Sunday, May 23, 2010

How'You Like Her Now?! - The Makings of an Irish Rasta

At a time when Prince was making CosbyBlacks mouss-up their hair so they could emulate him, a bald headed White chic from Ireland landed on us the way the terminator lady landed on Earth-- kaboom!!! Those of us in the know knew she was already in perfect anger mode with her previous album, The Lion and the Cobra. She bumrushed Prince's revolution, stole his song and then overnight became an international icon, leaving Prince a Dear John letter, Nothing Compares to You.

Since then, Sinead and America been having a love/hate relationship. We love her voice. We hate what she got to say...

She tried toning it down by delivering a more pop record but it didn't sell, and it wasn't her. She doesn't do boop-boop-pee-do! But Americans love bullsht. We like the appearance of things much better than reality, so when Sinead was asked to host Saturday Night Live and used that platform to tear up the Pope's picture and yell out, "This is the Real Enemy!" we pulled out the Frankenstein torches! It didn't matter that priests were being handslapped for their sexual crimes. Middle America saw her social awareness as plain rudeness and blasphemy for even questioning the Church. So they boycotted her music. And if an artist tried to bring her on stage, she was bood-off. In one concert Kris Kristoferson had to console her from being so humiliated and ostracized. Even after that, folks still refused to forgive her. So she said, fuck it! I'll become a priest and kaboom again, she was a priest! Fast-forward to today, what with all the politics over the Pope being in denial and Middle America now ready to talk about it. Child sexual abuse in the Church....How'you like her now?!

What makes Sinead O'Connor special is her ability to stand on her own in the face of total rejection and isolation. It's more than just being blaclisted. It's about people fucking with your self-esteeem. So when we hear that the Pope may have to testify in court, crazy isn't so crazy after all.

Since the treuce, Sinead has managed to sell again in the States. With Americans angry at government and the establishment these days, she gets to sit at the table again. Mostly everyone digs Sinead now. Some ignore her politics and just focus on the voice. That crying voice. Her childhood was Irish gangsta hood. When she said Fire in Babylon she wasn't necessarily talking about America but about coming out of imprisonment; about faith and courage. That's why she gets Black people. Her last cd was with a rasta band, Sly and Robbie. Same crying, heartfelt voice that fits well with the reggae rhythm. The names of the tracks sound more like prophesies, to me--

Jah Nuh Dead
Marcus Garvey
Door Peep
He Prayed
Y Mas Gan
Curly Locks
Prophet Has Arise
Downpressor Man
Throw Down Your Arms
Untold Stories

It's finally then that you realize how this woman's range is unlimited and her cause consistent. Of course, sht got complicated when she once again made headlines. This time for announcing she's a rastafarian. It's a conflict of sorts since she's White-skinned and doesn't live strictly off the land, and also because she's bisexual. Something rastas are supposed to find appauling and evil, according to catholic teachings. Maybe Sly and Robbie don't mind cos they're getting paid; and posing with a sexual demon ain't so bad when you ignore tradition and focus on spirit instead. Or maybe rasta's a state of mind til you put Church into it...

I used to be rasta, til brothas started talkin bout bashing antimans and digging up graves...

I tried the Nation too. But I didn't like the idea of learning Arabic just to prove I'm muslim; or going from one massa (English) to another and having sistas walk behind be. I like when they walk alongside me. And I tried Buddah; tried Vodun. Even tried yoga but i couldn't sit still long enough. Now I'm just Black and tryina be me!


Gypsy Photographer said...
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K. Koromantee said...

Yea, i know how some of us see White folks with dreds and say, can't you leave me something for myself? must you take everything? damn!!! but i'm telling you, it really is a sweet cd. i hear you, tho. linda rondstat is good, but smokey robinson is original. i get it...