Consciousness reaches new heights in Jah9 & Akae Beka's track of the moment...
If you're not already familiar with the lioness that is Jah9, one should know that her lyrics are dripping in consciousness, truth and relevance. Her music has been described as art music and niche, and she's been releasing music for almost a decade. Based in Kingston, Jamaica, Jah9's first album 'New Name' came out in 2013 and her follow-up '9' was released in 2016.
The only other artist featured on the album is Vaughn Benjamin, the mystical voice of Midnite and Akae Beka. Benjamin hails from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, and has a catalogue of over sixty mind-blowing albums. Both of these artists are heavily rooted in the concept of Word, Sound and Power, and this, their Greatest Threat, is a masterpiece that can't be overlooked.
One of my favourite tracks on the 9 album is Greatest Threat to the Status Quo. Can you tell us about the idea behind that tune and how the collaboration with Akae Beka came about?
9: Introspection. Introspection is the source of that song, and just sometimes standing in your purpose and your confidence and declaring something. Especially as woman, even though we say “I am”, when we say “I am” we speak of the all I, and all feminine. It was an important reminder, standing as woman in this world where, yes, I grew up with my father and I grew up confident and feeling good about myself and my complexion and loving all of the things about me that society might say are things that I shouldn't love. I wanted to present myself unapologetically to the world in that way, and burn all of the illusions that, over the years, have held women down, whether it be through religion or through culture; it is an in your face approach to womanhood.
9: I wanted to collaborate with Akae Beka because he’s one of the main artists who I have heard music from that proclaims womanhood in such a beautiful way, and it was important for me to collaborate with a man and have him declare also that the spiritual woman is [the greatest threat], because he would not have collaborated, had he not agreed. That was really, really awesome for me to be able to have him say yes and do this work with me.
Jah9 & Vaughn Benjamin, the voice of Midnite and Akae Beka, at Dub In The Rainforest, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, 2018.
Greatest Threat to the Status Quo can be found on Jah9’s 2016 album, entitled 9, and can also be heard here:
Galactic star formations unfold, flashing before us as the drum takes hold, delving us deep into a dimension thick with spirituality. Ancestral echoes resonate as harmonies give birth to a soul, enshrined in divine light, emerging from the root to deliver us this message. Greatest Threat requires intense exploration and concentration, holding steady the balance between music, lyric, physical, spiritual, male and female; of creation; formation; of life. Haunting lyrics such as Vaughn Benjamin’s “the mitochondrial squarely proves how much of the blueprint she provides” and 9’s “two is more than just a number; it is the first evolution of life…” unveil how mystically rooted this track is, its energies vibrating in ancient dub.
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