Just one step into the Marlin Hotel last week created an atmosphere of a reggae concert in Jamaica. One look into the crowd and a sea of reds, yellows and greens could faintly be seen through the thick smoke that filled the air. Men with dreads past their waist danced tribally to the reggae rhythms that blasted through the speakers. To add to the full effect, internationally known reggae artist Anthony B took the mic on a stage that looked over the audience and gave the people an impressive and intimate performance that wouldn’t be forgotten.
On a promotional tour to promote his new album, Untouchables, Anthony B’s set list composed of songs, both old and new, from his nine-year career in the business. Unsure of the song titles, I turned my focus to the lyrics and saw that simplicity was a universal method to his writing. Not cheesy, but sincere, Anthony B sung in an ode to Rastafarian love, “One day/Girl I’m gonna make you mine/One day/ As long as there’s sunshine.” Also included in his set where a host of upbeat songs that allowed for popular dance moves from Jamaica to be showcased. As he spit his lyrics with intensity and raw emotion, it was understood that nothing was being sugarcoated.
Trying to gain American visibility like his contemporaries Sean Paul and Elephant Man, Anthony B’s latest album features guest appearances from Bonecrusher, Snoop Dogg and Wyclef. While Anthony B can make music that is fitting for the club, he stills stays true to his roots. During the performance, he took a break to show respect to one of his musical influences-Bob Marley. “Bob is someone who symbolizes and represents the culture to the fullest,” he said after stating that Marley should be the national hero of Jamaica. Like Marley, Anthony B has a socially conscious message in his lyrics that holds true to the core concepts of Rastafarian beliefs, while at the same time, can capture an audience with a stage performance like no other.
Marcus Washington can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.