The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reggae?

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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby underated » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:39 pm

Enjoyed reading the posts, there are good points made.

When i think about it now, i have came to the conclusion that the time is right for a new reggae generation.
The music does not have to change , only part of the culture & lyrical content.
The spiritual side is still important , less rasta & herb talk, that was the old days.

I don't know how others feel,
i do need to listen to a new form of reggae though.
The whole old reggae culture is tiresome & boring.
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby Roman » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:56 pm

underated wrote:Enjoyed reading the posts, there are good points made.

When i think about it now, i have came to the conclusion that the time is right for a new reggae generation.
The music does not have to change , only part of the culture & lyrical content.
The spiritual side is still important , less rasta & herb talk, that was the old days.

I don't know how others feel,
i do need to listen to a new form of reggae though.
The whole old reggae culture is tiresome & boring.


I don't mean to disrespect you, but perhaps reggae isn't really your cup of tea? I mean first you say you can't stand the lyrical content in reggae songs, then you demand "less rasta & herb talk". You also say that you "don't go to gigs & don't jam with musicians anymore", because "you just don't want to be around smokers".

What is "the spiritual side" that you constantly mention?
You also say that "Education is the key", but what kind of education are you proposing?

Can you explain?

Personally I strongly disagree with your stereotypical image "reggae=rasta=ganja" of reggae music. Maybe it's time to open your mind and your eyes a little bit? If you do so I am sure you will enjoy reggae music as much as I've done in the last 15 years. It's so much deeper and much more complex than any extsting stereotype of it. I promise. Seek and you shall find )

You say you want to change reggae? Just go ahead and do so. I mean make some music, sing about something you believe in, arrange a gig or a festival for non ganja smokers only. I don't know...
Last edited by Roman on Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby underated » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:13 pm

@ Roman,

yeah sure, i will try to write something later.

it is hard to describe feelings on the internet though, much gets lost in translation & interpretation though :)
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby Well Charge » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:19 pm

I love reggae when i have a hangover. I can concentrate much more on the details in the sound. The same goes for ganja influence, though i'm too much of a wussy to smoke a lot.
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby Roman » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:58 pm

Well Charge: I don't love reggae at all when I have hangover. I only love this beautiful woman and everything she says: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wByY_8OumgQ

There's always somebody to love, even in Belgium:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laOTDT4kBRo
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby underated » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:29 pm

@ Roman

perhaps reggae isn't really your cup of tea? .

All through the 80's & 90's roots was my fav type of reggae.
I would also think nothing of travelling 500 miles to see my fav artists play, then miss the bus & sleep rough for the night.
Nowadays i do prefer Dub, the wailers & studio 1 songs.


I mean first you say you can't stand the lyrical content in reggae songs


I don't believe in the divinity of Haile Selassie I, in the past it never bothered me, i also listened to a lot of rap, don't like some of those lyrics either, we are all allowed to change our thinking.


then you demand "less rasta & herb talk"

I don't demand anything, just my preference only.



You also say that you "don't go to gigs & don't jam with musicians anymore", because "you just don't want to be around smokers".


In the 80's & 90's i was a herbalist, & tobacco user. I don't like second hand smoke & plus the temptation is always there.
I don't go to bars often either as i was a heavy drinker also, work hard drink hard kind of thing.

I left the UK about 13 years ago, i wanted to leave some things back there as well, [took a couple more years to quit tobacco though ].


What is "the spiritual side" that you constantly mention?
You also say that "Education is the key", but what kind of education are you proposing?

I'M not a devout religious person by any means of the imagination. I just think there is more to life than songs about sex, materialism & general ego tripping, i prefer art to entertainment.
Education is the key as regards to herb, it is a medicine with many uses.

The mean streets hold no future for the youths. People will kill & rob for a nickle bag, shoot wildly into a crowd if they think someone is trying to rip them off or show disrespect in any way.
Youths hanging around street corners, when they should be at home reading.
Legalising herb will help to cut down on the violent element. We don't need a new generation of stoners though, the years just waste away.


Maybe it's time to open your mind and your eyes a little bit? If you do so I am sure you will enjoy reggae music as much as I've done in the last 15 years.

I try to keep my eyes & ears open as much as possible, i do still enjoy reggae, always listening for something good & with my own musical hobby have been making reggae riddims for years, as of late hip hop is my thing.still enjoy reading about reggae, [that's why i visit here].


You say you want to change reggae? Just go ahead and do so. I mean make some music, sing about something you believe in, arrange a gig or a festival for non ganja smokers only. I don't know...

Not really on a mission, more of a quiet family guy, perhaps will pick the mic up again in the future, just enjoying listening to & playing instro music as of late, yes the learning curve never ends.

I hope this answers some of your questions.
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby Roman » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:44 pm

Thanks for sharing your story Underated. I started smoking weed before I got into reggae and... I've been drinking lots too. It feels like many people have gone through this. I've also been a sort of "spiritual seeker" but ended up empty handed. Don't want no more of the so called "spirituality".

I still smoke around 3-5 cigarettes a day. Can't quit completely though - I think it's much harder to quit smoking tobacco than weed. I got tired of smoking pot and drinking alcohol so I cut down my consumption of both.

I am not a youngster anymore but I still love to be in the woods alone listening to some heavy roots / dub music. I've always been an antisocial individual and when I was youger I tried to fight my antisocial tendencies without much success. Only later, in my late 20s/early 30s I finally realized that I didn't really have to adjust myself to the world of plastic smiles.

