“Reggae is trying to promote marijuana again on the planet, as the healing of our nation.” – Mr. Rico
There are few things that I love more than conscious music with a good beat. Unfortunately ? and I blame the industry for this ? good conscious music is a rare find in today’s market of mass-produced American idols and “oops, I did it again”.
But when I come across a group that makes my high elevate to a spiritual place, and my body move with abandon on the dance floor, I am always pleasantly surprised.
What surprised me even more was to find it in Texas.
Dubtex, a hip-hop reggae band out of Houston, has been satisfying Texas reggae enthusiasts and spiritual ganja-lovers as a united front for the past three years. But how was I supposed to know? I showed up at the Flaming Cantina in Austin with the intent on taking some photographs and hearing some reggae. Instead, I was greeted by a group of serious musicians who impressed upon me their sense of integrity and musical praise to life and the Almighty Herb.
“Herb is connected to the planet, and when you’re communicating with that plant by consumption, you’re communicating with the planet, too,” Ferenj (vocals) told Cannabis Culture. “The bible speaks of Moses hearing the voice of God in a burning bush, and it’s clear to me what that bush probably was.”
“We are all of the mind that this herb is not a drug and shouldn’t be treated like other drugs are treated; we certainly don’t treat it as such,” Ras Medley (bass) added. “We are using it for meditation, and medication if we need to.”
Ras Medley hasn’t had much luck convincing the Texas law of his enlightened awareness, however.
“In Texas, they don’t really play. I went to jail one time for a half ounce, and I went to jail another [time]for an empty bag with some seeds and some steams and some crumbs and shit. But I went to jail just the same? and [I] had to pay fines and got my driver’s license suspended. But it never changed me, or my mind, or the way I feel about [ganja].”
And the feelings are powerful. Although not every member of Dubtex partakes in the sacred smoke, many of their songs openly sing its praises, and Ferenj was inspired to fire up his pipe on stage in Austin just before letting his dreads down from his bam.
When I later asked him what moved him to be so bold, he casually responded, ?Usually when we play the song Good Weed everybody lights up anyway, and fog up the place. We can catch a contact even if we don’t light up.”
Not lookin’ for no props, it’s not a political rant.
It’s a war between one natural crop,
Versus a bunch of chemical “plants”!
See that’s the story behind the herb that they are neva gonna tell ya!
It was in competition with what Dupont wanted to sell ya!
So if you get busted for ganja, time to cop a plea,
Say “I ain’t hurt nothing your honor, ‘cept some oil monopolies!”
? Good Weed
Although Dubtex has only been united as a group for the past three years, they have played the same clubs (in separate bands) since 1993. This last year has been the most challenging for them. Last year Dubtex lost their manager to a drunk driver on St. Patrick’s Day, and it has only been in the last couple of months that the energy has turned around in a positive direction. Being featured by Cannabis Culture is something that they openly give thanks for.
“We like Cannabis Culture.” Mr. Rico reflected. “We think the magazine is intelligent and consciencious and right where we want to be.”
I left the Flaming Cantina clutching Dubtex’s EP, Bayou Bush Burners, after dancing all the way through my first and only thoroughly satisfying experience of urban-style Texas reggae. I listened to it as soon as I got to my hotel, and noted on the inside cover that only the first four songs had been studio-recorded. Tracks five through fifteen were recorded live and without the band’s intent to record for the public.
Ferenj later shared with me that the band was playing for a hometown crew at a regular venue, and the last twelve tracks were digitally captured and handed to them as a surprise.
“We just had to share it.”
Cannabis Culture sends wishes of prosperity, unification and longevity to Dubtex (Lion 808, Ferenj Wande, Ras Medley, Mr. Rico, DJ Mercury, & Bryce) and family.
Keep on spreading the good vibes!
? Free MP3 downloads and contact information at: www.myspace.com/dubtex