[ ART DECO WEEKEND 2013 >> LIVE MUSIC ]
RAS LI'L DREAD
SUNDAY / 1PM — 11TH STREET STAGE
Flying in from his home in Maui, LI'L' DREAD and his FYAH BLAZE BAND
bring their HAWAIIAN STYLE REGGAE a little closer to its Spiritual (Jamaican) Home.
RAS LI'L' DREAD with BOB MARLEY, and the others who encouraged the rising Reggae star to his new home in Maui, and to his writing the musical future of Rastafarian Culture.
(From Left) — BOB MARLEY, FREDERICK "TOOTS" HIBBERT, PETER TOSH, and the late MICHAEL CAMPBELL (MIKEY DREAD), Lil Dread's closest Rastafarian friend and mentor.
THE HOLY TRINITY
Ras Lil Dread's commitment to Rastafarianism traces back to personal experiences with three of the most significant figures in Reggae music:
— First, at nine years old, while attending his first live concert with his sister Coleen, he met and had a conversation with FREDERICK "TOOTS" HIBBERT (Pass the Pipe).
— Second, as a teenager, receiving a personal phone call from BOB MARLEY (Catch A Fire), who offered encouraging words for him and the Reggae band (his first) he had just put together with two high school mates.
— Third, a political conversation in a Washington D.C. hotel with PETER TOSH (Legalize It) and H.R. of the Bad Brains while watching the televised broadcast of a Ku Klux Klan march happening on the street below, outside their window.
Lil Dread's uplifting video has been seen and heard tens of thousands of times on a number of online television and music "channels."
The short film, directed by David Barry, follows a day in the life of a young boy who learns about life and culture on the island of Maui, Lil Dread's home where "Born Free" was written, shot, edited, and produced.
"Born Free," Lil' Dread's first video after having made the North Shore of Maui his home, represents a musical evolution from DJ'ing celebrity filled, funk, hip-hop, dance "star" parties, popular in 1980s Southern California, to preaching an educational, Rastafarian message in the laid-back Island culture, more known for surf than musical entertainment.
1996 — After having met a Hawaiian concert promoter In 1995 at REGGAE ON THE RIVER, a annual concert on the Humbolt River in Northern California, Lil' Dread (right), who was managing MIKEY DREAD (left) at the time, organized what was called THE REGGAE EXPLOSION CONCERT TOUR, featuring Mikey, DJ YELLOWMAN (middle), MARTY DREAD, and the BORN JAMERICANS. The tour included shows on the Hawaiian Islands of Honolulu and Maui, and had planted the seed that eventually grew and inspired Lil' Dread's move to Maui.
Although growing up in the predominantly black and impovershed Country Club Lane neighborhood in SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES, Lil Dread, as a youngster, spent a significant amount of time in the 1960s with his uncle EDDIE ANDERSON ("ROCHESTER" on The Jack Benny [television] Show), pictured above with MARILYN MONROE and JACK BENNY) and found himself meeting a number of Hollywood stars at the (horse) racetrack, country club golf course, and Beverley Hills Hotel.
"ROCHESTER'S DAY OFF"
AHEAD OF THEIR "SOCIAL" TIME — Jack Benny was always known as a champion of Civil Rights in America, and there could be no more representative action than his casting Dread's uncle Eddie as "Rochester" as a regular character on his television show ... and there can be no better written example than the LAST LINE of the above skit.
Ras Li'l' Dread has found a new Reggae World in Hawaii, but as he carries the Rastafarian word forward, he never forgets THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE, and WHO DELIVERED IT.
When Lil Dread saw how the Hawaiian youth had received Reggae Music, and had adopted it as their own, he realized how right his friend and mentor MIKEY DREAD had been to encourage his move to
THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT
Attending a TWINKLE BROTHERS show in Maui, Lil Dread was REMINDED OF HIS FRIEND AND MENTOR MIKEY DREAD, and his advising him to take the Rastafarian message west to Hawaii. He was thinking MIKEY MIGHT HAVE BEEN A PROPHET.
"I was surprised to hear all these kids at the show singing 1960s Reggae tunes, and was compelled to ask 'You guys know these
"I was even more surprised to hear their answer ... 'Yeah Man, this is OUR music.'
"I WAS INSPIRED," Lil Dread said, "MIKEY WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG ... HE HAD SEEN THE FUTURE OF REGGAE MUSIC, AND HE KNEW IT WOULD BE LIVED IN HAWAII."
RAS LI'L' DREAD NOW CARRIES THE TORCH, LIGHTING THE FUTURE'S WAY.
RAS LI'L' DREAD's INSPIRATION: Mikey Dread, Yellow Man, Bad Brains, Beenie Man, Shine Head, Carl Malcolm, english Man, Half Pint, Ras Michael and The Sons of Negus, Stranger Cole, Swelele, Ital Joe, Shaka Man and Haile Maskel, The Rastafarians ...