Sista Irie: Reggae Photojournalist, Reggae Radio DJ
“Judgement” the album just released by singer-songwriter, guitarist and bassist, I-taweh, is as much a biographical statement as it is a deep rooted Rasta reasoning. I-taweh meticulously crafts the yin yang sequence of life, acknowledging oppression, Babylonian entrapment and insidiousness of poverty while emphasizing hope and faith for the next generation. The title track says it all, “Jah Jah say love youths” and if you don’t, “Yuh gonna pay.” Violent youth in modern day Jamaica reveals the outcome of a society and government not prioritizing love and proper guidance to a generation of children in an effort to ensure a better future.
I-taweh lived many of the experiences described in his songs such as ‘My Guitar’ and ‘One Room Shack.’ In these songs, he shares childhood experiences, growing up poor in Prickly Pole, Jamaica, as one of five children in a hard working family striving for survival. His family devotion as a father and husband, is surely due to hard times growing up in a rural area of Jamaica yet embraced by the security of a loving family. Later in life, I-taweh expresses finding the true love (Guinep Tree) that cemented his commitment to a woman who is placed above all others. There is no doubt the songs on Judgement contain moral messages and provide faith for the fearless. I-taweh shares he made it through the hard times with the loving kindness of family and his close companion, “My Guitar.”
Judgement is a perfect reflection of roots reggae music reminiscent of singers such as Clinton Fearon and Sugar Minott. It was Sugar who mentored the young I-taweh and gave him the confidence to grow musically and to play many instruments. At one point, I-taweh toured with the legendary group, “Count Ossie’s Mystic Revelation of Rastafari.” I-taweh was surrounded by a deeply rooted dose of Rastafari and deeply expressed in “No Night,” “Never Fade Away” and “Come Away.” Battlefield further accentuates hopelessness of war, “You win when you are the one with the most victims. In this war, no one can win. When this one ends, another begins.”
Judgement includes beautifully crafted background vocals, danceable horns and hand layered percussion supporting the album’s roots quality. The addition of three dubs, Judgement Dub, No Night in Dub and Come Away Dub gives the album an additional boost for radio and club DJs and especially for the growing fan base who just love the dub experience.
Judgement is the type of album, where one loves to sit back, take a long draw, and absorb the strength of voice, lyrics and fine production. ~