Jamaican reggae activist artist Prestige has been promoting an anti-war agenda for over 20 years. Ever since the age of 8, Prestige – born Lauriston Bruce – has been DJing around his hometown of Clarks Town, Trelawny while crafting his art singing in church choirs. His career took shape in 1994 under the name Presley, when he recorded his debut track “Big Time Murderer” with Black Scorpio in Jamaica. Fast-forward through the millennium to today: now residing in Portmore, St. Catherine with a novel stage name, Prestige is locked and loaded to dispel his pacifist perspective onto the masses in the form of new music.
Prestige is locked and loaded to dispel his pacifist perspective onto the masses…
Released via Rebel Sound Records, Prestige’s “They Don’t Give” is a socially conscious song about the effects of oppression, paired to a danceable beat. It might seem counterintuitive to enjoy a song outlining the struggles of the oppressed, yet Prestige makes it hard not to move to this combination bongo, bass, and synth mix! Prestige has always maintained a firm stance against violence and its global glorification, even changing his diet permanently to vegan in an effort to “never kill to eat”. With this in mind, “They Don’t Give” is a perfect example of Prestige’s constitutionally indignant point of view. Lamenting that the “system is full of liars” and declaring that “our tears won’t flow in pain”, Prestige urges a call to action from his listeners. You can rise up to protest the injustices in the world today, or continue to be rendered politically voiceless. In this day and age, our opinions are actually landing on the ears of country leaders (thanks, social media), so Prestige asks us why are we sitting back as segregation rises and societal structures crumble around us? “Dem not really care about us”, says Prestige; if the people we elect remain selfish in their intentions, no progress will ever be made for civilians. Prestige shouts his lyrics in the track, pushing the urgency of his message (although imploring to do so as peacefully as possible). As demanding as standing up to the man sounds, Prestige’s pleas are balanced with coaxing harmonized backup vocals, creating a soft juxtaposition to his hard message of revolt and revolution.
No future tours are planned for Prestige at this time, yet the Jamaican artist has completed over 20 shows in the United States within the past couple years – most notably at northern California’s Reggae on the River Festival. There, his live performance landed his track, “He that Seek”, a spot on the Reggae on the River Collection, which debuted at #10 on Billboard’s Reggae Album Chart. Growing in fame and popularity, Prestige plans to revisit the United States in good time, with “They Don’t Give” being just a taste for what’s to come!
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.