Powerful testaments across the globe have surfaced as the Black Lives Matter movement grows, yet none so powerful as this new music video featuring the combined talents of Natural High, Wayne Marshall, Kabaka Pyramid and Jesse Royal! This Jamaican reggae revival super team, under the independent Delicious Vinyl Island label, has produced a single so eye-opening, overlooking it would be a crime in itself. Natural High, Marshall, Kabaka and Royal expand on Garveyism as they command reparations for the sacrifices of their ancestors as much as for blacks living in today’s tilted world. It’s been “400 years”, yet people of color “still can’t get no basic needs, no basic needs”.
Kabaka Pyramid comments on the collaboration: “‘Cane Fields’ is a symbol, a symbol of the fight fi the justice of I&I people — the descendants of Africa; what we’ve been through in previous years. We carrying on the legacy right now with the music.”
The time has come to take action.
This black nationalism anthem couldn’t come at a better time, now paired to visuals by Fernando Hevia. The music video begins with a sweeping shot of cane fields: dust rising from the ground, insinuating the dust of slavery has far from settled albeit all those generations ago. The war for freedom is ongoing. A man — face hidden, cloaked in red — stands with blood dripping from his hands to the earth, symbolizing the inhumanity that has paved the way to where we are today. “I’ve been working till my fingers bleed,” the man moans. Books are a constant within the video, alluding to education being a definitive answer to the fight. To fully liberate black people, it starts in the mind. Discrimination, hate and bigotry are all based off beliefs ingrained so deep; it’s time to eradicate the narrative altogether.
Flames envelope Kabaka Pyramid as he chants “police brutality become a normality” as “half the population” lives without salary. The whole situation is a disgrace, yet we accept it as the status quo. How do we fix a broken system? Despite the inherent anger and demand for justice, the track concludes with a simple open for suggestion — do we “change the economy? Tell me, I’m listening”.
“Equality for all is dangerous for some, but necessary for others,” Jesse Royal states.
“It will dismantle the foundation of lies which the system has been built upon and force one and all to move in a different direction — which I, and I have no doubt in my mind, will lead us back to probably the second time in the history of mankind that we would truly be living in the truest sense of the word.” Royal adds, “The power of the people is undeniable iyah.”