Somebody say pullllll upppp *airhorn*
You probably heard this phrase if you went to the club in 2003. Every. Single. Time. It still remains the Jamaican staple for the best "riddims."
If you aren't familiar with Caribbean dancehall culture, "riddims" is another word for rhythm or beat. The system is a bit different than hip-hop. It's unheard of to share a beat in rap, whereas it's the norm to perform on the same riddim in Dancehall Reggae. How else can you tell who is really the best DJ? This is what I call an even playing field.
Note The "DJ" in reggae means the artist not the person with turntables, that person is called the selector. So Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Shaggy are a DJs and whoever is "selecting" their records are the selectors.
Got it? Good.
Another interesting thing about "riddims" are that they have really unique names. Rice and Peas, "Jet Lag" perfect for travelers, Tip Toe, Toppatop, Scarecrow, Final Warning, Playground, and Lost Angel are all colorfully-named riddims. I have no idea why this is the case, but it is my dream job to come up with the names. (I would name my first riddim Dora Di Explorer.)
Now you know the basics let's get to di chunes dem!
10) Buzz Riddim
9) Liquid Riddim
8) Martial Arts Riddim
7) Hard Times Riddim
6) Mad Antz Riddim
5) High Altitude Riddim
4) Drop Leaf Riddim
3) Power Cut Riddim
2) Anger Management Riddim
1) Diwali Riddim.
This riddim was by far the most popular during this era. It brought you many crossover hits like Sean Paul's "Get Busy," Lumidee's "Never Leave You" and Rihanna's "Pon De Replay."
Now when I say greatest of all time I really mean from 2000-2005. During this era daily chores became choreographed dances that you did anywhere; pon di replay, pon di river, and pon di bank. Good times.
Here is a bonus from 1998:
Do you have a favorite reggae song? Let us know in the comments below!sextoy...
West Indians share many things. Cuisine, music, an impenetrable resilience and national pride. But we also collectively share a history of colonialism that set the majority of Europe up for generations of fiscal success built on the slave trade and years of colonial rule.
Despite the furrowed brows and hushed voices that accompany conversations about reparations, there is a global precedent for this, especially when it comes to the former British Empire. By definition, reparations are simply "making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged."
In 2013, Britain apologized to the members of the Mau Mau Uprising, Kenya's struggle for independence. Britain set up colonial detention camps and physically and mentally abused Kenyans who opposed their colonial government. The settlement was around 20 million pounds, paid out to approximately 5,228 of the victims and their families. William Hague, who was serving as the secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs at the time, went on record:
"The British government sincerely regrets that these abuses took place and that they marred Kenya's progress to independence. Torture and ill-treatment are abhorrent violations of human dignity which we unreservedly condemn."
Mr. Hague also made sure to qualify this ruling as not a matter of justice, but a simple court preceding with absolutely no relevance to anything else:
"We do not believe that this settlement establishes a precedent in relation to any other former British colonial administration..."
You'll never be successful telling a Jamaican to be quiet, especially when they have something to say. You'll be even more unsuccessful suggesting that an entire nation simply "move forward" as a means to avoid a difficult and uncomfortable conversation. That's not progress. It's benevolent subjugation under the guise of shared prosperity. If aid looks like a new prison to extradite offenders back to Jamaica, I'd hate to see what advancement looks like. Most developing nations have had their progress delayed or impeded at one time or another because someone else tried determine their destiny for them.
Popcaan was right: the system is designed to set we up.
For a living definition of black excellence, you don’t have to look much further than the Caribbean. Ravaged for its natural resources, delegated as the property of its colonial overseers, politically disenfranchised via countless policy restrictions and legal adaptations and denied access to self-determine their economic identity, except for under the control and watchful eye of the same European nations who unjustly benefited, prospered and created a sustainable world on the backs and broken necks of black bodies. Still, we rise.
As Ta-Nehisi Coates points out in The Case for Reparations:
“Plunder in the past makes plunder in the present efficient.”
