December 14, 2015
The Beat Goes (Back) On!
Best of The Beat on Afropop: Youssou Ndour
Best of The Beat on Afropop: Miriam Makeba--Remembering Mama Africa
Best of The Beat on Afropop: Orlando Julius Ekemode
Best of The Beat on Afropop: Rapso From Trinidad and Tobago
Best of The Beat on Afropop: Remembering Nelson Mandela
Best of The Beat on Afropop: Remembering Tabu Ley Rochereau
Best of The Beat on Afropop: Remembering Pepe Kalle
Best of The Beat on Afropop: Manu Dibango
Best of The Beat on Afropop: Bonnie Raitt--A Blueswoman in Mali
Best of The Beat on Afropop: Sekouba Bambino Diabate
Best of The Beat on Afropop: Reggae in Africa, Part One
November 8, 2015
The Beat also goes on at Facebook. "Like" the pages of Beat Magazine and Afropop Worldwide to stay abreast of new feature articles as they are posted.We invite you to check in frequently to see what treasures we have unearthed from the Golden Age!
CC Smith, Afropop Editor at Large
November 23, 2014
Reprinted from Jamaica Gleaner, published Nov. 23, 2014: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20141123/focus/focus4.html
Shame on family for peddling patriarch as brand
Steve Heilig, Guest Columnist
Dear Rita, Cedella, and Rohan Marley:
Congratulations on last week's very visible launch of your forthcoming Marley Natural brand of marijuana. As no doubt intended, you received worldwide media coverage.
But I am also compelled to ask: Have you no shame?
Don't get me wrong. As a longtime reggae fanatic and journalist, I have long revered Bob Marley's music and messages. I went to his concerts and even met him once - where I was in awe of his presence. The BEAT magazine, a leading world music journal and my primary publisher for many years, devoted entire issues to him every year.
Collectively, we, too, loved the man. And as for cannabis, I, too, favour legalisation and have even contributed to major medical policy papers advocating that - if carefully done.
But contrary to what Cedella has told the press, Bob Marley is not a brand. The businessmen you have partnered with to sell cannabis make no bones about their motivations - money, and money only. They are what Bob Marley referred to as "pure Babylon".
As you know, herb to him was a sacrament, not just another product to be marketed for profit by capitalists. Anti-herb drug warriors are already using your product launch as an example of Big Cannabis practices that will prove that marijuana should remain illegal. I strongly believe that rather than smiling about this latest attempt to cash in on his image, your father/husband is spinning in his grave.
Letter to Bob
You may have a way to redeem this looming debacle, however. Back in 2005, Stephen Davis, who knew Bob Marley and wrote one of the best books about him, penned a scathing open letter to him in The BEAT magazine. Davis lamented the infighting, greed, and scandal that ensued among your family after his death, and asked, very pointedly:
"Where is the Bob Marley Hospital for the Poor that should be operating in Spanish Town? Where is the Bob Marley Orphanage that should be the pride of St Ann's Bay? What about the Bob Marley Home for the Aged in Negril, or the Bob Marley Early Childcare Centre in Sligoville and Port Antonio? These non-existent institutions don't exist because your family has other priorities, which seem to be mostly themselves."
So here is your challenge, and your opportunity - which should be a relatively easy one to fulfil, as I very much doubt any of you are truly in need of more money. I note that there is a Healing of the Nation page on your new product website - which is so far blank. If you will now make a public, binding pledge to devote all profits from Marley cannabis to an independent, audited foundation that will provide the sort of essential human services Davis proposed, Bob Marley might indeed smile from beyond. Otherwise, many of us who remember his message will continue to believe that his family is defiling his memory.
And finally, in the same edition of the magazine where Mr Davis' open letter appeared, there was a 1936 speech by Emperor Haile Selassie, whom Bob Marley himself revered, of course. Its title: 'God and history will remember your judgment'. I humbly suggest you think about that before you attempt to cash in again on the name you have been so fortunate to inherit.
Steve Heilig is a health-care ethicist and ethnomusicologist based in San Francisco and Marin. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
November 16, 2012
Catch Me Time Records presents a varied set of reggae music from a diverse group of female artists. The CD, recorded at Mystery Man and Rough Sounds studios in Los Angeles and produced by Chuck Foster, long-time host of Reggae Central on KPFK-LA, features vocals from Universal Speakers, Shayna Dread, Jessica Burks, Jordan Mercedes, Zema and Queen P inna showcase-style with each song followed by a full-length dub. All of the artists brings their own individual background, experience and quality to the mix.
March 8, 2012
February 4, 2012
Zine Archive: The Beat // July 1983 « Shimmy Shimmy
Before The Beat magazine turned into a fully-fledged, full colour glossy magazine, it was a proper black-and-white one page one dollar newsletter. It was started in 1982, by C.C. Smith and Roger Steffens – who is the world’s foremost authority on Bob Marley (and has the most amazing memorabilia collection, including an amazing Bob bead curtain). It was the only reggae/african/world music dedicated magazine in the US, and sadly shut its press last year.
I have this copy of July/August 1983 issue, which features an interview with Lee Scratch Perry, talking his usual nonsense:
My name is King David, I love to fling stone. Right? My papa is King Solomon Emperor Haile Selassie I the black gorilla king, Super Ape right? He can change into a lion, a monkey, a leopard, any thing. He has the power to do anything, right? He is the capricorn right? He is the sagittarius right? He’s the every-fucking thing (p17, interview with Doug Wendt)
Aside from the Scratch feature, there are some amazing adverts for different reggae shops, mostly in California, complete playlists from Steffens’ Reggae Beat International radio show, on KCRW, columns like ‘Collector’s Corner’, ‘Reggae Ramblins’, an interesting piece addressing whether ‘reggae really wants commercial success’ and the chronic mishandling of reggae as a business, a comic strip based on a rasta called Ducky Dred, a feature on Chicago reggae bands, and this reggae game, for the hardened reggae stoner: Roll up 3 spliffs and start here!
My favourite outtakes from the issue:
December 20, 2011
This display shows many of The Beat's Marley issue covers along with other magazines featuring Bob collected by Roger over the years.