Jamaican/Rastafari word for VITAL, ORGANIC, NATURAL, WHOLESOME… real roots

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Kendrick Lamar samples Jamaican singer’s “Every N*gger Is A Star” on new album

This is a 2009 post from my first blog about a tune called “Every Nigger is A Star”. At the time I was an anthropology and media undergrad student in New York exploring the intersection of Caribbean and black American culture in history and in the present. Urbanmediaoutlet became and I went on to name an interview category Every Nigga Is A Star where I asked creatives like Minka and Protoje random questions that anyone could most likely answer –  hence “every nigga.”

Obviously, its a notion that has stuck with me a long time so when I heard the opening of Kendrick Lamar’s new album I instantly knew I had to find this post because it has a lot of valuable info about that “WTF you just said” term.

Kendrick Lamar opened his 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly with ‘Wesley’s Theory’, a track that samples “Every Nigger is A Star” by Jamaican singer Boris Gardiner. Gardiner didnt do much as a singer but it is amazing how this one song has sparked so many other creatives to produce hot ish. Most Jamaicans (in Jamaica) will know Gardiner though… he sings “I wanna wake up with you.”

FYI There was a Every Nigger is a Star movie too.

I’ll be unearthing a lot more of these old writings as I gear up to become active on Ital Mama again. Also, just because a lot of them are still relevant to today’s pop culture like this one below.



NOVEMBER 19 2009 posted on

My dad used to used to sing this to us as yout’s. We thought he was crazy but we came to find out years later its a real song.

I should also mention that in 1974 Big Youth made a more popular version (I-Threes on backing vocals) and Frankie Paul did a version in 1991.  

Supercat also gained inspiration from the song with not one, but TWO songs coming from this meds.  Listen to the Don Dada on the obvious “Every Nigger is a Star” but also make sure that you notice the melody and lyrics of his very popular 1992 release “Nuff Man A Dead”:

“Im not sure anymore

Who is knocking at my door (door)

The places that I knew

Jah man, its so sunny and blue

I-man can see it in the sky (sky)

Tenor Saw already die

Me say me oh me oh my my”

is a take on Gardiner’s “Every Nigger is a star”: 

“Im not sure anymore 

Just how it happened before

The places that I knew

Were sunny and blue

I can feel it deep inside 

This black niggers pride…”

Ready for another 6 degrees of separation from “Every Nigga is A Star”? Kanye West’s 2007 release Graduation featured a tune with Mos Def called “Good Night” where Mos sings the “Im not sure anymore…” hook from Supercat. Yaadie dem large nuh bloodclaat!!!

I love when I make these connections! Respect due to Boris Gardiner, his version came first:

From the Jamaica Sunday Gleaner (Nov 8 2009) Mel Cooke “Story of the Song”series:

Continue reading


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Homeschooling a preschooler

A 20-something Jamaican mom now living in Atlanta, U.S decides to withdraw her child from school and educate him at home.

Ital Mama asked her why, she responds:

“I had [my son] in preschool but I felt that most of what he was learning he got from me. I figured ‘he’s going [to preschool] just to be babysat, I might as well do all I can do at home.’ So this year I withdrew him.

At schools they limit kids with [the] curriculum and I would like my five year old to absorb as much as possible from early.”

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Vegetarian Chickpeas masala

I haven’t cooked chick peas (also called garbanzo beans) in a long time and I am wrong for that!This masala hit the spot for our Sunday dinner.

Here’s what I used to season the pot:


Missing is luscious coconut milk. I added Rice Milk Power instead… I dont care, judge me.

-Chickpeas need to be soaked overnight or pressure cooked for a long time. Make sure you soak, boil and prepare them before hand as this recipe is quick and easy once your ingredients are ready.

-Save some of broth boiled with the chickpeas to incorporate into your dish.

-I also cut my potato, carrots, and string beans into small bits and gently steamed them in a strainer over hot water beforehand.

Cook it up
-Heat some oil to fry onions, garlic, scallion etc until they start to go translucent. I added a 1/2 inch stump of ginger crushed under a clean glass here too.

-In Jamaica cooking there is a technique called “burning the curry” where curry powder is added into the hot oil before anything else. I like to add my curry (in this case tumeric and masala powders) after my onion, garlic, chives etc.

-Stir continuously so it doesn’t catch but so that everything is well coated.

-Add your steamed veggies and keep stiring. I like mine get a bit of a crisp here.

– Now your ready for your pre boiled chickpeas and enough broth to make a nice sauce. Start with a small amount and work your way up if you’re not sure how much broth. Add salt, thyme, coriander and other herbs and spices here.

-Cover and let it bubble on a low heat for 10-20 mins.

-Add tomato in the last five minutes, giving the dish a burst of freshness.


I know i know i know, this is a hefty meal, Real Jamaican Style 🙂

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Forever Mama Faybiene Miranda

Mama Faybiene dances down the isle at my Auntie's wedding, poetry in hand.

Mama Faybiene dances down the isle at my Auntie’s wedding, poetry in hand (Brooklyn)

There are some people who come to Earth to bring light and hope . This is how I felt when I was around Mama Faybiene. I didn’t even know about her revolutionary 1975 reggae song that was banned in Jamaica, didnt even know she was a reggae artist at all. I learned about this last night as I found out about her transition on Queen Afua’s twitter page and then came upon a wealth of info online about her most valued contribution that we give thanks for.

I knew Mama Faybiene as the elder of my sistren Nika, her mom’s busom buddy. It just connected to me as I read the interview posted below, that Mama Faybiene is one of the poets featured  in a book my parents had called- Itations of Jamaica and I Rastafari. Book-Itations-Of-Jamaica-And-I-Rastafari-1st-Edition

Mama Faybiene in the bottom left corner from the book "Itations of Jamaica and I Rastafari"

Mama Faybiene in the bottom left corner from the book “Itations of Jamaica and I Rastafari”

Those vivid and telling photos have stayed in my headspace all my life.  I also remember her tattoos one of which I asked about and she was happy to explain. I remember her as a poet, pouring out the word sound power.  She will forever be carried on by the numerous people she has influenced and blessed with her presence.

Listen to the banned song, read the in depth interview with her and watch her in a TEDx talk in NYC 2010.

Walk Good Mama Faybiene

A Stand To Be Taken: Interview with Faybiene Miranda by Peter I (

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Reggae Sundays: Weep Not- Khalilah Rose

Khalilah Rose

Khalilah Rose

Khalilah Rose goes in on food control and food pollution in mainstream food sold to us today and warns people to take control of their health.

“Be conscious of what you put inna yuh mouth, stop and read the label/ cancer is lurking about, so watch what yuh puttin on yuh dinner table.”


Music Sundays: Dubtonic Kru- Everlasting Love

Dubtonic Kru, the group that was voted “Best New Band” at the 2011 Global Battle of the Bands, comes with an instant reggae classic, creating EVERLASTING LOVE from the ground up in association with SICK DONKEY RECORDS.dubtonic kru

The song was recorded one afternoon in Seattle and represents the true ensemble vibe with lead vocalist Kamau and guitarist Jallanzo trading vocals, Jubba on harmonies and drums, while bassie Stone drives the message, and Luke builds keyboard sounds that echo American R&B of the early 1980’s. The groove is definitively reggae one-drop with lyrics steeped in metaphysical potency that will have you singing along with the message of universal, unconditional, agape love from the Creator reminding us that “Jah made the sun, the moon, the stars that shine; eternally.”