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.

Inity Weekly interviews “Bambataa” Marley

Our good friends at Inity Weekly just posted an “Innerview” with son of Ziggy Marley, Daniel “Bambaata” Marley, who has been blowing up the live scene lately.  We have been sharing content with Inity Weekly since we launched and they never fail to impress with in-depth innerviews and original content.


Though it has been over 30 years since his passing, Bob Marley continues to stand as an international symbol for hope, peace and action, all made possible through the reggae music we know and love.

Marley has left a legacy that is undoubtedly carried on by his offspring, from the continuation of music, to the brand that has been built by the house of Marley, offering products that range from food and beverage to apparel and even resorts.

Still, what does it mean to carry the recognizable family name? The question has been posed as to whether the works of the Marley family can live up to the legacy he left. And let’s be honest, us outsiders expect a top-notch production when it comes to yet another Marley artist making their way onto the music scene.

So, it’s needless to say that Bob Marley’s grandson, Daniel (son of Ziggy), has some big shoes to fill, as he is new to the music scene as a solo artist, doesn’t he? In his “inner-view” with Inity Weekly, the young Daniel Marley talks music, yes, but also emphasizes the importance of individuality and debunks the myths of what it means to be the grandson of a legend.



Ghetto Youth’s Labor Day Weekend

As reported by, Ghetto Youths International, the Marley owned label, is headed up the East Coast for a Labor Day weekend mini tour. This power packed line up includes, Wayne Marshall, Jo Mersa, Christopher Ellis, Black-Am-I, Julian Marley, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Stephen “Ragga” Marley.

The crew, just recently off an extensive tour across the Pacific Coast, will be kicking off their East Coast run on August 29th in Boston, MA at the House of Blues. Then they hit New York City to partake in the Labor Day festivities, performing at Hot 97’s On Da Reggae Tip 2013 on August 30th. On September 2 the Ghetto Youths crew will float down the Eastern Parkway for the annual West Indian Day Parade and after performing later that evening have their showcase at SOB’s in the city.

The East Coast tour will be in support of their 14-track compilation, Ghetto Youths International Presents Set Up Shop Vol. 1, which was released February 2013. The album has peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Reggae Album Chart as well as climbing international charts.

The Ghetto Youths International Crew members, in addition to promoting their latest compilation, will also be showcasing their latest solo projects. Wayne Marshall is set to release his debut album TRU Colors in early September. He also finished the video, “I Know”, produced by Damian Marley and Sean “Young Pow” Deidrick.

Other crew members, Black-Am-I, Christopher Ellis and Jo Mersa are also gearing up to release new EP’s as well as Stephen “Ragga” Marley is getting ready to release his next album, Revelation Part II: Fruit of Life, this fall.

Celebrate Labor Day weekend with the Ghetto Youths International by catching one of their East Coast shows. Complete tour dates are listed below and keep checking back to The Pier for the latest news.

In addition to the mini-tour, Stephen “Ragga” Marley will be performing at the Lincoln Theatre, Washington DC, on October 21, 2013.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

August 29 @ House Of Blues. Boston, MA
August 30 @ Hammerstein Ballroom (Hot 97′s On Da Reggae Tip). New York, NY
August 31 @ Champlain Valley Expo. Essex Junction, VT
September 1 @ Barclays Center. Brooklyn, NY
September 2 @ Eastern Parkway West Indian Day Parade. Brooklyn, NY
September 2 @ SOBs. New York, NY *
* Ghetto Youths Crew only without Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley & Stephen “Ragga” Marley