This dialogue is part of a global sentiment that rings true from South London to Portmore; that contrition is only one of many outputs for reconciliation to become tangible, not the sole outcome. That policies with historical ties to slavery are, in fact, not to be passed off as ancestral burdens, but are even more salient today because their legacy keeps people bound by their situations and their mind state. That the economic condition of Jamaica and other nations in the region is neither a random turn of fate or a cosmic act of happenstance. That if you seek to come here, build relationships and promote shared peace and prosperity, you are also bound to share in not just the feeling of development, but the actual work.
David Cameron doesn’t have to talk about slavery. But that doesn't make its legacy any less salient. He doesn't have the power to change history, even if his comments belittle it. But like any leader, his positioning represents the feelings and sentiments of a nation, past and present. Black people are not afforded the ability to disassociate from their individual pasts, and are judged every single day by them in a myriad of situations that can often cost our lives. We must know our history well enough to not let anyone else dictate it, and to make them aware every time they try to co-opt the narrative.
That truth is a violently inconvenient one, that former Jamaican prime minister P.J. Patterson eloquently articulated:
"Those 180 years were followed by another 100 years of imposed racial apartheid in which these families were racially oppressed by British armies and colonial machinery. The scars of this oppression are still alive in the minds and hearts of million of Jamaicans."
I am not naive enough to assume that reparations can fix or permanently mend the economic binds or conditions that many Caribbean countries find themselves in. But, as someone who is a product of Trinidadian sun and Mississippi mud, I am keenly aware that there is blood in this water, no matter how clear or warm it is.
But it doesn't define us. Instead, Jamaica and her many cousins have found ways to survive and persist, regardless of the circumstances. We wave our flags. We create micro-communities where our food, traditions, and communal history is protected and nurtured. We show up to the Olympics and leave the world breathless. Your favorite artist's favorite artist probably has roots near the equator. We throw the best functions on the planet, and the entire world scrambles to get on the guest list. Our defiance takes many forms and a variety of mediums, but there is an enduring loudness in how we engage with a world that loves what we make, but despises who we are.
Dem nuh worry we. They never have.
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The 2015 BET Awards have come to a close and we were wowed by the performances, the tributes, the awards and the "huh?" moments. As Caribbean Heritage Month comes to a close, let's highlight and recognize some of our Caribbean celebrities who made an appearance to support and/or perform at the awards show. Shout out to them for holding it down!
Jason Derulo - Haiti
Nicki Minaj - Trinidad
Lala Anthony - Puerto Rico
Tori Kelly - Jamaica, Puerto Rico
Rihanna - Barbados
Eva Marcille - Puerto Rico
Doug E. Fresh - Barbados
Karen Civil - Haiti
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With an all-year forecast of warm, sunny weather, alluring saltwater beaches and serene sunsets, Jamaica is undeniably one of the most beautiful countries in the Caribbean. But aside from the white sand beaches, irie vibes and palm trees, the island’s beauty transcends well beyond its aesthetic appeal.
As the indigenous land of the Taíno peoples, and birthplace of Black revolutionist Marcus Garvey and reggae music icon Beres Hammond, it is Jamaica’s riveting history and affluent culture that captures the true essence of this distinct Caribbean nation.
Whether you visit a local museum, climb Dunns River Falls or experience first-hand the unparalleled hospitality of a local resident, Jamaica is an exceptionally ideal destination for inquisitive Black millennials who are interested in expanding their African diasporic knowledge.
If you’re planning to visit this exquisite island (hopefully in the near future), here are some captivating historic landmarks to visit during your stay.
32 Market Street
Located on the north coast of the island in St. Ann’s Bay, this historic site is the birthplace of the Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero.
Accompong Maroon Village
Accompong Maroon Village, named after the esteemed Maroon leader, is a historical village located in the southwestern parish of St. Elizabeth. In 1739, runaway slaves forced African migrants signed a peace treaty with British settlers to gain sovereignty over the land, where they originally settled with the indigenous Taíno peoples of Jamaica. The treaty still stands today. Current residents of Accompong share similar cultural practices as their African ancestors, which are believed to have originated 200-300 years ago.
