Alpha Blondy

Genres: Reggae
Tags: reggae roots reggae african seen live world Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Seydou Koné, 1 January 1953, Dimbokoro, Ivory Coast. During the mid-80s, reggae vocalist Blondy, whose name translates as First Bandit, became one of West Africa’s most successful band leaders, his songs widely covered by other local reggae artists. Adopting not only the rhythms and instrumental arrangements of Jamaican reggae, Blondy also followed its tradition of militant protest lyrics. His embracing of reggae and rasta was not without its problems; after he returned in 1981 from two years’ study at Columbia University in the USA, his parents committed him to a psychiatric hospital for 18 months because of his Rasta beliefs. Although he dressed as a Rasta, Blondy took to travelling everywhere with the Star of David, a copy of the bible, and one of the Koran.

After releasing 1985’s searing Apartheid Is Nazism album, Blondy took the logical next step of flying to Jamaica to record the follow-up, Jerusalem, with the...

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