Black Uhuru frontman and Solo Artist Andrew Bees delivers a defiant Rasta Culture Reggae to chant down Babylon in the digital age with latest single “Hail and Blaze”
As a formidable solo artist, founder of Beeshive Music, and charismatic frontman for legendary, Grammy Award-winning reggae band Black Uhuru for the past 27 years, Andrew Bees has always been committed to reggae’s sacred roots as a music of resistance to the political corruption, racism, and social injustices of oppressive colonizing governments, represented in the Rasta tradition by the archetypal wicked city of Babylon.
With his latest solo single-“Hail And Blaze”, Bees now continues the legacy, bringing his personal brand of conscious roots reggae to a new generation of audiences and future reggae artists, while delivering a potent reminder of reggae’s capacity for social critique. In the process, Bees has proven that he, perhaps more so than any one of his contemporary musical peers, is a sage master when it comes to articulating the values and spirit behind the holy trifecta of Reggae, Rasta, and Revolution to a new generation of fans who are experiencing injustice in the unique socio-political context of our time.
And it’s a good thing, because we aren’t in Kansas anymore …and the old-school model for oppression via the nationalist colonialism of the past is a very different beast from the digitally enhanced Black Mirror-styled oppression that lies just ahead in our artificially intelligent future. The New Babylon is a Technocratic Babylon, ruled over by a transnational network of unelected corporate cronies and cartoonishly evil billionaire Bond villains, armed with deep data and a delusional decree to hack the human mind and colonize our very free will.
Yes, in a world where most are so mesmerized by a technocratic media matrix’s masterfully spun illusions that we are often blind to our own impending enslavement, the music being dispatched from the Beeshive is a new Rasta reggae revolt for the Dystopian Age. And in that wasteland, Andrew Bees’ songs go forth like dread-headed drone bee Souljahs of Love to pollinate the earth with righteousness and awesome tunes.
“This is the music of pollination,” says Bees, “The Beeshive are pollinating a poly-nation with love. Without the bees, then the trees them are nothing you know? And without the trees, then you and I as human beings are nothing, and without we, the trees them are nothing. There is a connection and it’s all about spreading love and happiness. Because there is so much sadness now going all over the world, so we make the music of love and take it nation to nation …to create a new generation we can feel proud of as human beings to see what we accomplish, which is love. We have nothing else to accomplish but love, man. ”
“Hail And Blaze” features an epic, wailing guitar riff pitched over a hard-driving, militant groove that is interspersed with what sounds like rhythmic trebled swipes of fingers along the guitar neck that somehow give the effect of intermittent Jah-affirming sampled bird tweets. Rising defiant out of the mix is Bees’ wide-ranged and almost ecstatic vocal delivery of lyrics that invoke the communal strength of A Labella, where the Binghi gather to chant hymns, to hail Jah, and keep ablaze the ancient doctrines and teachings handed down from civilization’s gateway of Ethiopia. Within the sanctified walls of this sacred space, the laser-focused chanting of the faithful drowns out the noise and the constant media spin of false narratives designed to distract the collective psyche with addictive consumption and a constant clamoring for war. Not having it, Bees warns the deception-pedaling agents of Babylon not to come around ‘frownsing’… unless they want to catch some lightning:
No come around here with no long story talking
Heey! Bout no whole inna no pumpkin.
Your masked faced and your Halloween doctrines
Binghi ones keep on chanting
Binghi man them keep on…
Higher, hail and a blaze and a hail and a blaze.
The combined effect of the track’s various superbly integrated elements gives the feeling Bees is delivering a glorious Braveheart-worthy pre-battle pep talk, empowering us to resist the barrage, to see through the conjured illusions of the New Babylon’s media magi, and to expel the poisonous colonizing voices from our minds with the head-spinning purge of a Solomonic exorcism.
“Honey bees don’t put up with foolishness,” says Andrew Bees bluntly and admiringly of the industrious little insects that share his name and keep the whole life-cycle cycling. “To the hive, everything gotta be unopposed on a cycle that gotta happen and they look towards that task no matter what the man say. The man can’t come with stories and tell a bee, ‘this is a bad day today so gotta hide in the hive watching TV’. They don’t believe in that. There is no bad day for a bee, man. Every day is a busy day for a bee; every day they gotta work. The Beeshive is set on the task to pollinate the world with love and joy to grow in the next generation.”
This statement reflects a long-held Andrew Bees philosophy that the children are the future, and by connecting humanity through music, artists can pass the torch and assure that future has been pollinated with strong values and good vibes.
In 2019, Andrew Bees formed his own record label and trademarked brand called Beeshive Music. Since its inception, Beeshive Music has been instrumental in elevating the youth of the Waterhouse district in Kingston, Jamaica, supporting and encouraging the youth to “get off the streets and into music” in favor of creating a more positive future.
The album is executive produced by Bees himself under his legal name of O’Neil Beckford and it is the first project produced through his BeesHive Music.
Under the direction of prolific manager, agent, Project Manager, and Artistic Director Robert Oyugi of Ujama Designs, the album was recorded at Nice n Up and AXX Studios and features Bingy on drums and percussion, Devon Bradshaw on bass, Valter Vincenti on lead guitar, and Andrew Diamond on guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals. Real Life was mixed by Andrew Seidel at SUB80 and was produced by the same under his better-known stage name of Andrew Diamond.
Sun April 23: The Venice West 1717 Lincoln Blvd. Venice, CA
Fri Oct 6, 2023: The Hana Farmers Market 1 Mill St. Hana, Hi
Sat Oct 7: Da Playground 300 Maalaea Rd. Wailuku, HI