By Lazah Current
Reviewed by Jorge Antonio Vallejos
Lazah Current, former member of Juno Award winning Roots reggae band Messenjah, has gone solo and is reaching great heights. Recently performing to a packed house at Lula Lounge in Toronto (April 2011), Lazah Current launched his new CD Betta Tomorrow. His positive lyrics of faith leading to solutions for our world’s many problems had feet and hips moving all night.
Rocking side to side, bending up and down, and gripping the mic tight as his intonations soared, Lazah Current showed real emotion as he sang his lyrics based on real life circumstances ignored by many musicians: poverty, corrupt governments, faithless people, destruction, and the solution to it all, love.
Sporting a beard, slick lenses, colourful attire, and a rasta head-wrap holding his locks, Lazah Current hid nothing on stage. Reunited with, and backed by, former group members from Messenjah after many years, Lazah current sang nine songs that touched on everything from love to loss to hope giving the crowd a taste of what Betta Tomorrow is about.
Comprised of fifteen tracks, Betta Tomorrow is not only Lazah Current’s first solo project it is a switch in music genres. Originally an old school reggae musician Lazah has ventured into the world of Dancehall. But the former Roots musician has stayed true to his core—postivity. With so much controversy around Dancehall music these days, Lazah Current has stayed away from oppressive lyrics and shines a new light on the genre that has seen big acts like Beenie Man and others banned from performing in North America.
The key to what Lazah Current believes is the solution to our world’s problems is part of three song titles:
Believe in Love
As We Make Love
Lazah Current not only believes in love he sings with love to his listeners. His lyrics show how much of humanity lacks love and how when it is present it makes our world a better place.
In No Love Lazah current calls for “equal rights and justice for poor people.” The title is self-explanatory. With no love we are nothing, we live in negativity. Like many reggae artists Lazah Current sings of Babylon: police and government and the state of inequality we are in currently as a human race. “No love in their thinking, they deceive with their words,” sings Lazah Current of our politicians. He challenges those in power with honest facts and questions as opposed to what he calls “blanket comfort” aka band-aid solutions provided by the state.
Even Lazah Current’s love songs have a social conscious element to them. In Hey Girl, a song about a man calling out to woman, Lazah Current has respectful lyrics that sing of love in a different form.
Can I talk with you for just a moment?
No negative intention,
Just want to know if everything is alright wit you”
The woman being called out to has just lost her place and is a single mom. “Landlord have no mercy so now you’re looking for a place to stay.” With so many deadbeat dads and slumlords around, Lazah Current is singing of a reality that many can relate to. Hey Girl is the opposite of a catcall. There is no construction site like scenario going on. It’s all about love, human to human, and the lack thereof in society.
The first fourteen songs lead to the final track and title song Betta Tomorrow. Songs that take the listener through highs and lows end in what is the daily goal: “working for a betta tomorrow”.
“As the days go by
poor people a try
nuff a dem not get by
nuff a dem not rectify
dem na justify
momma a lot cry”
Through such poverty there are temptations to enter the underworld.
“The system will stress you
Evil thoughts might possess you
Babylon is like an insect
It infects you.’’
Still, Lazah Current’s songs remain positive: “I got the power to make the evil decline.”
The highs and lows sung in Betta Tomorrow are also present in the tracks themselves. Songs seven through nine could have been left out. Lazah Current is at his best when singing about love in Lately, and positivity in Sunshine. Like all good artists he opens himself up to his fans by sharing himself through his spirituality in Wordz and his personal life in As We Make Love.
Lazah Current not only believes in a positive future he’s helping make it happen with his new collection of songs Betta Tomorrow.
That was really, really cool.