IJahKnowah goes all the way

A student of African history, IJahKnowah is disturbed by trends he considers detrimental to the black family, such as widespread violence in the United States and his native Jamaica.

He vents those concerns on Di Natural Way, a song he co-produced with musician Aubrey “Prince” Manning. Di Natural Way was released on April 22 by Code X Musik.

“What prompted Di Natural Way is the obvious and systematic destruction of the original African family. It is a direct message to our people to cease and desist from their destructive practices,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Those practices are not limited to black-on-black crime in areas such as Chicago and Kingston, but lifestyle habits IJahKnowah describes as “self-inflected genocide”.

Di Natural Way is the Atlanta-based singer’s first song for 2022. He again collaborated with Manning, his cousin, who played drums; guitarist Courtland White of the ATF Band; Paul “Wrong Move” Crosdale of the Firehouse Crew; percussionist Bongo Herman; and bassist Andrew Campbell.

Manning is the son of Donald Manning, an original member of legendary roots-reggae group The Abyssinians.

St Thomas-born IJahKnowah has been recording for over 20 years. Inspired by Burning Spear and Culture, he was previously lead singer of the Equal Rights and Natural Force reggae bands in the United States.

Two years ago he released the six-song EP Wake Up, which focused on the empowerment of black people in the wake of tragedies, such as the murder of George Floyd.

Wake Up, which featured his band B R A P and veteran keyboardist Dennis “Jah D” Fearon, was partially recorded at Tuff Gong studio in Kingston.

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

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