Mikey General interview
Mikey General passed through Truckee, California while on tour with Luciano, Dean Fraser and the Jahmessenjah Band on August 15, 2003. After an engaging starlit outdoor performance, Mikey and I sat down for the following discussion.
Having loving and positive thoughts results in loving and positive returns in our lives. Your current CD, “Exalt Jah,” with songs such as “As A Man Thinketh,” “Mind Over Matter,” and “Strive to Be Happy,” seems to rejoice in this philosophy.
Yes, it’s a very profound statement. When I was growing up I didn’t really know about the mind over matter philosophy. I heard about it but I never really tried to experience it for myself. As I grew up and grew older and especially since I came into the faith of Rastafari, I learned that I created my own environment with my thoughts. I saw how powerful it was if I just changed my thought because when I changed my way of thinking from that of the secular and started to hold onto Rastafari, I saw how the power of God changed my whole life. My whole environment when I was young was [geared towards going into the] professional corporate world. But because of accepting Rastafari and the music, my whole perception of life was changed. So I see how important thought is. I want to tell my brothers and sisters that if you change your mind and your way of thinking then you can change how things are happening around you. I think this is a very important message because I think there are lots of people out there who just grow up in the world and don’t even know they can change things just by changing their thoughts.
What guided your decision to change your path from a professional business career?
Rastafari influenced me but I would say the music first because the music is what led me even to Rastafari and to Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. I grew up listening to these men and trying to study their philosophy of life and know where they got such profound lyrics. Also while I was going to school I used to link up with Rastafari people and they also encouraged me and strengthened me into the faith. But I would say that it was even before accepting Rastafari that this concept came to me–I knew within myself that I had something special to do. But Rastafari strengthened me because I have been singing since I was a child but singing songs of love and soundboy tunes and all them kind of tune but never nothing that would really lead the people to a better way of life. Rastafari gave me direction and that’s why I always exalt Rastafari. You know I grew up in the church too and I also have a Christian concept of life but have seen the hypocrisy within the church and that turned me away from them. I decided that I needed to accept something that is not based on religion but within myself. That’s what Rastafari gives me-the opportunity to bring out my divine self.
Yes, the Creator and divinity within each of us…
Yes, yes… You know the song “Exalt Jah”? [Singing] “Exalt Jah The Children of the Most High God.” It’s from Psalms 82. So it was a recognition of the divinity within myself. It’s Psalms 82 that taught me to exalt Jah because the original concept of that song was not exalt Jah, it was “We Are All Gods” [singing] “We are all Gods, children of the most high,” because that’s a psalm. Someone said some people might take it literally or take it wrong because even though we know that we are Gods there is a supreme God and a Creator who brought us into manifestation. Now some Rastaman and some people might say that Haile Selassie I is God, and Jesus Christ is God, right? But I say that they are manifestations of God. They are not the supreme and almighty God. They are part of the almighty God because just like us they prayed too. Now anybody who prays must acknowledge a higher force than himself, you know what I mean? Haile Selassie I prayed, Jesus Christ prayed, so who were they praying to? They weren’t praying to themselves because no one can pray to themselves, you have to pray to a force higher than you. That shows us then the Christ corrector is obtainable to all men. All men can manifest the Christ corrector.
But even you are Christ because the scriptures tells us that the head of man is Christ. That means the higher self within man is the Christ self. So the higher self within man is the Christ but still the head of Christ is the Almighty, right? While Christ was in the flesh, he was walking up and down. He was sweating. He was eating. He went through all pains. While he was doing that the universe was still turning, trees were growing, plants were coming and things. He in his fleshical form wasn’t doing all that. He came and was doing the physical work within the dimension of the God-self. He was in the body and doing the physical work of the body. He was walking up and down and things. He wasn’t flying anywhere. Yet still while through that time the earth still a spin so who’s spinning the world while he was here? He was a part of that force so that’s why he used to connect himself with that force and prayed constantly. That is our focus too; we must pray constantly and connect with the God-head. The thing about Christ and the thing about his Emperor Majesty is that not even for a twinkling or a blinking of an eye was he separated from the God-head. That’s a very important thing. So if we could keep ourselves always connected to the almighty force, then naturally we would manifest divinity. Our divinity will show because Jah said we will bring out our righteousness like a new day.
