Grammy-winning reggae artiste Kabaka Pyramid has taken issue with the lyrical content of dancehall newcomer Valient’s recently released single Rasta.
Valiant released the music video for his latest single, Rasta, on March 5. The video has since garnered over a million views on YouTube and is currently the number one trending song on the platform. The video features Valiant and a number of the music video extras garbed in the traditional colours of the Rastafarian religion as well as faux locs.
While fans of the artiste have praised the single, Kabaka seemingly took issue with the Rastafarian culture’s inclusion in the track, tweeting that Rastafarians were now apparently a joke in Jamaica. Music producer Taugea “Countree Hype” Dayes, who produced the track, spoke out in the single’s defence, explaining that its intro, “Man a live like Rasta. No beef, no passa” was a reference to the Rastafarian beliefs of peace and unity.
Dayes added that the remainder of the song had nothing to do with Rastafarianism. The producer also said that there were things done by Rastafarians that have not been highlighted and questioned why he was criticising Valiant.
Kabaka did not respond to Dayes but responded to statements made by Dr Isis Semaj-Hall, lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Semaj-Hall said that there was no public outcry against Americans who sang about Rastafarians. But the Well Done singer expressed that he did not expect Americans to have integrity and understand what Rastafarianism is about.
The discussion was further lengthened after media practitioner ZJ Sparks posted Kabaka’s reaction to the song on Instagram. Dancehall artiste Konshens spoke out in defence of Valiant and said there were Rastafarians who had smeared the culture worse than Valiant could ever have done.
“Naah, respectfully, I dont think being a Jamaican means u have a responsibility to preserve rasta integrity, especially if u nuh believe inna rasta faith,” Konshens stated.
Kabaka went on to state that the fact that a talented artiste like Valiant had to sing songs about “Dunce an Sciance” to get attention spoke volumes about the state of the society.
“Di dj dem weh get him conscious song dem, unnu play dem? Me neva hear bout him, why is that?? A my fault mi neva hear bout him? Look how much conscious artist a try a ting an nah get heard,” Kabaka said.
In response to criticism about the actions of other Rastafarians like Koffee, the artiste questioned if the Rapture singer had ever declared herself a member of the Rastafarian faith.
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