Calling himself an African Rasta, today's artist creates Jah-centered anthems promoting morality, love, peace, and social consciousness. With a range that moves from sensitivity to rage over injustice, much of his music empathizes with the impoverished and those on society's fringe. He is also a staunch supporter of African unity, and to this end, he sings to Moslem audiencess in Hebrew and sings in Arabic to Israelis. ... N'joy
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Hailing from the Cote d'Ivoire, Alpha Blondy is among the world's most popular reggae artists. With his 12-piece band Solar System, Blondy offers a reggae beat with a distinctive African cast. Calling himself an African Rasta, Blondy creates Jah-centered anthems promoting morality, love, peace, and social consciousness. With a range that moves from sensitivity to rage over injustice, much of Blondy's music empathizes with the impoverished and those on society's fringe. Blondy is also a staunch supporter of African unity, and to this end, he sings to Moslem audiencess in Hebrew and sings in Arabic to Israelis. Some of his best-known songs include "Cocody Rock," "Jerusalem," and "Apartheid Is Nazism."
He was born a member of the Jula tribe in Dimbokoro and named Seydou Kone, after his grandfather. His grandmother, Cherie Coco, raised him. He was always a rebellious child and for this, Coco named him "Blondy," her unique pronunciation of the word "bandit." When he started performing professionally, he took on the name Alpha (the first letter in the Greek alphabet) so his name literally translates to "first bandit." Though he grew up listenting to African folkloric music such as yagba and gumbe, his primary musical influences were such Western bands as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and soul artists like Otis Redding. Later Bob Marley's music tremendously affected Blondy. Though he wanted to become a musician, his family expected him to become a respectable English teacher. He studied English at Hunter College in New York, and later in the Columbia University American Language Program. Outside of class, he would play music in Central Park and in Harlem clubs where occasionally house bands would let him sing his Bob Marley covers in French, English, and various West African languages. One night, record producer Clive Hunt heard Blondy sing and invited him to record six songs. Unfortunately, Hunt absconded with the tape. Shortly afterward, he returned to the Ivory Coast, where he was arrested for threatening the ambassador at the New York Ivorian embassy because the diplomat felt that Blondy's English was too good for him to be an Ivorian native. While at the police station, Blondy's temper again flared and he slapped a policeman (after the cop slapped him first). He spent a week in jail and then stayed briefly at th Bingerville Asylum in Abidjan, where he was declared reasonably sane and released. Soon afterward, he began honing his songwriting and performing skills. Later, he dedicated an album to the patients of Bingerville.
Blondy got his big break from friend Fulgence Kass, an employee of Ivory Coast Television who helped him land a spot on the Premiere Chance talent show. Singing three of his own tunes plus Burning Spear's "Christopher Columbus," the young artist was a hit with the audience. Blondy then hooked up with producer G. Benson who recorded his eight-song debut album Jah Love in a single day. The most popular song, "Brigadier Sabari," was an account of Blondy's run-in with an Abidjan police street raid in which he was nearly beaten to death. It was the first time a West African artist had dared to mention random police brutality in public. After releasing the album, he and the newly formed Solar System band signed to EMI. They recorded his second album, Cocody Rock, in Paris in 1984. Later he returned to Tuff Gong to record his third album, Jerusalem (1986). By the release of his 1987 album Revolution, Blondy had established himself as an international artist. Three years before he had been voted the number one artist by a Radio France international poll. His popularity continues to grow, and he continues steadily releasing albums. His 1992 album, Masada, was released in over 50 countries around the world and went double gold in France. Yitzhak Rabin followed in 1998; Paris Percy appeared in spring 2001. Although it was recorded in 1999, the album Elohim appeared in 2002 in Europe and three years later in America. The career-spanning Akwaba: The Very Best of Alpha Blondy was also released in 2005.
Blondy was named as United Nations Ambassador of Peace for Cote D’Ivoire in 2005 and continuously remains dedicated to his humanitarian efforts through his charitable foundation Alpha Blondy Jah Glory. His mission is to eradicate generational poverty by providing grass roots social programs that are beneficial to the lives of underprivileged children and women from villages within Africa and Haiti.
The foundation’s remarkable programs are Tafari Genesis Retreat Camp and the Micro Loan Program.It provides training and financing as little as $50.00 U.S. dollars to assist women who have become head of households to manage, operate, and start their own businesses. Overall, Alpha Blondy empowers communities to become self sufficient by learning and utilizing basic skills. This concept generates opportunities for many women to maintain their integrity, rebuild confidence as well as provide for their families.
"Jah Victory" and was released July 2007. It features Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare as well as Tyrone Downie formerly of Bob Marley and the Wailers. "Victory" is in honor of the peace agreement that was reached and implemented in his country in March 2007. Then in 2011 Vision was released it got great reviews whiich must have invigorated him because 2 years later to celebrate his sixtieth year on this globe "Mystic Power" saw the light. It should not be passed over by fans of rootsy rocking reggae, his wonderful voice still complements his thought-provoking lyrics.
