On Sunday, June 10, 2018 death stung the Nigerian music scene with the passing away of Ras Kimono, but even though his body no longer dwells among the living, his music is entrenched in the sounds of time.
From the late 80s, when Ras Kimono gained prominence with the release of his debut studio album, Under Pressure in 1989, there are few other Reggae artists who delivered a vast, appealing and statement making message in their music.
As we look back at his life, career and legacies, we also celebrate 10 of his most essential songs during his career.
1. Under Pressure
Delivered in a mix of English and Delta language, and interspersed with rhythmic chanting, it was to grow into one of his most significant recordings as Ras Kimono painted a picture of events and situations not limited to Nigeria but on the continent.
Under Pressure addressed societal issues, with his lyrics mirroring the state of agony on the African continent and the single carried a message that Nigerians could identify
2. Rhumba Style
Off his debut album Under Pressure, Rhumba Stylee is one of the less political songs that gets you into his Reggae vibe.
3. What’s Gwan?
Another of the late icon’s political songs as he asks What’s Gwan in the country?
Ras Kimono channeled most of his messages at the Government and the ills in the society.
4. Gimme Likkle Sugar
Gimme Likkle Sugar is a classic record that touches on poor leadership, decay in the system and police brutality.
Ras Kimono passes the message that all Nigerians need is happiness and not added suffering.
5. Kimono De Want
One of the childhood anthems that got the neighbourhood kids singing, ‘Ayaga yaga yaga yo’.
Kimono De Want is a mellow anthem on the love for his music, but also carries a message as he advocates for freedom.
6. Rastafari Chant
Rastafari Chant is a soaring tune of his roots, connection and personality, as it tallies with the image of the Rasta Man that he consciously tries to show with his looks and lyrics.
”Some are saying that we crazy, some are saying that we lazy”, coincidentally the lyrics still strikes gold today.
7. Natty Get Jail
Natty Get Jail was originally inspired by the arrest of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, but the Abami Eda was released before he could complete the song and Ras Kimono decided to expand the message into a plea for justice, mercy and freedom.
8. Kill Apartheid
Right at the height of Apartheid in South Africa, Ras Kimono makes a bold call with his music to world leaders to kill apartheid.
9. Rub A Dub Master
An upbeat tune, that became the life of the party at the time it was released.
Ras Kimono showed the other side to his craft, He was mostly the messenger, but also the entertainer.
10. Jah Guide
Jah Guide is a prayer for guidance, a call for help and a cry for direction.
Ras Kimono was deeply religious in his beliefs and this reflected in his music.