After the recent spate of violence against women, society has been looking for effort to celebrate and empower females, now more than ever. This is the kind of platform Jah9 created Saturday night at Skyline Levels to speak out and sing out against all forms of negative energies.
This is the reggae artiste’s second event in Jamaica, after her free show last summer at Nanook and she definitely gave it her absolute all.
As usual, if you’re familiar with Jah9’s music, she presents herself as a spiritual warrior and messenger and therefore uses every opportunity to educate and stimulate something in the softer parts of ourselves and Jah9 live was of course no different.
The show was unlike any other reggae event I had ever experienced, it was packed with music and poetry and an amazing abundance of spiritual and feminine energies.
The brilliant band Uprising Roots were the power starters of the night that kept us rocking through the whole 15 minutes of their performance, slaying us with brilliant engaging dub tunes. Runkus was up next with a different, more acoustic, soft and sensual vibe. It wasn’t his ordinary “jump up jump up” but his showcase was entertaining all the same.
The poets Yashika Graham and Tara Downs from poetry society of Jamaica definitely added a little shimmer to the night with some powerful poetry performances.
To describe Jah9 on stage is to recite all the poetry ever to have written by all the powerful renaissance women, but to sum it all up, it would probably be fitting for me to say that her entire set was just completely otherworldly. It is one of those experiences that leave you speechless.
Bouncing from tune to tune from her 9 MM mixtape and her recently released album 9, the crowd was wild, from the firing of air shots to the dangling of arms in the air to salute “her highness”. Everyone raved at “unafraid” that called for the iconic “wheel and come again” from her band, the dub treatment. Hardcore was also a crowd favourite and Avocado was especially popular among the ladies in the audience who sang along proudly to every lyric and dipped and rocked to the bounce of the beats.
By the time the show ended, it was already past our bed time, but all the awesomeness was still soaking in our bones.
Jah9 live was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
Perhaps, the only thing left to say, is 'thank you Jah9'!
Photo: Kashiek Burrell