Bunny Wailer embraces Reincarnate Souls Image

by Biko Kennedy

As the lone survivor of Reggae's most famed unit, Bunny Wailer preps a commemorative 50-track album titled Reincarnate Souls set for an April release date. For disciples of the legendary Wailers group, the opus promises to be a treat like no other.

Wailer, whose given name is Neville Livingston, turns 66 on April 10th and cites the album as an event to itself.

"No one has ever done this. These are 50 tracks that have never been heard before…It's very symbolic and significant to our existence…musically. It's a very strong album. It's gonna do excellent, as far as the Grammy awards are concerned. I'm just focussing on making what is good for music for people to 'full-joy'," candidly shared Wailer to The Jamaica Observer.

Produced by his Solomonic Productions, Wailer stands as a three-time Grammy winner, walking away with the award for Best Reggae Album in 1991 for Time Will Tell: A Tribute to Bob Marley, in 1995 for Crucial! Roots Classics and in 1997 for Hall of Fame: A Tribute to Bob Marley's 50th Anniversary.

Younger acts in the industry constantly hear/receive a backlash of criticisms from older entertainers and critic alike but Wailer is in high support of the new school of Reggae crooners.

"If these youths are focussing on the futuristic value of the music, then I'm 100 per cent in support of them," Wailer explains of acts inclusive of Jah 9, Protoje, Kelisa, Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid and Iba Mahr.

In 1963 when five teenagers, namely Robert Nesta Marley, Neville O'Riley Livingstone (Bunny Wailer), Winston Hubert McIntosh (Peter Tosh), Junior Delano Brathwaite, and the lone female and amigo of the clan Beverley Kelso, entered with high hopes of creating musical history with Studio1, they did just that; with Bunny never slowing down.

Though Wailer has been spotted in more recent times in a war of words with rapper-turn-Rastafarian Snoop Dogg and has been cited as the most notable sceptic, he has never neglected his love for music.

The situation between Snoop and Wailer is simple: the get-together that took place between the two while Snoop visited the island "should not have been filmed" and anything done would be the "private property" of both artistes. But for varying reasons Snoop found it suitable to compile footage and release it as a documentary with his transition to the Rastafarian faith…a documentary dubbed Reincarnated.

Since then, Wailer has called out Snoop for breach of contract with the Rastafarian Millennium Council also having a bone to pick with the artiste.

According to the contract, the film was not to be released without the Nyahbinghi House's, in Scots Pass, Clarendon, approval.

But regardless of what the outcome will be, Wailer piercingly defends the faith he accepted some 40 years ago.

"The Rastafarian doctrine is not something that someone can act, pretend or seem to be. It is one that exists through His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I and who Rastas see as the substance of their existence... It's not something you can play with."

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