Rocky Dawuni featured in Obaasema Magazine

Mainstream music may have overshadowed reggae on conventional radio, but this seems to have no bearing on its dynamism. Perhaps it explains why “Download the Revolution” from Rocky Dawuni’s latest reggae-toned CD strikes a chord with listeners. The lyrics undoubtedly suggest the insurgence of a more conscious kind of music.

The 11-song album, “Hymns for the Rebel Soul,” delves into areas of socio-political awareness and explores various elements of African and Caribbean musical genres. It is quite interesting to see an artist effortlessly create music rather different from his own; but it also demonstrates a crucial link between the African and Caribbean worlds. In “African Reggae Fever,” Rocky begins with the infamous South African national anthem before breaking into reggae melodies. On this track, he calls for the African Diaspora to come together in unity and stand “to fulfill the Bible prophecy.” He goes on to sing: “They condemned all our heroes in a cold-blooded murder║ Tried to stop this movement from going much further ║ Jah Jah give us power to cross every border ║ Hey DJ press rewind and come again║”

As one of Africa’s world-renowned artists, Rocky has proven on many grounds to be deserving of his success. The record, to the reggae lover or consciously-inclined individual, is inspiring and exciting. It’s not just filled with grave issues of the world; instead it takes detours into areas of lightness and fun, like love and romance. In the song “Extraordinary Woman,” Rocky talks of his feelings about a certain woman’s sweetness. He chants: “I wanna love you if you want me, I wanna love you if you need me.” But this floating stage of the album is interrupted by the next track, “Walls Tumblin Down,” and after that it switches to a highlife melody with “Master Plan” before falling back into reggae tunes with “Road to Destiny” and “Freefall.”

“Jerusalem,” the eighth track on the album, is one that grabs a listener’s immediate attention. In beautifully-woven melodies and spiritual timbre, it morphs into a nice sing-along. Still in reggae tones, “Walk the Talk” and “Heads up High” precedes the last track, “Take it Slow (Love Love Love),” another endearing love tune.