Old pirates, yes, they rob I,
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the almighty.
We forward in this generation
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have—
I've been hearing a lot about Ms. Dynamite's performance at Live8. Numerous attendees have rhapsodized over the power of her "Redemption Song" cover. Even commentators who had already blasted her for being the token black Live8 performer seemed to soften their tone when talking about her actual contribution. And BTW, yes, although I have plenty of beef with Live8, as I had to express to a friend lately, that does not mean that I've ever felt it necessary as a result to denigrate everyone who supported Live8. I'll leave the indiscriminate spray of spleen to others. Anyway did people really expect anything pedestrian from the wicked brilliant Ms. Dynamite? From the woman who can chat in rapid syncopated fire like a semi-automatic gun, and then sing as engagingly as a Savannah weaver bird? Once I heard that she covered Bob Marley's wonderful song, I knew I had to hear for myself.
The first time I heard Ms. Dynamite was when she set fire 'pon Sticky's UK Garage club anthem, "Booo!", which soon became an Ogbuji household anthem. Next I heard her shred the So Solid track "Envy (They don't know)" (which couldn't become an anthem at our house because Lori unfortunately hates The So Solid Crew). So we were mad ready when she dropped A Little Deeper ("It takes more" and "Dynamite" from the single had already taken their turn as household anthems). But never mind my family's endorsement, let's hear from Ali G:
Next up is MC Dynamite, who is me favorite Garage MC with his or her track called "Dynamite". That is a wicked name for the track and me swear this track is just like Dynamite, because it's going to explode like a massive bit of dynamite. And like this kind of record, dynamite can make a lot of mess and proper mash things up, just like Dynamite can. Oh yeah, this track can also blow up like dynamite. Sure this track ain't red, and don't come in boxes with the name "dynamite" on them, but this tune is also on fire, just like Dynamite, innit? This is also a banging tune, and dynamite goes "bang" when it come out of the box, doesn't it?
OK. Enough with the Sacha Cohen. I hunted down the Live8 performance, first finding an AOL/Netscape widget site that offered Live8 videos but refused to work with Firefox. I did eventually find a collection of Live8 mp3s, including this "Redemption Song" Live8 clip. I also got the concert version "Dy-na-mi-tee", another favorite, a really sweet old-school romp (old school beat, old school sentiment, etc.) through her airy brand of nostalgia. I must say it sounded a bit muddled and rushed at Live8, which I can understand from what I heard of the logistical difficulties of cramming so many acts together in such an unforgiving schedule. She did add bongos to the background, which I think is a nice touch. Sounds as if it would have made a nice studio remix, but she's on to her next project, I understand. Hells yeah. I'm all about a new Ms. Dynamite album (can't find any solid links yet, just the rumors of a new album).
One note of interest, some cat I don't think I've heard before performed a rap at the end of "Redemption Song". The lyrics are fairly insightful, with just a couple of WTF bits.
What's going on, nothing's changed, we're still exploiting the poor
Slavery never ends, yo it just changed wars
AIDS and free trade decimating the young
Famine everywhere but why never a shortage of guns?
Conflict, duel all over the globe instigated by our leaders
War in the Motherland but no African arms dealers
The West robbed the third world of every single cent
Now there's Third World debt. How does that make sense?
The last two lines do smack it all home, on the real, although I think we need to get past all that. Africans will get theirs back from the West, over time. Demographic power and all that. The more immediate concern is Africa's independent economic development.
But at least they got some Dynamite, and we got a reminder that Bob Marley's song is a superlative testament to the emotive and universal power of music.
And hey. Yay! I scrounged out a few minutes for a Quotīdiē. Chicken noodle soup for the overworked soul.