Gizmo” White (guitar), Sheldon “Atiiba” Bernard (flute), Donald Dennis and Aeion Holiest (bass), Denver Smith (percussion), Carlton “Bubblers” Ogilvie (keys) and a legendary brass section played by Dean Frazer, Nambo Robinson, Dwight, Everal Gayle and Stingray.
Background vocals: Sherieta Lewis, Raslyn, Natel, and Chevaughn
Black Gold is indeed Golden! Click the album cover to purchase Black Gold