Benjamin Zephaniah – Revolutionary Minds – Fane Phonics – 2017
When I got my hands on the newly released album of Benjamin Zephaniah’s titled Revolutionary Minds, I knew I was in for a treat. I have always been a lover of dub poetry and the spoken word which I see as a powerful force when it comes to getting ones message across to the masses.
Benjamin Zephaniah has always been a favorite dub poet of mine, even though I must say that other dub poets rank high right along with him. Having in my possession already are four of his previous released albums with “Belly of the Beast” being the first in my collection followed by “Back to Roots”, “Rasta”, and then “Naked”.
On the reggae radio program, called The Iyah Music Show, I have played much dub poetry, more so in the past than now. The reason being that the pool of artists involved in dub poetry haven’t produced as many albums or I haven’t ran across them yet..
The month of September was selected for our fund drive at KUNM, 89.9 FM, in Albuquerque, and my radio show The Iyah Music Show, a 3 hour weekly program of roots, rock reggae, played an active part on Thursday night.
It was going to be an active night with ears tuned to the radio, so I decided to open the show with a selection by Benjamin Zephaniah titled “In This World”. The selection is about 7 minutes in length, but it draws you in with the drums dubwise and after about a minute in comes the poetry. This selection of music captures your attention and holds it while the words sink into your psyche and you get rocked with the truth.
The response from the listeners and people in the studio let me know right away that he had struck a nerve on topics and things that mattered to people all over the world. The coordinator of the fund drive entered the control room almost in tears about the fact that he touched upon topics that were near and dear to her heart which defined who she is today.
A school teacher called in during the pledge drive and made a donation with the special request to get him the information about the album and single. He wanted the info so he could purchase it and present it in his classroom to increase the awareness of his students to situations and conditions that we face on a world stage.
The selection In This World is a must listen, as it will open your eyes to the things taking place on the planet.
The first cut on the album Earth Liberation Sound speaks for the whole album with an introduction to Benjamin Zephaniah defining the sound coming at you once you get tuned in. With drum and bass rocking he describes what others may see, rude boy, Rastafarian, struggling to get ahead in a Babylon system.
The selection Revolutionary Minds is a must listen as he speaks on civil obedience and the impact it has had in the past and the present. Rocking with the beat comes easy as the steady tempo keeps you moving with a youthful touch by the voice over of a young lad chanting about revolutionary minds.
President is a strong message aimed at the presidents of the world, describing the outcome of their misdirected laws and policies. More Animal Writes speaks about the environment we live in with the presence of crooked cops, and the close-knit relationships they keep with each other. The piece Cool Down is also a favorite of mine as he speaks about conditions affecting women through violence and the impact of street life on the people caught in a world of sickness, hatred and desperation.
The album Revolutionary Minds is a solid piece of creativity that drives home the messages of hope and liberation, in this world full struggle and desperation. The album is a must listen, coming on strong with roots rocking rhythms, strong dub sounds, and penetrating words that paint a picture for all to see.
The brother Benjamin Zephaniah is deeper than you think, which is why I’ve provided more links that give greater insight into this creative artist.
More on Benjamin Zephaniah
Life Work, Views, Achievements, Books, Plays, Acting Roles, Discography