Mankind has come to a major crossroads…
I know we are at a crossroads in the world but there are many people out there including yourself, and myself and brother Luci who are trying to point people in the right direction and know everyone has good in them. What we are doing is reminding them that there is a God that is a creating force and all that is happening on the earth a judgment is going to come. You know everyone has good and bad within them. That is what makes man even higher than the animals; our free will and choice. When Jah said he made man in His image and His likeness, He gave us that ability to choose. Animals move by instinct, they do everything naturally. They don’t have that choice to know certain things. Well I’n’I have that choice, that free will, we have the highest level of expression. We are the highest manifestation of God and we see it by the choices that we make in technology and all these things. But also within us is that good and right judgment. Now when our conscience is not guided by spirit or by religion then we end up like a ship without a rudder. So when we have God in our hearts then right away we will know the right way that we should go. There is a lot of karma-what you give is what you get. So if you’re doing wrong the only way we can break this karma is by doing good works. That is what is happening here. It’s the righteous here in the earth that is balancing the earth. The earth cannot be destroyed you know, it will not be destroyed. The corruption that we see will come like a cut a full up of puss. God is going to squeeze it out and come clean, you know what I mean? And when that comes out it is going to heal and the earth will become new. The earth is not going to be destroyed, it is going to be renewed.
How will the earth be renewed if we continue to disrespect nature and the abundant resources God has given us?
I understand, but there are people here who care. Give thanks for the Natural Law Party, the Green Party… people who have realized that it’s better to take care of the environment. And I give thanks for the scientists who have discovered the hole in the ozone layer because that makes people more aware of what is happening and people want to live, nobody wants to die. When they see what is happening now people are starting to make a change towards that, but still there is corruption on the earth. And I say that it is Jah who created the earth so it is time for Him to renew the earth. He will know how to renew it in the way that he should. We are also cohabitates and co-creators with God too. The meek shall inherit the earth so we are trying to be as humble and meek as we can so we can be a part of this dimension.
How do you cultivate spiritual healing?
I try to cultivate spiritual healing by showing love because love is the greatest healer. I try to be kind to people and I try to help others. Just generally being a good person is how I cultivate healing. Because I sing a song on Exalt Jah that says [singing] “Strive to be happy, I don’t want to be blue, smile at the world and it smiles right back at you.” So naturally when I greet somebody with love their reaction is to greet me back with love. So that is all part of healing because they might be feeling bad for the day and I come and say, “Blessed love my brother or sister, how are you doing?” that sends strength and power. Right away they feel better.
Why are we here?
We are all expressions of the almighty force, we are all extensions of God and He originally created this world and man to manifest His love. The scripture said God created heaven and He built the earth and saw that the earth needed things and He created man cause nobody was there to till the soil. That whole experience tells us that God wanted to manifest Himself and express Himself in creation. We see this in nature because nature is beautiful. No matter what we do to nature, the rivers are still beautiful, the trees are wonderful and so these things are really expressing the goodness and greatness of God. We were put here to do the same things too–to express His goodness and greatness. Nature has never separated itself from the Creator. I have a song from a new album which I did for Mr. Fraser. It is a song called “Praise His Name” and it says [singing] “I saw the sun rest today and I know it’s not the will of man. Nature never disobeys the commands of the Almighty One. Well everything in creation is a manifestation of a heavenly king. The world and those therein let us praise His name.” So right away it tells us that nature never disobeys the commands of the Almighty. Nature doesn’t judge and it is always there. Animals have a soul; even the trees have a soul. Everything with life has a soul. So if we were to move in accordance with nature then we would be better people, definitely. The Hindu people have a saying “the God in me bows to the God in you” and that’s how we should look at people to enable us not to judge and hate people. We should see the God in others and acknowledge the God in ourselves.
I understand you are currently working on many projects, including the Jamaican National Children’s Home, an upcoming album on VP Records, and contributing to the Peter Tosh fundraising CD, entitled “Put Faith in Jah.”
