Pree Jamaica feature on one of Jamaica’s next biggest talents, Reggae-Soul singer/songwriter, Mario Evon.
Weh yu jus seh? (What did you just say?)
It still amazes me how people somehow find it ok to use cultural words that they don’t understand fully, with no idea of their context or true meaning. I would happen to fall into one of the most targeted cultures…the Jamaican culture. Language/Dialect/Creole? PATOIS.
Since living in the USA, and also being a performer, I have had one too many times when my Jamaican introduction is greeted with choruses of mouth-made vocal gun shots (important I state they were mouth made). “Brap, Brap” (single shots), “Brapapapapapapap” (the ‘Rapid Fire’ Machine Gun), “Blow Blow” (That is the ‘Shot Gun’), “Pie Pie Pie” (this is the hand pistol); Whatever the weapon of choice, it intrigues me that this is one of the highlights of my culture to the non-native Jamaican.
You also can’t forget the use of the word, B0mboCl@@t, like it’s a party favour. Funny the persons doing this don’t see me cringe every time they attempt to pronounce it (incorrectly mind you), and not understand that the visions I associate with this word are a weave about to be pulled out, a man about to get stabbed, often times just anyone at the peak of their anger, and in all fairness to them, many times as a term of endearment or extreme excitement, for instance to forward a big chune (aka used at peak of excitement when hearing a good song. In this way it kinda functions like a testosterone-driven “Guuuuuuuuuuurrrl daz my sooooooooooong!”). It could also happen when you see a really hot car pass by…then you let out the super loooooong one.
Truthfully the biggest fear for me is that I will be at a formal event with said friend who doesn’t appreciate the context of my culture, and of course it will come up that I’m Jamaican, and my friend will pleasantly launch into a string of their favourite new Jamaican words, and I, well I will be a dark shade of purple and trying to find the nearest exit.
I’m just saying if you aren’t sure about what you are saying, then you probably shouldn’t be saying it. Daz all. And maybe the next time you want to wild out in public using my native dialect, then give me enough forewarning so I can play into it - You know, wear my reggae-coloured tam with the fake locks, my favourite Bob Marley t-shirt, and roll my super-sized blunt, which I shall place behind my ear. Don’t forget I will be saying “Mon” after any sentence, and possible “Irie”, and maybe using my own Jamaican curse words out of context. “Do you know where I could find the bl00dcl@@t pickles?…Irie”. “I was wondering why the r@@s you look so beautiful tonight?” (This one doesn’t count cause I have a few friends who would say this. Hey I probably have already too).
To all of this I say, “Weh yu jus seh?”. As Tessanne Chin said, “Your words are your weapons, so use them wisely”. So before you shoot “down your brothers with your lyrical bullets”, you can buy a patois book. Blessed love.
Musician ‘Love Faces’??
As a musician I’ve gathered that women have been sexually curious about me, and by sexually curious I really mean, curious about ‘what I’d be like in bed’. Myself guilty of this sexual curiosity while watching Beyonce (sorry Jigga) or Rihanna (Sorry again J - He tends to be protective of her too) on stage, I can totally relate to it. So today I decided to let out one of those musician secrets that will help you find some of the answers you are looking for.
As a performer I’ve had the pleasure of working with many talented musicians, and if you thought Trey Songz knew about “Making Love Faces”, then you really haven’t seen anything yet. Granted this post will be more helpful to the ladies since the music industry tends to be male-dominated, but this is definitely not in any way gender specific. I’ve seen the girls in Beyonce’s band make these faces too…The musician face. For bass players I usually call it ‘Bass Face’, and other musicians highly guilty include guitarists, drummers and keyboard players…basically anyone with a free mouth who plays anything percussive. This also includes singers (we do those polyrhythms too).
Just as unconscious as a ‘Love Face’, a musician face is definitely how you’ll know what your musician crush/potential playmate will look in their moment of climax. The best part is that you will get to see it over and over throughout the course of their musical ‘performance’. Enough time to really make a good and proper analysis, and essentially decide if making the next move is worth your while. I don’t even know why I’m sharing this because this information could win a Nobel Prize. I’m definitely onto something.
I can bet any money that a snap shot of your guitar crush in the peak of his/her solo will look very similar to that ‘other face’ that they make at the peak of happy time…just that no one usually has cameras out in that moment, well hmm actually, some people probably do.
This of course brings us to the question, 'Why should I even care about a musician 'love face'?'. Really good question. The most truthful answer is that a person’s soul and honest intentions lie in their eyes, and often in their facial expressions. This in turn can directly correlate to sexual performance. It’s kinda like the correlation between dancing ability and waistline action. A love face could tell you if someone is good or bad in bed. Here are some of the faces I’ve definitely seen on stage: 'The upturned lip face', ‘The Squinty Eye’, 'The OMG Open Mouth', which sometimes actually looks like they are about to vomit imho, 'The I'm Crying Really Badly', 'The clench my Teeth', ‘The Tongue’ (quite popular, kinda like Jamaicans dancing to dancehall - The tongue must come out especially in a sketel moment), and of course you can’t forget the 'I'm quivering my lip like Whitney Houston and look like I'm in an old Kung Fu movie'. This last face is quite a popular one too, as many musicians anticipate what they are going to play and literally make this movement with their mouths as they play it. Looks a bit like Mr. Ed to me, but could be a reflections of how they ‘Stay Ahead of the Game' (Read Part 1 and Part 2 when you have time). You can feel free to attach your own connotations to each of these expressions, but they each mean something very different, and there are different grades and intensities for each…Really too much to talk about in one post.
