Roger Steffens “”I think it would be a travesty if Snoop wins…”

“While I see Roger’s point here, and agree with his sentiment, it doesn’t really matter in my humble opinion.  The Reggae Grammy is a joke.  The judges on the Grammy committee seem to know very little to absolutely nothing about music that matters, especially reggae music.  Bottom line is Snoop sold 80,000+ units, and will surely sell many more as a result of this publicity.  It is absolutely a damning indictment of the current reggae market, which is seemingly made up of know-nothings with no soul and an even lesser ear for music.”

– Raver

Roger Steffens, who headed the Grammy Awards Reggae Committee for 27 years, says it would be a travesty if American rapper Snoop Lion won the Best Reggae Album category at next month’s show.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, Steffens described Snoop as a “pretentious wanna-be”. He is also not impressed with nominees for Best Reggae Album who were announced last Friday in Los Angeles.

“I think it would be a travesty if Snoop wins. He, like Matisyahu and many others before him, have used a Rasta-influenced format and warped it toward their own ends,” said Steffens. Snoop (formerly Snoop Dogg) is nominated for Reincarnated. He says his conversion to Rastafari was inspired by a visit to Jamaica in 2012 when he experienced a spiritual awakening while meeting with a group of Rastafarian elders.

Sly and Robbie and the Jam Masters’ Reggae Connection, Sizzla’s The Messiah, One Love, One Life by Beres Hammond and Ziggy Marley in Concert are the other nominees for Best Reggae Album.

Steffens formed the Reggae Committee and served as its chairman until 2011. He has openly criticised the selection process, claiming that judges favour albums produced by the Marley family.

The Marleys have dominated the category since it was established in 1985. Brothers Ziggy, Damian and Stephen have won Grammys as solo acts, while Ziggy and Steve won multiple times as members of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers.

Steffens with Keith Richards at the Reggae Archives

Steffens with Keith Richards at the Reggae Archives

Steffens, considered an authority on Bob Marley and the Wailers, believes this year’s nominees maintain the trend of mediocre selections. “The nominations this year fit into the pocket of name recognition more than anything else, regardless of sales or actual quality,” he said.

Reincarnated, with sales of over 80,000 units, is the best selling reggae album for 2013. The year has been poor in terms of sales by Jamaican artistes, with American reggae bands performing better on the Billboard charts. The Snoop set attracted mass coverage from mainstream media in the United States, due to his conversion from ‘gangsta rap’ icon to cultural artiste.

The lanky rapper (real name Calvin Broadus) is one of the godfathers of gangsta rap which emerged out of southern California’s impoverished communities in the early 1990s with hardcore rap acts such as NWA and Ice T. The 56th annual Grammy Awards is scheduled for the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on January 26.

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To read more about ‘Snoop Lion’, CLICK HERE.

4 thoughts on “Roger Steffens “”I think it would be a travesty if Snoop wins…”

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  2. You (Raver) are correct in that the Reggae Grammys are indeed A JOKE.
    However, I have to agree with Mr Steffens on this one .

    1. Plain and simple … ITS NOT A GOOD ALBUM … and arguement COULD be made that its NOT EVEN A ” REGGAE ” ALBUM ….

    2. The album is by an artist who 18 months ago had NEVER mentioned “Reggae” “Jah” “Rub A Dub” or even “IRIE” in any of his songs or interviews.
    (Personally, I feel if MARIJUANA did not exist, even the IDEA of making this album would not have crossed the mind of SNOOP, his marketing people NOR anyone else involved with this album, film, enterprise)

    Those AMERICAN REGGAE BAND who sold about 40-50K downloads are made up of musicians who have obvioulsy LOVED this music for over a decade if not longer .. and IT SHOWS .

    3. In a year when
    SHAGGY (who is CERTAINLY known when its comes to “name recognition) puts out his FIRST ever ALL-REGGAE (which is arguably among the top 5 Reggae albums of the decade) …
    ETANA puts out a superb album that is equally REGGAE as it is SOUL ….
    JAH CURE puts out an album that went TOTALLY unrecognized ….
    Several American Reggae Bands (as well as NON JAMAICAN acts – Alborosie, Gentleman for 2) all release albums that are GOOD Reggae albums ….

    These irresponsible lazy wankers REALLY went and nominated “REINCARNATED” ??

    Being NOMINATED alone is a travesty TO ME …

    NOW WHAT IF HE WINS …. its basically saying … go ahead make more …
    Do MORE “Reggae” collaborations with MILEY CYRUS …
    Disrespect BUNNY WAILER and we’ll give you Grammy same time …??

