Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Abdel Wright: The Next Bob Marley ?

After Bob Marley's passing , Lucky Dube was a rising star in the world of reggae. Lucky Dube was a living example of the universal appeal of Reggae. He was not from the Carribean but from South Africa. Before his untimely death in October 2007 during a carjacking Lucky Dube sang vividly of the trials and tribulations of life in the new South Africa. He was a religious man who belonged to an African Christian church. His music was reflective of his personal dedication to family life. When he sang of the difficulties of family life and of raising children, his songs had a universal resonance. He was irreplaceable.

Abdel Wright was born in Jamaica in 1977 Jamaica. Like Lucky, he was born into poverty. At the age of only nine month, he was taken from his mentally unstable mother and placed in the first of a series of foster homes.

He eventually ended up in the SOS Children's home in Montego Bay, which was funded in part by country singer Johnny Cash. His stay in the home and meeting with Johnny Cash proved to be formative influences in taking his life out of a downward trajectory. In Montego Bay, Wright received a guitar as a Christmas present and music lessons. As often happens with troubled young people, he embarked on a life of crime, eventually getting sentenced to eight years on a gun charge. He served five years of that sentence. Fortunately for himself and for the world of music, he turned himself around in prison, working on his music as well.

His music has strong reggae overtones with a folk mix. His music reflects a strong commitment to social justice. His songs often deal with his perceptions of social problems. His focus is often on changing society. Some songs have strong Christian overtones , which reflects not only his personal religious orientation but also the strongly religious nature of Jamaican society.

I sincerely hope that Abdel Wright achieves stardom. His music is that of a spiritual , caring individual who has experienced adversity and empathises with others going through the same difficulties.

In the video at the top of this posting, Wright mentions children in Jamaica who can not go to school for want of tuition money in the family. It is hard for us in America to understand this. Our public schools are free. In Jamaica, there are frequently school fees that keep some children home. Many Jamaicans who immigrate to America prefer to continue to pay tuition for the academic excellence, firm discipline and religious values that they continue to consider central to their national values. I hope that the foreign aid being considered by the Obama administration includes education subsidies in developing countries. Such help would create a great deal of good will and foster social stability.

As a sign of my respect for Abdel Wright as a musician and human being, I am posting a Lucky Dube video at the bottom of this article. I respect them both for striving for the betterment of society, familial and human relationships.



Bottom video is Lucky Dube "Sins of the Flesh" on the top is the Abdel Wright song "Quicksand Sphere: Related Content

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