If It Wasn't For Rasta
Macka B wades into the Valiant, Kabaka Pyramid schism
Macka B

Uk-based recording artiste Macka B has weighed in on the controversy between Grammy Award-winning singer Kabaka Pyramid and Valiant with the track If It Wasn't For Rasta.

"The song is about how Jamaica would be a much more violent place if not for the words and culture of Rastafari. The positive messages and livity and the emphasis on peace and love give the youths an alternative to the negativity that we see in the world today," the artiste said.

Produced by Taitu Records, the track was released on March 24.

The controversy between the two artistes reportedly started when Valiant released Rasta, which Kabaka found to be offensive towards Rastafarians. Kabaka was later accused of hypocrisy by Dr Isis Semaj-Hall, lecturer at The University of the West Indies, Mona, who suggested that there was no public outcry against Americans who sang about Rastafarians.

Kabaka Pyramid

Kabaka shot back saying that he expected more from Jamaicans as he did not expect Americans to have integrity and understand what Rastafarianism is about.

The music video shows Valiant and his crew mimicking Rastafarian culture by rocking fake locs and scarves in black, red, green, and gold — reminiscent of traditional Rastafarian colours.

Meanwhile, the track's producer, Amanda Ford, hopes that his track will highlight the positivity of the Rastafarian movement, despite all the back and forth over the last couple weeks.

"This is a song about the contributions of Rastafarians to Jamaica, and the power of conscious reggae music to change hearts and minds. It fits the present moment perfectly with the recent controversy over Valiant's song Rasta and Kabaka Pyramid's comments on it. It wasn't planned, but it bridges the gap between opposing viewpoints, so we thought we ought to get it out," Ford said.


The track appears on the Go With Jah rhythm, which features artistes such as Daweh Congo, Samory I, and Micah Shemaiah. It is also a single from the upcoming Macka B Meets Samory I Showcase, a project that the artiste has been working on with the label.

"Samory I is an extremely promising [up-and-coming] singer, and I thought an established and esteemed DJ would make for a great showcase album as used to be common in reggae music," the producer elaborated about the project.

Taitu Records has a host of hits under its belt, as well as many singles and compilations with artistes including Yami Bolo, Aidonia, I Octane, Little Roy, Masicka, and Abijah.

"I specialise in roots reggae and dub, with a touch of dancehall. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy dancehall, but I know for a fact that conscious reggae music can change not only hearts and minds, but no less than people's lives. It may sound crazy to some, but I'm living proof, and I know so many others whose lives have been touched by the inspiration and transformative power in conscious roots reggae music," Ford added.

BY KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer entertainment@jamaicaobserver.com

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