“Victory To The Masses” is intelligent; for people with something on their minds and in their hearts!
Eritrean Reggae artist Layne Tadesse has been gracing the Reggae music scene for some time now building his fan base from the United States to the Horn of Africa and beyond. For those whom haven’t seen his live stage performance, his voice and overall stage presence is eclectic. Now the artist, also known as L.T., has released his first live album entitled “Victory to the Masses” with his band 7 Seal Dub.
The single from his release entitled “Awet N’Hafash”, which means “Victory to the Masses,” is a powerful song about Layne’s homeland, Eritrea, and a 30 year war with the Ethiopian Communist Regime that ended with Eritrea being victorious, but at the cost of many lives lost and suffering. The music video, now available on VEVO, is even more powerful with graphic images on the suffering and lives lost as a result of the Eritrea / Ethiopian war. “Victory to the Masses” is now available on iTunes and other digital retailers.
“Victory to the Masses”, out on the Big Shot Music Group label, certainly goes a long way towards proving that Layne Tadesse is one of the premiere indie reggae artists of the new generation. This album is a proper mix of classic, roots-oriented, soulful reggae. The lyrical content is also extraordinary. It is conscious rebel music. It is intelligent; for people with something on their minds and in their hearts.
Whenever you listen to true reggae music, within it is a message, it is either about current, past or future problems facing society, because reggae music teaches and moves you at the same time. So listen very carefully to the words throughout this album. The music video which accompanies the single, “Ghetto Corner”, was shot in Los Angeles’s Skid Row section of the city and people living on Skid Row, as well as the surrounding community, freely volunteered to participate in the video.
For years, we have been listening to Bob Marley records, amazed at his voice and prophetic lyrics, with songs that you’re likely to hear blasting from a speaker system riding through the hood, or in a country bar deep in the heartland. Many reggae artists have tried to live up to the legacy Marley left us with; most trying hard to put together a respectable record, able to reflect even only a fraction of the Marley shine.
Layne Tadesse has been quietly working his grind towards excellence since the release of his solo album, “Rise” in 2005. And if ever we were expecting an artist that incarnated the multitalented quality and fiery, caring spirit of Marley…that time has come!
“Victory to the Masses” is, quite simply, explosive. The production is spotless; it’s Layne’s finest work, by far. The album starts out strong with “Struggling Hope (feat. Ladee Dred & J Ras)” – a social statement which also resonates Layne’s political ideals – and from there on out just grows stronger and stronger, both musically and lyrically.
Standout tracks, from a personal viewpoint have to be, the above-mentioned opening track, then: “Ati Skukor”, “Ghetto Corner”, “Wanna See You Tonight (feat. Ladee Dred & J Ras)” and probably the best of them all –“Awet N’ Hafash”. Overall this is a 5 star album and I think Layne Tadesse has a fruitful and prosperous future ahead if he continues along this path.
The Rastafarian influence on reggae has been enveloping and enlightening, from Bob Marley to Peter Tosh and Burning Spear. But this album proves that the torch can indeed be passed on to another generation, and Layne Tadesse, ably assisted by his band, 7 Seal Dub, can claim a significant part in this new generation of inspired Reggae artists. His lyrics are observant, social commentary, and militant, all rolled into one. This is modern and roots reggae locked together in perfect harmony!