Cultural chanter Prezident Brown, a tall dread by appearance, has always kept to the high road of consciousness and stayed away from the ranks of gun and pum-pum lyrics with a good mix of message music and love songs. Unlike many other Jamaican artists, Brown isn’t a high prolific artist. Rather than flooding the reggae market with lots of singles, he takes time to concentrate on bringing roots with quality. He doesn’t let stylistic boundaries get in the way of ambitious songs that combine dancehall toasting with gruff, rootsy singing.
The Prezident is a champion in the new roots and reality consciousness reggae movement. His message is pure Rasta conscious vibes as he entertains, informs and inspires. A distinct and powerful stage presence, the Prezident focuses on the power of his live performance to convey, uplift and spiritualize. Carefully crafted songs, fine conscious lyrics and vocals effectively melding with mostly fresh, never-before-heard riddims, form the main pillars of his music. His vocals are deliberate yet rhythmic and bouncy, lending a fun edge to his music, despite the cultural themes he puts forth. His repertoire ranges from hard and upbeat to acoustic guitar and Nyabingi drum-laced ballads, most of which are original and filled with strong melodies.
Jamaican-born Brown got the calling at an early age, seeing himself as a vessel from which flows the healing effect of his musical staple. As a child, he would grab the mike and chant away at schoolyards and country dances. Cultivating his craft, he created music that speaks a universal language. He is an artist driven by a sense of mission and purpose, which dictates that he “edutains” (heightens the consciousness of a people) as much as entertains.
Besides playing simply great, high-vibed reggae music, Brown and his band explored the outer regions of their musical delivery system. The keys played like a horn section on occasion often giving things a New Orleans marching band style. Emphasizing positive messages, Prezident Brown has continued to pioneer his own direction, developing his own approach to deejaying that he calls chanting.
A man with a mission, Brown continuously works to maintain the high standards that the forefathers set in terms of production qualities and adherence to true Jamaican cultural values. This rootsy tendency is coupled with a refreshing humbleness. He is not involved in any sort of controversy or competition, but rather spends his time developing new sounds that are centered in the successful formula of his predecessors.
Prezident Brown is part of the next wave of chanters in the dancehall, exhibiting a consistent, thoughtful focus on quality, as well as a sincere effort to preserve the high standards that are the foundation of reggae’s success worldwide.
Too bad not all presidents are as capable in their jobs as Prezident Brown is.
Prezident Brown plays as part of the 2nd Annual Pure Summer Tune-up at Truckee Amphitheater on June 29. For more show information, visit facebook.com/rambopartyproductions. For more information on Prezident Brown, visit prezidentbrownmusic.com.
Friday, June 29 | 3 p.m. | $25 advance/$30 at gate | All ages | Trucke Amphitheater| Truckee, Calif.