Rap-reggae producer and artist RastaBwoyKell might have been born and raised out of southside Chicago, yet his roots grow strong in Rastafarianism. Bringing the biblical verse Revelations 19 to life in his latest EP, the religious and political activist poses several Truths in the face of widespread misinformation and oppression — we simply don’t know what to believe anymore. From COVID measures to Black Lives Matter, 2020 stands as a time for reevaluation of ethics on a global scale. RastaBwoyKell, vocal in his acitvism, proffers the 19th Chapter in the Book of Revelation, otherwise known as “The Apocalypse of John” in the New Testament. For those unbeknownst of the Chapter, Revelation 19 reads the “Threefold Hallelujah Over Babylon’s Fall”, a praise to God Almighty in the defeat of Satan, Rome and the oppression of His people. Much like Rastafari stances, this verse condemns those who stand in the way of Salvation, a.k.a. the Western world over His true people, a.k.a. Babylon must fall to be free.
Freedom achieved by the overthrow of Babylon is still applicable today as it was in ancient times.
RastaBwoyKell’s Revelation 19 EP spans only 19 minutes — a measure most likely of no coincidence. The first track “Fear” begins with chants of “Jah” and “Rastafari” overlaid and echoing on top of minimal beats and key chords. The track is a clear ode to the Coronation Psalm of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie. Traditional African rhythms are central components of the album, as is Jamaican dancehall and a hint of ska. RastaBwoyKell fuses the old with the new by adding some modern hip hop lyrical deliveries, as well. Therefore, a balance in sound is struck, yet it’s also a balance in theme! Most of the tracks emphasis a yin and yang relationship between good and evil, God and Devil, darkness and light. Track three is even entitled “Dark & Light”, which picks up the pace in a more pop-dancehall style from the downtempo tracks prefacing it. Saying “I’m the righteous” albeit with darkness, RastaBwoyKell admits that “a little bit of both” entities exist in everyone — you cannot be pure light as human. This dates back to the Garden of Eden in the Old Testament; we are damned from birth, thus we must rise to righteousness through our actions.
A kettle drum is introduced in “Wrong One”, before a more serious timbre is brought forth in the fifth track, “Ras Tafari”. RastaBwoyKell ends his overall message with a reiteration of the Bible’s Revlation 19 — in his own style, of course. “I fell to His feet,” chants RastaBwoyKell. Yet, He replied, “do not worship me.” Ending it all with repetitions of “it’s the Spirit of prophecy”, RastaBwoyKell encourages those to pursue their own interpretations of his work in relative to religious doctrine. Let’s make the world a better place together, in lieu of uncertainty… especially, if 2020 is any indication it is indeed the end of times.
Revelation 19 is now available on all digital outlets! RastaBwoyKell also follows politically-charged issues on his social platforms, which you can find and follow via the links below.
Purchase or stream ‘Revelations 19’ EP:
- Dark & Light
- Wrong One
- Ras Tafari
- Revelation 1910
RastaBwoyKell – “Fear” single:
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.