ALBUM REVIEW: Jah9 – Note To Self
BEST TRACKS: Highly (Get To Me), Heaven (Ready Fi Di Feeling), Love Has Found I, Ready To Play
Jah9 is a singer born in the Jamaican countryside, who, at the age of nine, moved to Kingston, the heart of Jamaica. Through her strong, regal voice and unique jazz-steeped dub sound, her music has crossed international borders. She is also very spiritually intune, heavily learned in Rastafarian teachings and trained in multiple disciples of yoga. When I came across this album, I was elated to see such confident, talented female representation within Rastafari as well as reggae music. Highly socially conscious, Jah9 intentionally rebels against outdated traditions and mindselts while simultaneously embracing the rich and warm Jamaican culture.
This album is a contemporary take on Jamaican music. The classic reggae beat is the core to this alluring music, underlaying a soulful, jazzy, afrobeat funk sound. The incredible rhythm and sway of this album momentarily soothed my soul. The smoothness and slow of this album cannot but be appreciated. Most impressive element of this immaculate album is Jah9’s lyrical capability. Her syllables never miss a beat, and are dense and complementary to the music, without feeling rushed or squished into the bars. I would describe Note To Self as roots reggae, dealing with social issues faced by the African Diaspora, black and female liberation, and the honoring of Jah.
This Jah9 certainly draws inspiration from mystic and ancient sources. Jamaican or not, this album provides clarity and power to all who listen openly. If anything, this music will awaken the energy in your blood and make you want to move. Not to hate on indie (I love indie), but I recommend this album if you’re burnt out on listening to the same old oppressed white indie boys and want something more spiritual and rhythmic. I also recommend Note To Selfif you like similar artists like Popcaan, Hollie Cook, and Chronixx.