Ras Kimono: How I escaped death on stage


oge-kimonoRub-a-dub master and reggae music legend, Ras Kimono has been a vegetarian for the past 35 years and is one of the artistes that dominated the industry in the days when reggae music held sway. Together with his Massive Dread Band, Kimono released his debut album, Under Pressure, in 1989 to wide acclaim and his single, Rum-Bar Stylee became an instant hit, transforming him into a household name overnight. Today, with seven albums to his credit and still counting, Ras Kimono says he has no plans to retire in this chat with Entertainer. He also debunks social media reports that he and Rainmaker, Majek Fashek are at loggerheads.
Excerpts:
What have you been up to lately?
Well, I’ve been in the studio working out new stuff with my brother, Orits Wiliki, which should be out this year among other things.

How many albums do you have to your name and which would you say sold the most?
I have seven albums. I can’t tell which sold the most; this question is meant for my record company because they are in charge.

What kind of a father would you say you are?
I’m a listening father. I’m down to earth with my kids. I’m a father who provides the needs of his kids and when I can’t, I explain to them and they understand.

Your daughter, Oge Kimono, is also into reggae music at a time when it seems to be fading away, what are your fears for her?
Nowadays reggae music is on the rebound. It’s on every radio station in Lagos State so I have no fears for her.

Is there any beef between yourself and Majek Fashek? There were reports on social media that the both of you were at loggerheads.
No, none so ever, he’s my brother.

Do you think Majek will ever get his groove back?
Most certainly. I speak to him every other day. He’s in rehab and when he comes out strong and better, we’re going to have concerts.

Today, the live band seems to be dying. As a live band veteran, what do you think is the way forward?
When I came back from the US, I started shouting about it. I said fire burn every man who says we should pay to go watch his CD performance on stage. And Lagbaja also spoke against it but right now, the society has found out that it’s a rip-off. Nobody is going to pay to watch what you could listen to in the comfort of your home.

What’s your take on hard drugs?
Fire burn hard drugs takers. We rastamen complain about it; if you touch hard drugs it will deal with you.

Have you had any embarrassing moment?
Sometime ago, I had a concert and I was jumping on stage and I think the wood wasn’t so strong so it broke and I fell. But thank goodness because Jah protected me and I wasn’t hurt. And another time I was running on stage, I fell down and had a summersault. It’s so bad, I could have died.


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