In summary I’m encouraging you all to be more observant when you are at that next concert because you may just get a little insight into a ‘Love Face’, that may give you a lot more insight into your musician crush. Musicians aside, ‘Love Faces’ happen all the time in life during many non-bedroom activities, so don’t miss your clue in, and if someone writes a research paper on this, lemme know, cuz I was the 1st to blog about it…Mi waan mi credit!!
An Open Letter to Amerindia (abbreviated)
by Carla Moore (Writer) and Mario Guthrie (Photographer)
land of your naming
we say Jamaica
like you were never here
what of xaymaca?
in 50 years it was gone
I know not how I got here
but for staying
you were a story
a thing a black child learned
a part of Jamaica’s history
the part before the real part
Another 62 words is headed your way tomorrow as we wind down edition 2: 62 words of Jamaica Writes. - JW
Carla Moore (Writer) and Mario Guthrie (Photographer)
hold hands amid flames
watch their skin meld
smile at being joined
she hates you
retching up her feelings
nothing comes out
her feelings are your unborn child nurtured on her blood
come rub her naked belly
even with closed door
even when gone
she hates you so much
Mario Guthrie (Writer and Photographer)
These eyes now see unusual clarity. Without blur the lines become sharp and lights bright. Through you life becomes unaltered. Without limitations. A cacophony of sounds embraces a distinct medley of smells in an uninhibited world without…
Reggae, dancehall, hip hop lovers in NYC, this is def a spot to check out.
Story: A Clean Encounter
Writer: Elva Clarke
Photographer: Mario Guthrie
Day 4: Off The Market
She wondered about the irony of her heart shaped faced as she drove home that Friday evening. A face full of love and a heart devoid. Throughout high school she thought of herself as an ordinary girl. Her rich dark chocolate complexion and black unprocessed hair did not seem to warrant the attention of teenage boys in her school. It was as though she was invisible. At university, things changed and now the opposite sex seemed to finally notice her widely set hips and ample chest. When she met Denver she felt she had met her life partner. They were more companions than lovers and in a way she felt that is how life partners were. After graduation he left to take a job overseas. That was essentially the end of that. He was married three years later and with child but a few months later. Kayla wore a size 14 and maintained her meat on bones stature for her adult life. If she had not exercised every day she was certain to be a few sizes larger like her mother. She had promised herself she would maintain her market value but now she wondered if there was any point. Kayla Antoinette Renee Simpson was off the market.
With one hand on the steering wheel and the other supporting her head, she thought about what she would do when she got home. She recalled the events in her mind as though they had already occurred - the purchase of tokens, the sorting of the laundry and the reading of her book while she waited for the washing to be complete. On Fridays, the laundry room was free. The mid-career adults with whom Kayla shared the complex were usually out at their after work jams and Friday evening lymes. Friday evening laundry was her ritual.
The final part of the story is tomorrow. See you then. - JW
If you’re just joining us, read the story from the top.
Story: A Clean Encounter
Writer: Elva Clarke
Photographer: Mario Guthrie
Day 2: No Longer Prone
Kayla worked at the phone company as their Quality Manager. It was an obscure enough title for an often ambiguous job. It was not awfully fulfilling but it paid the bills and did not impinge on her dignity. That was enough for now. She dreamed of a creative job where she would be happy at work. She figured she was simply not that lucky. The complex where she lived in Codfield Heights in the hills of St. Andrew, Jamaica was safe and quiet. The neighbours were courteous but not friendly. There was no knock requesting the proverbial cup of sugar or spoonful of salt. They were cold. In a way, she felt she fit in.
She was the only member of her immediate family left living in Jamaica. Her sister was studying in the States and her mother had gone to teach in Cayman. Her father remained a mystery and every time she dated she wondered if she might be seeing her brother or cousin. This was the kind of worst-case scenario thinking that made her an apt Quality Manager. She was always prepared for the worst and she felt she should be because she had experienced the worst in many of her life situations and especially in love. It would have helped if Devon had told her that his girlfriend was pregnant when they started dating or maybe just that he had a girlfriend. If Marlon had mentioned that he was married, she would not have been so shaken when he announced that he and his wife had decided to give their marriage another shot. She wondered if she was an easy target and if her discernment score was a large integered negative. In any event, she was through with love. She did not have the tools for the task. If love were an infectious disease she had already been infected and developed the antibodies. She was no longer prone.
See you tomorrow for Part 3 of A Clean Encounter
Read Part 1 of the story here Day 1 - I Will Name You