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Despite heated protests from his parents, Alpha Blondy abandoned his studies in education to establish himself as a singer, a move influenced by his discovery of the Rastafarian faith and the music of international reggae star Bob Marley. A longtime dream was fulfilled in 1986 when, five years after Marley's death, the singer's backing band, the Wailers, supplied the rhythms for Blondy's fourth album. Recorded in Jamaica, Jerusalem remains one of Blondy's most satisfying song collections. Lyrics alternate among English, French, and Blondy's own Dioula, a mix the singer attempts to unite through the rhythms of reggae music. Aiding him in his pursuits are some of the island's finest. Under Bob Marley, the seasoned rhythm team of brothers Aston and Carlton Barrett (bass and drums), Junior Murvin (guitar), and Earl Lindo (keyboards) refined reggae music to the slick, near-universal pulse Blondy was seeking. Though their former mentor's success distanced the Wailers somewhat from Jamaica's hard roots audience, they lost none of their exceptional musicianship in the process. The sound of Carlton Barrett's slick snare beats and Earl "Chinna" Smith's supple bluesy lines may have lacked the rough hues of the 1970s, but they did provide many music fans with a palatable introduction to reggae. Behind Blondy, they helped propel the singer to his own level of crossover success. Though the mix by engineers Anthony Kelly, Gary Sutherland, and Solgie Hamilton applies a certain amount of gloss to the music, sparse, competent rhythms ride below Blondy on tracks like "Boulevard de la Mort," "Travailler C'Est Trop Dur," and "Bloodshed in Africa."
Alpha Blondy & The Wailers - Jérusalem (flac 253mb)
01 Jérusalem 7:48
02 Politiqui 6:35
03 Bloodshed In Africa 4:19
04 I Love Paris 5:15
05 Kalachnikov Love 5:20
06 Travailler, C'est Trop Dur 3:17
07 Miwa 5:04
08 Boulevard De La Mort 5:26
09 Dji 2:45
Alpha Blondy & The Wailers - Jérusalem (ogg 102mb)
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Finally the great weird one he had in him. Its seven cuts include a chanson in Dioula, a crude, endearingly right-on crossover bid called "Rock and Roll Remedy," and the Solar System vamping for 10 minutes behind a speech by Côte d'Ivoire's 84-year-old president Félix Houphouêt-Boigny, a Francophile bourgeois as unrevolutionary as any head of state in Africa. Wish my French was up to what the Old Man is saying; wish my Dioula was up to what the songs about bleeding and elections are saying. I do know that the lead love song ends up in a mental hospital, because it's in English. While Revolution has some great tracks like "Sweet Fanta Diallo," "Blesser" and "Jah Houphouet Nous Parle," the first three tracks. The most interesting and experimental track is the ten-minute "Jah Houphouet Nous Parle," in which Blondy takes a tape of a speech given by the former president of the Ivory Coast, M. Felix Houphouet Boigny, and puts it to some sleak, pulsating music. Unfortunately, if you don't speak French, you won't be able to understand the speech, which Blondy calls a "masterpiece."
Alpha Blondy - Revolution (flac 261mb)
01 Sweet Fanta Diallo 5:18
02 Blesser 5:30
03 Jah Houphouet Nous Parle (Rassemblement Démocratique Africain) 10:37
04 Rock And Roll Remedy 4:07
05 Time 4:06
06 Election Koutcha 5:36
07 Miri 5:44
Alpha Blondy - Revolution (ogg 98mb)
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Blondy's first international release under a new worldwide contract with EMI is as soulful and militant as past efforts, with an added gloss to the production that may win new listeners. you might have probably already guessed from the title, this album is based on religion. He goes on to talk about the role the prophets and the troubles they went through in spreading God's word in "Allah Leka Netchi". Then makes a parallel with us, later generations, in "Corinthiens", referring to a section of the bible, as to how important it is for every human being to stay in the straight path and hold on to the truth in our every day life. In closing with the religion theme, he again sings about hypocrisy, namely in "Kolombaria", where he warns human beings about thinking they are cheating Godwhen they are only furthering themselves into doing bad deeds.
Then he touchily browses the troubles and tribulation people go through or have gone through in their life. Firsts in line are "Black men tears" and "Jah Music", where he portrays some the troubles black people have been through during slavery time and the discrimination and vicious cycle black people are caught into nowadays. Secondly, he goes to an even more general subject, which is the struggle every body goes against in trying to lead a good and exemplary life in today's society in "Face To Face".
Finally, he returns to topics typical of the motherland, Africa. In "Coup D'Etat", Alpha denounces the wrong doing of some African leaders who thirsty of power try to get it by any means necessary. And many times they do so by using military force. "Banana" is specific to the Ivory Coast (Cote D'Ivoire) in that he tells the problems the Ivorian dairy farmer faces in trying to make a living from his work. Not only does he have to overcome the uncertainties of the weather but also producing quality food in convenient quantities in order to be able to sell it at a good price and make profit out of it.
I recognize that often times Alpha using French, Dioula (an African language from the Ivory Coast), or English in trying to convey his message, makes it difficult for other who don't understand to grasp the concepts behind the melody. But again, it is only natural for him to do so and that is the reason why I tried to give as much details as I could fit in this slot. I would fiercely recommend this album to anybody found of reggae, good music or good singers able to bring attention to meaningful subjects.
Alpha Blondy - The Prophets (flac 226mb)
01 The Prophet (Allah Léka Netchi) 3:02
02 Banana 3:44
03 Coup D'Etat 2:56
04 Kolombaria 4:13
05 Face To Face 4:19
06 Black Men Tears 5:15
07 Corinthiens 3:15
08 Jah Music 6:25
Alpha Blondy - The Prophets (ogg 78mb)
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