Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ritchie is the Spice of Life

Few artists can be pigeon holed as easily as our most Jamaican of friends, Richie Spice. The vast majority of his work speaks almost exclusively to the superficial politics of the stoner class; and for this I salute him.

This song, aptly titled 'Marijuana', is an ode to the leaf, the buddah, the herbaceous hedonist, the highest grade. There’s no subtlety, no beating around the bush. No, the bush is undeniably the primary focus of his attention.

Too often, I feel, the specialist is palmed off as limited. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Ritchie is an aficionado, an expert, a connoisseur toker with a voice so angelic as to bring tears to even the most bloodshot of eyes.

Ritchie Spice, born Ritchell Bonner, is, as I’m sure hardly needs stating, a member of the Rastafarian movement. He wears his narcotic and Reggae influences on his sleeve. Alas the illegal status of his chosen form of intoxication, as ordained by the woefully inconsistent British legal system, renders him a threat to the status quo.

Consider a wine review in the Guardian weekend supplement. Here the individuals praising the qualities of these potent liquids in various tasting notes are venerated as palatable members of a thriving cultural community. And yet Ritchie and many other, admittedly lesser, virtuosos in his field of expertise are too regularly dismissed as mindless, addled prophets of a heinous, degenerate underworld. The injustice is almost too much to bear.

So let this blog be a portal for this underappreciated champion of the sensi. It’s a bit retro, I suppose (this particular tune was released in 2004), but that’s in these days, right? Anyway, relax (preferably as Ritchie would advocate), enjoy and appreciate this budding veteran of dread. I’ll end this with what seems almost obligatory: Jah Bless!

Note: This post was authored by our mate Alfie Hatt, who should at some point become a regular contributer. Cheers.

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