Yes, about the Peter Tosh project. They have asked us if we were able to give them a couple of my songs from the “Exalt Jah” album. Peter Tosh is a fundamental and important person in the reggae music industry and like Bob Marley his name will live forever. We are glad to do anything that we can to strengthen that foundation. We were very honored to be able to do that–to offer our assistance.
Which songs from “Exalt Jah” will be included in the Tosh fundraising project?
I believe it will be the “Interlude” and “Red Inna Rome” with Luciano.
Can you please say more about your upcoming album?
That album was produced by Mr. Dean Fraser. It’s been completed almost a year now and we are just starting to get the artwork and the title ready. So probably by November or early December it will be out. We are trying to build something and if it comes to the test where we have to do individual shows we are willing to do it. We want to strengthen the works.
Who are some of the artists and labels you are currently working with?
VP, Quabalah, Jah Messenjah. We have Milton Blake, we have Babatunde. These are new singers. We have Natural Black sometimes. He is a good young recording artist who is making a name for himself. We’re trying to work with new talent and to get some young female artists too because we know there is a void and there is more space for female artists. Yes, Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt and Rita Marley, they are a generation. We need a new generation of female artists in that mode. So we are looking out there to see how we can find people like that and strengthen them.
How did you get involved with the Jamaican National Children’s Home?
A long time ago Phillip “Fatis” Burrell took Luciano there because Phillip’s child had a school project to go around there and help the kids. So he told his father and his father said “Come, let’s get Luciano and go around there.” So we went around there and I saw how the children looked and the state of affairs and it really touched my heart and I decided that whenever I am on tour and I get a little money, I’m going to be sure I come and give them some. Over the years, God has been good to me and I’ve been on the road. So whenever I go on tour and come back I always put aside a little money. I go to the store and buy things for them and carry it. Sometimes I buy food and carry go up there.
We also have a farm in the country and we take them food. Why we do that is because there are people out there who are less fortunate. Those children had no choice in bringing themselves that way to be mentally handicapped or physically challenged. They didn’t plan it that way and some of them have been abandoned with no one to care for them or love them. So I find that just doing whatever I can plays a part and it helps me too because there are many times when I do it and I feel a power in it. I don’t know how to express it. Whenever I get the money and I can bring them some flour or rice and sugar and carry it up there–if I do that I am sure that soon some money will come in from somewhere even when I’m not expecting anything. When I do, it brings a lot of blessing financially, physically, and spiritually. It’s a very important project and I give thanks to have hooked up with Sista Irie because she has heard about the project and has helped me. They bought a washing machine, and they sent us some money to buy a fridge but some good Samaritan in Jamaica bought them a fridge already so they bought a lawn mower and a wheelbarrow and I gave them the rest of the money for what they need. That money is strictly for the children and God bless them and keep them and strengthen them. Whatever I do for them I try my best. And I am very glad to do it, it is an honor. I also have children too and I realize I am very blessed because they are healthy and that is another reason why I try to contribute.
I’ve been reading segments of your tour journal at Stone Tiger Entertainment website. Do you enjoying working on it?
It is a good thing. I started out by just giving reviews of the shows. But I found out that people started to interact with it and gave their own reviews and their own things so it is helping the whole music. It is like a breath of fresh air out there and we give thanks for the opportunity to be able to express ourselves and tell people about the works. We testifying it is good but also for the people who were at the shows to testify also strengthens the works.
I know you have to get back on the road now. Do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share?
I just want to say thank you for the opportunity to do this interview. It was very interesting and we touched a lot of topics. But most of all I give thanks for this beautiful book of prayers that you have given me. You know what I mean, it is strength. It says right in the beginning that prayer is the human connection to the Creator. Prayer is like the phone line connection between man and God. It is so good that we have this facility available to us. We can pray anytime or any place and always be connected to the life force. So I tell my brothers and sisters out there to pray. Acknowledge the life force, keep connected to the life force and you will see how great things will be. And remember, as a man thinketh, so is he. Blessed love.