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Throwback Thursday: Peace In A Time Of War

I’ll never forget the first time I heard “Rasta Courage” off SOJA’s debut album, Peace in A Time Of War. It was just about 10 years ago, long before the radios had played it, the promoters hyped it, and the record stores sold it.… Read More

Why Hate Reggae? When Reggae is Bigot Music

“You must kill them. All of the batty men run when you see them. All up in your community, mon, me gon’ kill them. Man need a woman, can’t live without them, that’s why me comin’ after them!”

That’s what I sang into the microphone.… Read More

Editor’s Note: Tribe without a flag

In high school I had a friend, two years older than me, who had Judah’s Lion tattooed on his arm. In D.C. that meant Bad Brains and to me it was cooler than cool. Never mind he was a star soccer player, had a hot girlfriend, and drove a brand new Mazda MX-6.… Read More

Issue #2

“I want you to get together, put your hands together one time.”

St. Germain’s “Rose Rouge” is playing in my headphones. It’s 10:03am EST on Friday morning and we’re putting the final touches on this week’s issue of Rootfire, the second since we relaunched.… Read More

Editor’s Note: Global Forces

A Nigerian political dissident working in Austria. A Jewish bike messenger from Long Island. A fashion designer in Manhattan who grew up in a Durban township. A writer from an apple farm in Western Massachusetts. An Oglala Lakota painter raised on the Rez in South Dakota.… Read More

Issue #1 Out Now

Welcome to the first chapter of Rootfire’s new era. Issue #1 celebrates three articles released this week that speak on some fresh ideas in progressive reggae; think of it as a zine delivered to your inbox. The layout, revamped sections, and new contributors come to you live and direct just 7 days since you got my note about Rootfire’s rebirth as an online community.… Read More

Throwback Thursday: Linton Kwesi Johnson’s Dread Beat an’ Blood

My roommate still had a dumb grin on his face and said he didn’t want it, he was just kidding and thought I was just kidding. I said I wasn’t kidding and he had to eat it because I ate mine and I wasn’t going it alone, which was a mistake. You’re always going it alone. Anyhow, he said he was drunk when I arrived and was just goofing around but he would do it since he said he would, and I was sort of miffed so I went back and killed time with the acid man at the bar and the girls he was hanging out with until I started to feel it happen, and then I went back to find my friend.

Editor’s Note: Green Riddim

This is an introduction. For I and you. I first met Seth Herman in a building called the Pink Warehouse, which houses the Rootfire office, and our friendship is the true result of good ingredients: soccer, music, and writing. When I moved to Charlottesville to run a newspaper, I asked a musician if he knew any soccer teams around.… Read More