A Malian's Musings about Music and Mali…
Currently Browsing: Reggae

“In Love with You” by Erykah Badu & Stephen Marley

“In love with you” is the result of an acoustic and bass guitar, a Queen of soul and reggae royalty.  Ms Badu and Stephen Marley combine to give us music in best form: live, heartfelt and effortless. 

What I love about this song, is that it doesn’t sound rehearsed.  You get the feeling that the two artists are at “band practice” just having a jam session that is slowly turning into something special. 

The melody on the guitar and the bass stay pretty constant but the artists give us a real exhibition of their vocal skills.  Ms Badu shows us her range and delivers in hear usual smooth tones, while Mr Marley keeps his message raw and unpolished.  This contrast makes for a very unique sound and makes me hope they collaborate again.  The chemistry between these two is definitely real…just listen to the adlibs…..gorgeous.

Title: In Love with You / Artist: Erykah Badu x Stephen Marley / Album: Mama’s Gun (2000)

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“Friction” by Morcheeba


Part of the reason I’ve always loved the UK is its music scene.  It is home to many of my favorite artists/bands: Tricky, Portishead, Jamiroquai…the list goes on and on.

“Morcheeba” belongs to that elite list of bands that have developed a cult-like following over the years.  Their sound is part trip hop, part RnB, with an infusion of classic Reggae.  Their arrangements are lush and usually organic, meaning that they produce mostly music that has “live feel” to it.  I can only imagine how great they must be on stage…

On Friction, the band takes a political stance against the country’s legal system and admonishes the relative ease with which citizens get prosecuted.  “Friction turning to fire” highlights how efficient the “system” is at stifling any opposition.

Considering the fact that the name “Morcheeba” actually means “the way of Marijuana”, I think it’s pretty clear what their sound caters to:


Title: Friction / Artist: Morcheeba / Album: Big Calm, 1998

“Hey Baby” by Stephen Marley x Mos Def

“I’ve been gone a while away from you and I hope you understand that I’ve got to do what I must do to be a better man…”

Legitimate excuse or just empty rhetoric from someone who isn’t spending enough time with their significant other? Some would argue the former, while most would lean towards the latter (or vice-versa).  Societal and career pressures can easily push a relationship towards its breaking point by continually creating scenarios in which you literally must choose between spending your time and energy to develop your career/aspirations or spending that time to develop your relationship.  It’s a no-win situation…trust me, I’ve been there…

What I love about Stephen Marley is that he makes it so easy for you to relate to his music, by focusing on subjects that we all come across at one point or another in our lives.  Add to that, his unmistakable vocal signature and you have an extraordinary musician.

Title: Hey Baby

Artist: Stephen Marley x Mos Def

Album: Mind Control, 2007

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