Interview: Sister Carol and Black Uhuru’s Michael Rose Live at Howard Theatre

April 29, 2013 § 1 Comment

Michael Rose

Michael Rose

When comedian Jimmy Fallon introduced Bill Cosby on his late night TV talk show earlier this month, house band The Roots broke into Black Uhuru‘s “Sponji Reggae,” and Cosby came in doing his signature boogie to the popular tune with Fallon following close behind. But drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson had to remind Cosby that the song was played on an episode of the Cosby show almost 30 years ago. For reggae fans it was a great trip down memory lane. At the Howard Theatre last Wednesday, while on tour with the “Black Cinderella” Sister Carol, by the time Black Uhuru’s Michael Rose launched into “Sponji Reggae,” we were in the middle of a more glorious trip; he was already deep into a crucial sampling of the group’s major hits. Sister Carol, clad in African regalia, opened the show at the historic DC landmark rather promptly at 9pm, with “Rastafari is my Savior,” then continued with a string of her familiar hits from the 90s. Michael Rose kicked off his segment with “Shine Eye Gal,” followed by ‘Plastic Smile” and “General Penitentiary.” Billed as the Balance Tour (the idea is apparently to correct the « Read the rest of this entry »

British Reggae Loses A Legend: RIP Smiley Culture

March 15, 2011 § 3 Comments

Smiley Culture

His most popular track remains one of my favorite records of all time. British Reggae Artist Smiley Culture bolted into the UK Top Twenty Charts with “Police Officer” back in 1984, and by some cruel ironic twist has now been pronounced dead after an incident with British Police. The Independent Police Complaints Commission are proclaiming his passing “death following Police contact,” although the police are saying they believe he stabbed himself after they raided his home in Surrey around 7 am this morning, March 15. Smiley’s real name was David Emmanuel, and his first hit was “Cockney Translation.” You can read this article for more information. Truly a sad loss for all reggae fans, especially followers of British reggae. Bless…

The song that did it for me: "Police Officer"

Interview with Morgan Heritage: “We want to come back!”

January 3, 2011 § 5 Comments

Jamaican reggae group Third World once reminisced about a visit to Nigeria in their song Lagos Jump: “Oiay Efusa, said the Oba to me, Rasta Messenger, you are welcome!” That was in 1983. Their compatriots in the group Morgan Heritage may well be doing something similar years from now when they reflect on their first visit to Sierra Leone in 2010. “We feel connected to the land here, and we feel connected to the people,” says Peter Morgan in their interview with Afrofusion TV. After their two shows at the National Stadium in Freetown, Morgan Heritage are headed home, but would love to return in April this year to join in Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary events. Needless to say, they are welcome!

Peter, Una and Lukes of Morgan Heritage speak with Anne Marie

Afrofusion would love to say thanks to Morgan Heritage’s manager, and also to technical director Sam Jones for providing us with the video clips from their show at the stadium. There are photos from that event that you can check out in my previous post. Bless…

Rita Marley’s Lifetime Commitment to Marcus Garvey

November 16, 2010 § 5 Comments

Rita Marley

Rita Marley, reggae artist and humanitarian, and widow of Reggae icon Bob Marley, sat in regal serenity at the Caribbean American Heritage Awards Gala in Washington, DC last week, giving little inkling of the true fighter that she is. For her passion and dedication to social justice and equal rights, she was being honored with the Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Caribbean Studies. For Rita Marley – born Alpharita Anderson in Santiago, Cuba, raised in Trench Town, Jamaica and now living in Ghana – there is a special gratification to this honor.  « Read the rest of this entry »

A Patient By the Name of Gregory

October 26, 2010 § 1 Comment

His was surely one of the most soothing voices in all of reggae music. You could say he put the “lover” in Lovers Rock. The “Cool Ruler,” as Gregory Isaacs came to be known, joined the ancestors last night after succumbing to cancer in London, England. I was introduced to his sound at a young age, a time when reggae artists found they had their fingers firmly on the pulse of what moved the young masses in sub-Saharan Africa and other developing regions of the world. By the time I got to my teens, I found myself swaying to the groove of songs like “Substitute,” and “Sad to Know that You’re Leaving.” Born in Jamaica, he was a member of the vocal trio The Concords until he went solo in 1973. Isaacs was greatly influenced by American soul singer Sam Cooke, himself a silky-voiced crooner, and went on to release more than 300 albums of his own material in his 40-year career. His most commercially successful record, Night Nurse was recorded at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Studios in Jamaica. Its title track (my favorite Gregory Isaacs song) is probably his most popular. “Substitute is gonna put you down,” he sang back in ’81. I’m sure most would agree that there will likely be no substitute to this reggae giant and his music. You can read how other reggae singers, including some of his contemporaries, have reacted to his passing here. R.I.P. Gregory. Bless…



Mello-D & the Rados – The Sound of Live Hip Hop

October 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Amongst thousands and thousands of very good MCs, a poet will flow like the breeze…” Rhymes delivered by no less blessed an MC than KRS One, and certainly the first ones that came to mind when I heard Mello-D dropping lyrics on the mic a few weeks ago.

Jam Session: DP, Mello-D and Olugbenga

Now, I had seen Mello-D perform live before, even though I’d never met the rest of his band, the Rados. Well, when Afrofusion TV dropped in on one of the band’s rehearsal sessions in the basement studio of Mello-D’s house in suburban Washington, DC, I thought to myself: this is the sound of true live hip hop.

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Gyptian to Light up Crossroads Nightclub

October 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

The ladies are in for a real treat tonight at the Crossroads Nightclub in Bladensburg, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. Jamaican reggae star Gyptian will be lighting up what’s billed as “Liquid Wednesdays” at the club – ladies free until 11pm – belting out his smash hits “Hold Yuh” and “Nah Let Go.” Afrofusion TV got a chance to chat with the young singer about the worldwide popularity of “Hold Yuh,” his inclusion on the recent “Distant Relatives” tour with Nas and Damien Marley, and his own trip to Africa a few years back. We’ll have a preview clip for you soon, I promise. In the meantime, watch Gyptian below big up Afrofusion TV inna lovers rock/dancehall stylee! And if you can’t be at Crossroads tonight, never fear! That’s why Afrofusion TV is here! We’ll bring you the action you missed, cause I can assure you, it’s going to be a MASH UP! Bless….

Gyptian getting ready for his interview

The Live Sound of Shabaka

September 28, 2010 § 1 Comment

Shabaka performing with his band

Surely one of the top dance floor fillers of the 1980s, Freddy Cole Shabaka’s “Dem Nor Wan Dance” was deliriously delivered live by this celebrated Sierra Leonean artist for the first time in years last Saturday. The event was a pageant for Ms. Sierra Leone USA 2010, now held biennially, in Silver Spring, Maryland. Shabaka’s music has always had that rootsy consciousness, and the newer songs he performed that night left no doubt that his art and heart still share the same space.
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