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Half Pint comes with words of healing

April 4, 2008

Jamaica Observer logo

Half Pint comes with words of healing
from Jamaica Observer
Basil Walters, Observer staff reporter
Friday, April 04, 2008

Half Pint and manager Loyal Haylett
Half Pint in performance

“I give thanks to the Most High that bless me with the vision and a brain to sing and guide my pen to write words of healing power with joy and love for the people of the world,” states Half Pint in the linear notes of his latest album, No Stress Express.

Singer, songwriter Half Pint, over the years has established a well-earned reputation as one of reggae’s most conscious lyricists. And with his latest set, No Stress Express, the diminutive vocalist, once again offers a comfortable ride on the wings of his creative imagination.

With inviting lyrical content that reaches for reconciliation among people, instead of divisiveness, the double-entendre title of the album conveys interpretations that could on one hand mean, his music doesn’t contain any stressful energy, or on the other hand, it is a welcome musical escape from all stress and care.

But there is no need for speculation because Half Pint articulating in his inimitable style and fashion states. “This No Stress Express album is an appeal to the people to be more rational, look weh a gwaan, let the music heal and teach you, to look on the real issues and dance to them in a more meaningful way.”

He stresses the importance of uplifting music when he said he finds some of the current crop of music disturbing and expressed pleasure in how Ninja Man recently publicly distanced himself from violent lyrics. “The music deh yah fi teach we,” Half Pint told Splash, “and so me try put out some lyrics that is edifying… I’m pleased with the way Ninja Man pick up pon weh mi use to sing with songs like Political Friction.

The living so rough and the living so tough, but we naw give up…We living so near and yet so far all because of political war. It’s a pity inna di city, such a pity inna di city. Due to political friction man and man gone inna different segregation…”

Having segued into that impromptu illustration in order to underscore his point, Half Pint further explained. “I made that song based upon the political rivalry that was going on in Jamaica at that time in the late ’70s early ’80s. Politics to me brings division and we shouldn’t have to be divided in over 45 years after independence, and is like we country and we people dem nuh better off.”

The singer, born Lindon Roberts at Rose Lane in Western Kingston, added; “It’s kind of disturbing. There can be a better way, so that nobody nuh affi a point dem finger like gun, or instigate and promote wrong doings. Dem kind of mindset mi no really entertain or accommodate, because me did grow up inn a time when we did a live without affi acting hard or sounding tough fi instigate or generate that kind of hard edges way of life, for we have better then to do and live for.

“It come to me like that kind of politics has so engineered itself into our social life that even now our mentality is as such that everybody just waan turn a gangsta. Gangstarism never bring forth any kind of upfullness in any society.”

No Stress Express, Half Pint’s 17th album released in early March, with distribution by Universal Records, has already sold over 30,000 copies. And shortly, he’ll be working on another album with more redemption songs.

“The next album going to be more liberated with lyrics of redemption for the people,” stresses the artiste who goes off on tour shortly. His itinerary, whiach dates from April 16-29, will take him to San Francisco, Arizona, California; he will be joined by Freddie McGregor for two dates in Hawaii, Honolulu.

Of all his albums, Greetings has been the most successful. “Mi know that Greetings was a master blaster album between Europe and America, dem time deh me get a strong reaction from the reggae community throughout world….my songs dem is more appealing to people. Money Man Skank, Landlord, Political Friction, and all a dem tune were like staple on the charts. Because really and truly, sometimes if you nuh try take the problem of the world off your head, relax or try to be comfortable, or make yourself less hype. What mi really a worry about was how the death rate was so high.

That was the main issue that was stressful to me…..it offend me because mi notice sey the people dem was a drop like fly….,” Half Pint lamented.

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