Tribal Seeds, which plays The Date Shed Feb. 1 in Coachella, includes (from left): Ryan Gonzo, E.N Young, Carlos Verdugo, Steve Rene Jacobo, Victor Navarro, and Tony-Ray Jacobo.
Growing up as kids in San Diego, the sweet wafting tunes of reggae floated through the home of brothers Tony-Ray and Steven Rene Jacobo.
Bob Marley and Steel Pulse were their favorites early on, but as they reached high school they found a St. Croix group called Midnight that inspired the brothers to think about starting their own band.
“Tribes are the original form of family, but more than that, it represents a community, brotherhood, where everyone was looking out for each other, and that’s what we want our band to represent,” says Tony-Ray Jacobo of the Reggae band Tribal Seeds.
The group is currently working on their soon-to-be released album, “Representing”.
“We are going to play three new songs, but I’m not going to say the names. Our hardcore fans will have to figure out which ones are new,” says Tony-Ray about their upcoming Feb. 1 show at The Date Shed in Indio.
After forming their tribe, musically speaking, the brothers never would have guessed whom their paths would cross along this reggae road.
In 2003, when Tony-Ray and Steven began jamming together, never would they suspect within a 10-year period that they would play with and next to Steel Pulse, The Wailers, and Midnight at various shows and festivals.
During that same time period, Tribal Seeds has grown to six members. They have been nominated “Best Of Reggae Albums ” by iTunes for both LP releases, and their last LP, “The Harvest”, hit No. 5 on the Billboard Reggae charts in 2009.
“Amlak Tafari, the bass player for Steel Pulse, pulled me up on stage (at a New Mexico festival in 2013) and had me sing the final number with them. It was unbelievable,” says Tony-Ray.
Long before Snoop Lion was an unripe bud-dream in Snoop Dogg's bizong, Rastafarians were influencing and shaping Jamaica's notoriously prolific musical output. Count Ossie teamed up with the Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari (a Rastafarian drumming group), who provided the percussion for his 1962 ska prototype Oh Carolina (the same one that Shaggy sexed up in 1993). Meanwhile, acts such as Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, the Congos, Beres Hammond – plus some bloke called Bob Marley – all made sure Rasta culture remained synonymous with reggae music.
But dancehall's emergence in the 80s and 90s started to make roots and Rasta seem past it. Weed was replaced with cocaine as the drug of choice, traditional live takes of songs were usurped by computer-programmed instrumentation, and the message of a Rasta "Ital" lifestyle was ditched for brash braggadocio, face bleaching and dance crazes that mixed sexual contortionism with WWE moves (daggering).
But Rasta roots were never going to go quietly into the Kingston night, and now 21-year-old Chronixx (né Jamar McNaughton) has emerged as the figurehead of its latest revival. Son of roots head Chronicle, he was making tracks for dancehall royalty such as Konshens before he was out of his teens. But after playing at Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records restaurant, it was Chronixx's own take on the roots sound that was touted as the jump-off point for a "musical revolution" in his home country.
Along with artists such as Proteje and Jah9, he's set about toppling dancehall's hegemony and filling the void left by Vybz Kartel (who's still in prison) and Mavado (who's still trying to make it in America). Mixing anti-war messages, calls for equality and using a live band, Zinc Fence Redemption, Chronixx is modernising reggae staples and breathing new life into the roots reggae movement. That might all sound a bit self-righteous but, like Damien Marley, he manages to marry the snarling attitude of dancehall with lyrics about social cohesion in a way that doesn't make you nod off. He soon caught the eye of reggae-culture magpie Diplo, who put out Chronixx's Start A Fyah mixtape under the umbrella of his Major Lazer project.
Chronixx isn't just content to harp on about Rasta life though; he takes aim at those who promote vacuous poppy dancehall, such as Vybz Kartel's former bezzy mate, Popcaan. Chronixx took him to task on his 90s ragga throwback tune Odd Ras, where he literally told him to pull his pants up and made it clear he wasn't interested in new trends such as tattooing or face bleaching. Snoop Lion might claim to be "born again", but Chronixx is dishing out lessons in the real three Rs: Rasta, and roots reggae.
Chronixx plays The Drum, Birmingham, 12 Oct; Scala, N1, 13 Oct
It’s been 30 years since his death; and there have many rumors and speculation about the cause of death. Did he really die from a brain tumor? Or other nefarious causes? Like the CIA? Poison in his boots etc?
Bob Marley’s medical records were never made public. However from several sources I managed to piece together the story of his illness and death from Metastatic Skin Cancer (Melanoma). This account I hope is fair, balanced and enlightening.