I believe many people on this board are just like me. So called "standard people" no matter what color, class or race they may be usually don't get attracted by such music as reggae/dub.
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby Apostle » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:50 pm

underated wrote:When i think about it now, i have came to the conclusion that the time is right for a new reggae generation.


I feel the same way. Roman, it seems to me you disagree with Underated because you cherish reggae culture in all its aspect and have shown a few times before that you don't see the point of compromise.
I don't think reggae should compromise -it's rebel music after all.
As ItalDokta writes, it's clear that the ganja stereotype has been used extensively to attract a white audience. In the long run, I doubt that the music needs this kind of association to attract more listeners.
Smoking weed was a relatively new phenomenon to the listeners of the sixties. Now it's present everywhere in youth culture and regarded as pretty average. So the only thing the stereotype does for the music right now is provide it with an image that makes it look like passive stoner music. It will need a long time but I wouldn't regret it if the ganja leaf imagery would go out of fashion. It's a very narrow and tiresome perspective.
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby dan i dubdub » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:57 pm

Here is a question - as selectors, how many of you play ganja tunes on a regular basis?

Was just discussing this with the guy I work sound with the other day and we realised that we don't really, not consciously, no big decision, we just don't seem to. Not that we don't enjoy herbs, just doesn't need that kind of advertising anymore. Things have kind of changed since the smoking ban in the UK anyway.

It's been an interesting thread.
bring love spread peace

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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby i M@N » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:23 pm

There is this joke where two rastamen are listening to reggae and run out of weed and then one says "hey! What is that sh*tty music?" :mrgreen:
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby Apostle » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:06 pm

dan i dubdub wrote: as selectors, how many of you play ganja tunes on a regular basis?


Almost never actually, although 'Police in Helicopter' was among my very first 7 inches. As you say it seems pretty pointless to advocate weed to the audience of today- there's nobody to persuade.

Still wonder about the nature of the earliest roots sessions and if that particular anecdote rings a bell for anyone. Maybe some of the older members of the board (russ, steve?) could light us up here?
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby Roman » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:15 am

Apostle wrote:As ItalDokta writes, it's clear that the ganja stereotype has been used extensively to attract a white audience. In the long run, I doubt that the music needs this kind of association to attract more listeners.
Smoking weed was a relatively new phenomenon to the listeners of the sixties. Now it's present everywhere in youth culture and regarded as pretty average. So the only thing the stereotype does for the music right now is provide it with an image that makes it look like passive stoner music. It will need a long time but I wouldn't regret it if the ganja leaf imagery would go out of fashion. It's a very narrow and tiresome perspective.


I wouldn't regret it either Apostle, but on the other hand...

I believe the easiest way to get the masses to listen to reggae is to turn the whole thing into this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aRor905cCw

153 302 381 views, 445 503 likes and and 9 881 dislikes

I think it's very hard to maintain the balance between commercial success and "genuineness" (or whatever it's called in English) of music, especially when it comes to roots reggae / dub music

"If you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them"
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby monkeystyle » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:17 am

This thread begs the question; Did Dancehall become the more popular style of reggae in the dance when cocaine gained popularity as the party drug of choice?
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby Reggie Love » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:28 am

Interesting thread.

I was a spliffhead before I was a reggae-head but enjoyed the two together for many years. After 25 years of heavy smoking (tobacco as well as hash/weed) I was diagnosed with a tumour in my bladder four years ago which I was told by the specialist was caused by smoking. I gave up and am happy to say that it hasn't hampered my enjoyment of the music, though perhaps I don't get as excited - but thats age too. I used to smoke my way through lots of reggae gigs and dances (until the ban) , but I actually found that the first gig I went to after I stopped - Damien Marley and Nas - I enjoyed as much, if not more than any other. I think this was partly from not being taken into myself by weed and having more clarity and being more focussed on the music.

As for stereotypes, years ago I shared a flat with a Jamaican guy about ten years older than me and he kindly gave me access to his very good record collection. One day, soon after he moved in, he came home and I was chopping weed on a record cover. I offered him some and he said sternly, I don't smoke. . .and that's my bounty killer LP. That told me.

As for weed tunes, I don't have the tolerance for them I used to. But if someone is saying something fresh about it, for example Macka B's medical marijuana, then a top tune is a top tune. I think weed tunes have less power in the dance since the ban. Not like the old days when you could raise a spliff/pipe in agreement and solidarity. This is still rebel music and weed is still unfairly illegal (not that I care as much as I used to) and the police can still use it as an excuse to pick on rastas or whoever, so there's still a relevance for weed tunes while it remains illegal. But it seems like there are less weed tunes about and I think the image of reggae as weed music has been fading for a while, like the old Bob Marley with big spliff posters on the student wall.

Roman, I would say the ganja in JA is definately more sativa than indica. I really noticed the difference when I was there. You can get really 'high' and still be pretty lucid, rather than having your brain battered and scrambled like with most skunk-type varieties. I can see therefore how you can smoke a lot and reason. I remember being in Westmoreland, close to the mountains, and I saw some youths standing by an old car that was shaking from the bass of Police in Helicopter and it made me strongly aware of how these are reality tunes too.
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Re: The ganja stereotype: is it correct and does it help reg

Postby underated » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:36 am

A big shout out to Apostle & Reggie Love & anyone else out there that has suffered or continues to have health problems.
Hope your doing okay, all the best going out to you.
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