There is too much to be said about this great reggae dancehall artist but absolutely crucial is that he gave the poor man and woman a voice. Many lyrics brings up things in society and the world in which the poor people gets poorly treated by the system (Babylon).
I have seen Anthony B (Keith Blair) live many times and he is definitively the best live dancehall artist in the world at the moment. The energy is 110 % (Look at the last video in this post for an energy example)on stage and together with Jah Mason he is now an educator of the youth for living a better way.
Let me just shortly describe his life and music
He grew up in a christian evangelist family but converted to Rastafarian ism as a teenager. He grew dreadlocks and since it was not appreciated by his family he moved to his aunt in Portmore, Kingston.
He started out as a DJ in high school and made his own first tune in 1993. His breakthrough on the international stage came in the mid 90s and his single Fire Pon Rome (1966) which gave the poor man/woman a voice. (Watch the video further down) This tune was banned on Jamaican radio due to the fear of politicians that people would listen to this and question their power. His bedut album was named Real Revolutionary and the follow up Universal Struggle (1997). Now the count is up to 20-25 whole albums with titles like Suffering Man, Higher Meditation, Rise Up, Confused Times, Judgment Time, Life Over Death, Encore and Rasta Love (For countries with Spotify just click the name of the album to listen to it)
The style of his early music (sometimes like chanting) is very different from today and I urge you to listen through the videos. The message is still the same: eradicate poverty, questioning local and world politics, believe in your self and of course religious Rastafari, but also to stick with one woman and to step up to injustices.
There is much talk about fire and burning things and as he himself explains:
“When we say ‘burn fire’ we don’t mean take a match and light somebody, we are saying ‘get rid of these things that are no good for humanity'”
Raid Di Barn – Live (original tune from 1996)
Mocking Bird (Universal Struggle 1997)
The Damage – (Universal Struggle 1997)
Mr. Heartless – (Seven Seals -1999)
God Above Everything – (Street Knowledge 2003)
My Hope from the album (My Hope 2005)
Come Free My Mind – (Black Star 2005)
Condom – (Suffering Man- 2006)
Your Time Has Come –(Higher Medittion – 2007)
Whip Them Jah Jah – (Life Over Death – 2008)
Anthony B – Sleeping In The Rain (Spotify)
Better Haffi Come – (Rise Up 2009)
Worry No More (2009)
What Would You Do – (Encore 2010)
Don’t Worry -(Encore 2010)
Love Is The Answer – (Rasta Love 2011)
Trouble You a Trouble Me (2012) link yo Anthony B official youtube
AND LETS END WITH THE TUNE THAT GOT THINGS MOVING.
Fire Pon Rome (1996) – The hit that was banned from Jamaican Radio
Interview with Anthony B in Uppsala Reggae Festival 2010
The performance made in Uppsala 2010 is a life time memory. As midnight drew closer on the small field between the forest and the river storm clouds gathered and made a dark sky pitch black. As soon as Anthony B entered the stage with an incredible energy heaven opened up. rain like a cascade poured onto the dancing people and Anthony B kept on with ferocious energy while lightning and thundering painted the night accompanied us on un unforgettable music experience.
Amsterdam 2009 (above – Empress and Anthony B / below clip of Anthony B’s energy on stage)