Steffens sets record straight
Reggae historian Roger Steffens' comments in the story captioned 'Travesty if Snoop wins' (published in the Jamaica Observer, December 10) has drawn considerable reaction from online readers. He responds below.
I AM fascinated by many of the comments posted here, but some clarification of my remarks is necessary.
I by no means wish to disrespect the other four nominees in the reggae Grammy category. All of those artistes — Sizzla, Beres Hammond, Ziggy Marley and Sly & Robbie — have made fine, interesting albums.
Snoop, in attempting to co-opt the tenets of Rasta and present himself as a convert, cheapens the Rasta movement.
I noted this week he presented himself in concert as Snoopzilla. It is his cunning cultural appropriation that I find unappealing.
As for 'lisawright's' uninformed comments about me (even deliberately misspelling my name), yes, I did know Bob Marley personally and travelled with him for two weeks in November, 1979 on his 'Survival' tour.
He was the first guest on our Reggae Beat radio show in LA.
This past winter I spent two months, at the request of (Aston) 'Family Man' Barrett on the road with the Wailers band, as opening act on their 'Survival Revival' tour.
I am not a "self proclaimed reggae expert," and have never made that claim. However, others have said that about me based on my 40 years of study and devotion to the subject. But as far as I'm concerned, an expert is just someone from out of town.