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Vybz Kartel, Chinna Smith Displeased About Treatment Of Marcus Garvey – DancehallMag

Rebel Nation | August 19, 2021

The legendary High Priest of Reggae Guitar, Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith and Vybz Kartel vented about the treatment of Jamaica’ first National Hero, Marcus Garvey, in life, and in death, as the world celebrated his birthday yesterday.

Yesterday, on his 134th birthday, numerous Dancehall and Reggae artists and producers posted images of the hero and hailed him, among them Kartel, who made a pointed remark about the black nationalist’s false imprisonment.

“Knowledge time:  Did you know that the 1st black man in the FBI was tasked with infiltrating Marcus’s U.N.I.A. movement and destroy it from within?! Yep…A bwoy name “James WORMLEY Jones”.  He actually succeeded and Marcus went to prison in america and was then deported,” Kartel wrote.

“Did you know Dutty Govt sent him to Prison in Jamaica, then after he died they made him our first national Hero. Smfh He then added: “Did you know TODAY IS THE BOSS’ BIRTHDAY??? #MARCUGARVEYLIVETHFOREVER

Chinna expressed displeasure that many Jamaican Reggae artists who have recorded songs about Marcus Garvey, or used quotes from his teachings, which brought them fame and enormous wealth, have failed to contribute tangibly toward maintaining the legacy of the National Hero.

Celebrated by Rastafarians as a prophet, Garvey, was a leader of the Pan-Africanism movement and inspired the songs of numerous Reggae artists throughout the years, among them Burning Spear, Fred Locks and even Bob Marley.

“I think Marcus Garvey has been robbed… Because if you go and check all those artistes who use up him lyrics – Marcus Garvey words come to pass – try find out what are their contributions to a Marcus Garvey Day or the whole St Ann’s project,” Chinna is quoted as saying in a Gleaner interview.

Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith

“I won’t be calling any names because the songs are all out there, and we know who is singing them,” he added.

Over the decades, many Rastafarian singers have interpolated quotes from The Philosophy and Opinion of Marcus Garvey, into their songs, the most famous of which is Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.

Burning Spear shot to superstardom after releasing an entire album titled Marcus Garvey in 1975.

Reggae singer Fred Locks also achieved huge success with his 1976 single titled Black Star Liners, which has been dubbed one of “the most important songs in reggae music of the 1970s”.  It was based on Garvey’s shipping line Black Star Liner which the. St Ann native had established to facilitate the transportation of goods and people of African descent to the Motherland, as part of the Back-to-Africa movement.

There were also other songs from Johnny Clarke and the Agrovators with Poor Marcus; Culture also released a song titled, Marcus while The Visionaries recorded Marcus Garvey.  Perfect also penned a song titled  Black Marcus while Third World recorded Man of Nobility in 1987.   Tarrus Riley was also in the mix with Love Created I.

The 1977 Reggae album by Culture, Two Sevens Clash, also featured a song titled Black Starliner Must Come.

Chinna, who has been an active guitarist since the late 1960s, is known for his work with the Soul Syndicate band.  He has recorded with numerous Reggae artists, and has appeared on more than 500 albums.  He was co-producer of dub poet Mutabruka’s 1983 debut studio album Check It! and was also the arranger for classic Reggae songs such as Junior Byles’ Fade Away.

Like the outcry made by Foota Hype just over a week ago, Chinna also pointed to how persons fail to contribute to the legacy of Emperor Haile Selassie I.

“Same way how people call upon Haile Selassie I name and same way dem deal towards Ethiopian everything,” Chinna said.

“It’s good that we have saints like Marcus Garvey and Haile Selassie who give us so much power, but it is so sad that when we use up dem name and dem lyrics, we don’t contribute anything towards that movement. That is the sad part…,” he added.

Garvey was born on August 17, 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay and died on June 10, 1940, in West Kensington, London.



Written by Rebel Nation


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