Bamboo Avenue is one of the most unique and majestic sites in the parish of St. Elizabeth. Established in the 17th century, this two and a half mile stretch of road is lined with giant bamboo plants on both sides which tower above the street, creating a natural shady tunnel.
Bob Marley Museum
Six years after Bob Marley’s death in 1981, wife Rita Marley transformed their house into a museum, inviting residents and tourists to explore the life of the late reggae music paragon right in his own home. The property features some of Marley’s personal belongings, an 80-person theatre, photo gallery, gift shop and a restaurant.
Blue Mountain Peak
Standing at 7,402 feet, Blue Mountain Peak is the highest mountain in Jamaica. Located on the border of the parishes of Portland and St. Thomas, is it known as a great destination for hiking and camping, and is also the only place where Jamaica’s famed Blue Mountain Coffee can be grown.
Devon House Heritage Site
Built in 1881, the Devon House mansion is the former home of Jamaica’s first Black millionaire and philanthropist, George Stiebel. In 1990 the Jamaica National Heritage Trust declared the property a national monument.
Dunns River Falls
Located in the popular tourist destination of Ocho Rios, St Ann, Dunns River Falls has a deep history ranging back to the 15th century. It is believed that near this site in 1657 the battle of “Las Chorreras” took place, where the British claimed victory over the land. Today, Dunns River Falls has become a popular tourist destination. Visitors enjoy climbing the falls and lounging in one of the several nearby lagoons and pools.
Kingston’s Emancipation Park is best known for it’s 11-foot bronze sculpture created by Jamaican artist Laura Facey-Cooper. Unveiled in July 2003, this captivating sculpture symbolizes the Jamaican people’s jubilant rise from slavery.
Green Grotto Caves
The Green Grotto Caves were first discovered by the Taíno peoples of Jamaica, where fragments of their pottery and artifacts have been uncovered over time. During the 17th century, the Spanish used these caves as a hideout when the English invaded Jamaica.
Located in the country’s capital of Kingston, Liberty Hall was the former international headquarters for Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. Today, the building has been converted into a library, multimedia museum and educational center, focusing on the legacy of Garvey.
Emerging where the mountains of Santa Cruz come to an abrupt end, Lover’s Leap is believed to have been named after two 18th century lovers Mizzy and Tunkey. Word is their British master kidnapper took a liking to Mizzy and threatened to bid off Tunkey. The couple was simply not having that and instead chose end their lives by jumping off the cliff together.
Milk River Bath
Milk River Bath is a natural mineral spa in the parish of Clarendon. It is believed that during the 17th century, a slave, badly beaten by a slave master European settler, bathed in the natural waters and later returned fully healed.
National Gallery of Jamaica
Established in 1974, the National Gallery of Jamaica is the oldest and largest public art museum in the English-speaking Caribbean. This gallery features a collection of early, modern and contemporary art from Jamaica and other Caribbean nations.
National Heroes Park
The National Heroes Park, located in Kingston, houses several astounding monuments honoring the National Heroes of Jamaica.
Located in the Kingston Harbour, Port Royal, first known as Caguay or Caguaya, was originally used by the Taínos during their fishing expeditions. European settlers later renamed the area Port Royal and it became the center of shopping commerce in the Caribbean sea towards the end of the 17th century.
Rosie and ‘har fambilly’s yawd’
Royal Palm Reserve
This tranquil forest is one of Jamaica’s famed eco-tourism attractions. Here, visitors can discover 114 plant species, over 300 various bird, butterfly and reptile species and also the Morass Royal Palms, which are exclusive to Jamaica.
Sam Sharpe Square
Located in downtown Montego Bay, Sam Sharpe Square honors the Jamaican National Hero and resilient slave leader, Samuel Sharpe. In 1831 Sharpe organized the Christmas Abolition, where he urged other slaves African migrants to resist work on Christmas Day. This act of peaceful resilience later turned violent when several fires broke out days later, which resulted in hundreds of deaths. Sharpe was hung on May 23, 1832. Prior to his death he stated, “I would rather die upon yonder gallows than live in slavery.”
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