Malachi Smith gets ticked off


Malachi Smith gets ticked off

Associate Editor — Auto &

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

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TICK Off is the latest body of work from South Florida-based poet Malachi Smith. According to him, for this, his eighth studio album, he returned to his “traditional journey voice”.

“There are albums [on] which I like to take journeys in the poem; like I'm actually walking, taking journeys in the poem. I returned to that voice, so I'm more powerful when I go there,” Smith told the Jamaica Observer.

He tackles issues of police brutality, reparations, bankrupt political leaders, and mental illness.

Released in November 2020, the 11-track work was self-produced on the poet's 4-M Music imprint.

Zojak World Wide is handling the distribution. Its track listing comprises: Beat Down Zion's Door; Ticked Off featuring Novel-T, Chantil, Tosi Brooks and Laphone Boot; In My Head; Forgotten; Help Us; Joy; The Blacker The Berry; Bawling for Justice; The Mississippi Sings for Me; Number 5 Cemetery; and, bonus track, In My Head.

“The feedback has been good; I have been getting a lot of streaming. I made some CDs but we're mostly concentrating on electronic distribution,” he said.

A launch party for Tick Off was held at JEPA's Place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on November 22.

The invitation- only occasion was streamed live on Sons of Mystro and Cherry Natural were among the acts in performance.

Smith said he has “huge expectations” for the project.

“I enjoy it. It is a nice album. It has beautiful pieces to perform and for people to really listen to and question some things in this time,” he said.

Born in Westmoreland, Smith grew up in Central Village, Spanish Town, St Catherine.

He says he has been writing poems since elementary school and, in 1977, attended Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, where he rubbed shoulders with firebrand poets Oku Onuora and Mikey Smith.

He joined the Jamaica Constabulary Force after college, and migrated to Florida in 1983.

Host of the weekly radio programme, Strictly Roots Dub Poetry and More which airs on WZOP and WZPP in Florida, Smith's poems include One Population, How Yuh Mek Har Massa God, One Way and Wha Dis.

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