I-tru-jah : Almighty Lyrically Part 2

by Apr 29, 2023News

I-tru-jah series part 2

I-tru-jah has on his list three important entertainers who have influenced his music; the Hon. Robert Nesta Marley, his brother Jah Mason, and cousin Tony Rebel.

“My younger brother, Ryan Francis, and sister Shawline Williams are very supportive of my music.”

“Bob Marley has done so much for reggae music and his country Jamaica that it would have been very hard for me to forget his legacy, which has influenced the music of so many aspiring deejays, singers, and even dub poets.”

“He (Bob) is so large that even in death his music continues to surpass those who are alive.”

“I grew up listening to Bob Marley’s message songs. And the more you hear these songs, the more you want to open up your digestive system for more and more Marleys.”

Take for example his song, “No Woman No Cry.” So many Jamaicans can identify with this story because mothers have been through so many trials – poverty, injustices, and discrimination. And what is so good about his music… it is not a carbon copy.”

“Bob Marley, like a teacher, reinforces his lessons, because so often the same themes keep reoccurring in his songs.”

(From left) I-tru-jah, Elise Kelly and Jah Mason

“Bob’s performance is so dynamic that it forces one to digest and remember his message and this is how I have been shaping my music; to make people see the relevance of my presence.”

“The Rastafarian image, which Bob represents, has paved the way for other conscious Rastafarians, like myself, to be accepted outside Jamaica. And reggae fans feel that Rastas represent One Love.”

“The story of the One Love Concert at the National Stadium shows Bob sandwiched by two political leaders – Manley (PNP) and Seaga (JLP) – holding hands together on the same stage.”

Bob’s achievement is unmatched. He received the Order of Merit (OM) from the Jamaican Government in 1981; “Legend” became the best-selling reggae album ever with sales of more than 12 million, and he is inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1994). Bob has secured a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award ( 2001), and the Peace Medal of The third World.

“I too would like my music to impact the world and that the younger generation will remember me for laying that foundation.”

In terms of his brother Jah Mason, born Andrae Johnson, I-tru-jah sees him as one of his mentors.

“My brother is my senior, some three years older. And he would be the one to make decisions. He was a leader to be respected. His single “Selassie I Call We,” (1991) has led to the creation of my single, “Selassie I Lives,” released June 11, 2021. My brother has released some 29 albums, including “Love and Wisdom,” “Wheat and Tears,” and “Most Royal.””

“Tony Rebel has made me realize that nothing happens before the time. He started with his first recording “Casinoy,” then made it big with “Fresh Vegetable.”

“His song, “Not All About Money,” was chosen as the lead song for the CD after it was sent to the United Nations Volunteers programme for inclusion in the International Year of Volunteers 2001. His fame comes with the over twenty-year-old Rebel Salute, which is attracting thousands of visitors each year, generating direct and indirect employment and foreign exchange.”

Be sure to read part three: I-tru-jah at Andrew Jackson High School, New York.

(Photos courtesy of Tennyson Johnson aka I-tru-jah)

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