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Fantan Mojah in San Francisco

Fantan Mojah in San Francisco

Fantan Mojah in San Francisco

By on - Photos by Lee Abel - 1 comment

Rasta Got Soul at Slims Nightclub.

Sampler

“You don’t wanna know what’s in my pocket!,” an irate young man yelled at  group of his peers waiting outside of Slim’s nightclub in San Francisco in the wee hours of the morning. Whether it was a weapon or a stalk of sensimilla‎ the young man had in his pocket, I did not want stick around to find out. All I knew was that the he was clearly upset because a long awaited concert by one of his favorite artists, Fantan Mojah, had been cut short due to Slim’s strict curfew.

On March 14, Fantan Mojah brought his “Rasta Got Soul” tour to San Francisco, in promotion of his latest album. Perhaps it was because there were too many opening acts whose sets were too long, or perhaps it was the dancehall singer’s late arrival that led to his performance being cut short, to the disappointment of many.

That night, Fantan Mojah and guest artists Prestige, Jah Warri, (promoter) Sister I-Live and other soulful reggae acts, backed by the Dub Kronik Band, played to a small but enthusiastic crowd—a crowd that was definitely in the mood for the sweet release of music and dancing. The sad thing was that Fantan Mojah, the Bobo dread dancehall king who was named and mentored by Capleton, was just getting warmed up when the lights were turned off in the club.  He didn’t even have a chance to perform two of the best songs from his repertoire, Rasta Got Soul and his breakthrough hit Hail the King.

Fantan Mojah

In a pre-concert interview via telephone from Jamaica, Fantan Mojah said that he planned to wow San Francisco with an array of songs from his three albums, “Hail the King” (2005) “Stronger” (2008) and his forth coming album, “Rasta Got Soul.” Since he could not bring his entire band from Jamaica to the U.S. because of Visa issues, he said he did not mind working with a local band as long as they knew and loved his music.

“You have a lot of people who expect a show from Fantan Mojah, and they will get a show from Fantan Mojah,” said the man from St. Elizabeth, who has performed at outdoor music extravaganzas such as Reggae on the River and the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. “It will be hot!”

Fantan Mojah then burst in to an acapella version of Rasta Got Soul on the phone. 

The few songs that Fantan Mojah was able to perform were impressive, including the militant Corruption, the harmonic Jah Bless I, and an eclectic mash up where he seemed to merge Black Uhuru’s Party in Session with a Capleton-style fiery DJ rap.

Because of his robust vocals, physique, stage persona, appetite for life and passion for his Rastafarian faith, a myth began to spread that he was the biological son of reggae icon Jacob Miller. Actually, the 37-year-old singer/songwriter does see himself as the spiritual son of Jacob Miller, who died tragically in a vehicle accident in 1980 at age 27.

“Throughout the world, they say that I am the son of Jacob Miller,” said Mojah. “In Jamaica, people say, I know you are the son of Jacob Miller because you move like Jacob; you act like Jacob. Even big guys from Jacob Miller’s time told me that I look like I could be his son.”

Born Owen Moncrieffe, Fantan Mojah has performed under the name “Mad Killer” and “Phantom.” As he embraced the Bobo Ashanti philosophy, his friend Capleton, dubbed him “Fantan Mojah.” The name “Mojah,” he said, means one love, divine power and strength. Fantan Mojah is anti-violence and anti-war and believes all soldiers and warriors should be returned to their families, and that countries such as Jamaica, Europe and the U.S. can work out their differences through trade.

“We are all Rastafarian people, we have to give praise to the Almighty, no matter what race, color or creed,” said Mojah. “A lot of people get this thing wrong; they say Bobos think different and Orthodox think different. We all praise one God, so there is no problem with Orthodox or Twelve Tribes. We are all Rastas.”

Prestige, a young singer/songwriter/producer from Portmore, JA, definitely impressed the ladies at Slim’s with his sensual waist winding dance moves, cascading dreadlocks and conscious songs such as Thank You Mama before Fantan Mojah took the stage. Prestige, who has co-written songs with Fantan Mojah, had just finished touring with Rita Marley in Africa and was promoting his current album “My Pride.” Prestige has also toured with the likes of Junior Kelly and Anthony B.

“It’s nice touring with Fantan Mojah, because really, him really one of mi bredda, you know, Rastafari,” said Prestige. “His music is great, excellent. It’s the same message that I’m sending across; sometimes with different words, with different meaning.”

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Read comments (1)


Posted by kathlen on 04.25.2013
I accept that i luv reggae songs

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