    As a matter of fact ANY 40-something RAPPER is now gonna see it as a way to extend a virtually DEAD career for about 7-10 years ….

    The late great JAMAICAN-born RAPPER , HEAVY D , also decided to make a REGGAE album …. it was NOT Good … and this is someone who had ALREADY made some GREAT Dancehall Reggae tracks with the likes of Super Cat, Robert Ffrench & Briggy plus Buju Banton ….

    He got nominated but did not win … THAT “bad” album was WAY better this “joke” album ….

    THANK GOD that ZIGGY and his LIVE album got nominated … Lets us all PRAY that THIS TIME the name ‘Marley’ does in fact stick out and make sure that the man who claims ” I AM BOB MARLEY REINCARNATED” ( and comes at the bigger Reggae SUMMER JAM festival as a headliner and after ONE reggae songs proceeds to sing ” I”m a Mother F&%&kin P.I.M.P” ) is NOT rewarded for a clever marketing ploy …

    Happy Holidays to all who read this .. and especially All at this great blog and Mr Steffens and Raver …. Bless Up .

    #HonourReggaeAndDancehall …. Its a WAR we’re fighting .

    • RESPECT RODIGAN! From Boston to DC the foundation got it on lock! Great points. I completely forgot that Snoop claimed to be Bob Marley reincarnated, which shows first and foremost that he has NO KNOWLEDGE and NO RESPECT for reggae as spiritual, conscious, and revolutionary music.

  3. The SADDEST thing of all is this :
    Even AFTER his “I’m Bob Marley Reincarnated” statement …
    Even AFTER the Rolling Stones mag interview whre he is disrespecting Bunny Wailer by saying “You ain’t S&%T, The Wailers was all about Bob and Peter” !!!!

    I have STILL not seen, heard or smelt ONE of the MARLEY family to come and tell this Dogg that he is going over-board .

    Personally, I don’t feel ANYONE is in a position to judge whether any person can call themselves a Born-Again and “Reincarnated” Rasta, Christian, Muslim, Zoroastrian or any other thing.

    BUT when you then start to USE that to make a REGGAE album & launch a massive PRESS campaign (without which you would NOT have sold too many more albums than REAL REGGAE albums by Busy SIgnal , Shaggy & Lutan Fyah ) one has to be a little apprehensive .

    Honestly when I heard the first single LA LA LA, I was impressed by the use of the KEN BOOTHE sample and involvement of the very under-rated JOVI ROCKWELL .
    I thought to myself, Major Lazer GOT THIS . They are now gonna make a CREATIVE album. We are gonna see the works of Legends like Sly & Robbie, as well as today’s hit making producers like Stephen McGregor, Don Corleonie, Cashflow, Black Chiney and Marley Brothers exposed to a bigger audience with some historical collabs … the PROMISE was a great one .

    What this album COULD do for Reggae music in 2013 and beyond was truly something to look forward to.

    Then the album comes out .
    16 collaborations ….
    EVERYONE gets credit , EXCEPT for “La La La” where you do NOT see Jovi’s name ???!!

    and then ???? …
    The corniness started rolling out when the album was released
    Ultra Mediocre collab with Drake , then Mavado and PopCaan (???) plus forgettable ones with Mr Vegas and Collie Buddz .

    The BEST “SONG” on this album is a copy of a solo track by AKON that was on AKON’s album in 2007 … Snoop was ON that album ; on a collab with Akon that was a massive hit called ” I WANNA F&%K YOU” ….
    Snoop took a very good AKON song . Put a little Reggae into the arrangement and sang it over . That’s all .

    As for the rest of the album . Go to Spotify . Listen for 2 days straight, as I did. See if you can FORCE yourself to like ANYTHING about it (AS A REGGAE ALBUM) OTHER than may be LA LA LA and the lyrical content of HERE COMES THE KING and groove of SO LONG .

    I have heard so many people admit in some discomfort … ” WELL ….FOR SNOOP MAKING A REGGAE ALBUM , ITS NOT BAD ”

    My response : since when did NOT BAD become GOOD ENOUGH for getting a Grammy Nomination ???

    A great idea. Excecuted without regard for Reggae, its past, current state NOR future.
    A massive opportunity to use a BIG name to propel Reggae / Dancehall (with its abundance of established AND new talent) …… LOST !
    But …. now REWARDED !!! ??

    Tis indeed a SAD DAY .

    Thank you Raver . Happy Holidays to you and the crew.

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