A Rare Live Performance from Jah Shaka (Video)

Jah Shaka has been operating a South East London-based, roots reggae Jamaican sound system since the early 1970s. Shaka stayed true to his spiritual and distinct musical style during the 1980s when many other Sound Systems had started to follow the Jamaican trend towards playing less orthodox styles tending towards slack dancehall music.  The Jah Shaka Sound System continues to appear regularly in London, with occasional tours of the United States, Europe and Japan.  On his own record label he has released music from Jamaican artists such as Max Romeo, Johnny Clarke, Bim Sherman and Prince Alla as well as UK groups such as Aswad and Dread & Fred.  He has released a number of dub albums, often under the Commandments of Dub banner.  Artists featured on more recent releases include both established singers like Tony Tuff, and new emerging artists like Rockaway and Principle – who have sung over riddims produced by his son Malachi, known as Young Warrior.
Shaka has also established the Jah Shaka Foundation to carry out assistance with projects in Ghana, where the foundation has bought 7 acres of land in Agri, thirty miles outside of Accra.  It has also managed to distribute medical supplies, wheelchairs, library books, carpentry tools, drawing materials and records to clinics, schools and radio stations in the Accra area establishing important links with the local communities.  Shaka himself was actually a youth worker years ago, and has regularly been quoted encouraging youths to study geography and history so they know “whats happened, where it’s happening and who’s doing it”.
I have featured the work of Jah Shaka here before, most notably an album with Aswad called Jah Shaka Meets Aswad in Addis Ababa Studio.

“Kingdom of Zion” Mix (Bunny Lee)

One of my favorite riddims is Bunny Lee’s “Fittest of the Fittest,” also known as “Kingdom of Zion” riddim.  Truly heavy and drenched in roots.  Check the mix!

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1. Barry Brown – Fittest of the Fittest
2. Bunny Lee/Brad Osbourne – Kingdom of Zion Dub
3. Aggrovators – Fittest of the Fittest Dub
4. Al Campbell – Clean Hands
4. Barry Brown – No Wicked Shall Enter the Kingdom of Zion
5. Johnny Clarke – Fittest of the Fittest
6. Alborosie – Kingdom of Zion