There's something about African Reggae that, when you listen to it abroad, it makes you feel like you're instantly being transported to Africa.
Just listen to these tracks by the African Reggae Masters:
Lucky Dube (R.I.P.)
Tiken Jah Fakoly
Even Akon manages to conjure green gardens and Utopian living with his Mama Africa. Whenever it gets thrown on at a party, and the intro of, "so much, so much, love!" comes on, people go mad with pride, joy, who knows what else emotion.
(The screaming girls get a little much for me.)
That song is not originally Akon's. The person behind it is Hakim, fomerly of The Boys (one of my favorite groups from my flat top days) who are still recording and performing under the name Suns of Light and who in the 90's moved from California to The Gambia. The song, originally titled So Much Love, appeared on their album Millenium Music. I have to say, I'm quite amazed by this group, a real repatriation story, they went from doing New Edition style boy band pop, to doing Roots Reggae, Soul, and Mbalax tunes in The Gambia (although I did see that Hakim and Akon produced a couple tracks on the new NKOTB album.)
Lately I've been feeling that transport feeling from a reggae one drop out of Sierra Leone that really hits that spot where my the pit in my stomach and the bottom of my heart meet. The first track is by Khady Black in collaboration with Suns of Light, and Sierra Leonean singer, Emmerson.
Watching You feat. Suns of Light and Emmerson, by Khady Black
Khady Black is currently touring the U.S., England, and Canada, and considers herself a sort of social activist in country that's in dire need of exactly that.
The second is a track by globally minded Alonzo, that perhaps is influenced by Akon, but is Sierra Leone based recording artist on the label Kallboxx Records.
Africa Unite by Alonzo
Buy Suns of Light music here (Also on iTunes and eMusic.)
Buy Khady Black music here
Buy Alonzo music by contacting JR Productions. And soon through iTunes.