(I’m in the process of putting up work that I’m not comfortable putting up just because it makes me feel inadequate, so, be kind.)
I know I’m not a Bobo Shanti or a Nyabinghi. I don’t eat ital: I’m eating chicken as I type this. I and I nuh speak dreadtalk. I don’t smoke; even though deep down I’d like to and have tried. Either way, legalize it, for fuck’s sake. Deadass, the only thing I have is my locks (plus, it’s gotta count that I was born at 4:20. No? Okay.) So, technically, I’m not a ‘real’ ras but calling myself a dreadhead doesn’t have the same feel. Besides, I’m counting on the fact that that one time back in ’99 when Morgan Heritage told us ‘ don’t haffi dread to be a rasta’ , it was meant to apply to the whole works.
Early this year, my friend and I wanted to start a YT channel on locks and ting, but your girl sunk into the darkest funk she’s been through and was robotically moving through the days and would have probably punched the camera away if we tried. Natty never come down though, it passed and now life is all rainbows and unicorns. Okay, maybe not. But, I’m better and happier. Anyway, one of the things we wanted to talk about was ‘What to Gift a Rasta’. So, here are some of the lame ideas I came up with :
There’s a bunch of things that are obviously the standard way to go when gifting a rasta. Like, before the Hormone Monster blessed me with titties, I had a Bob Marley shirt with lyrics from a bunch of his songs. Could You Be Loved. Turn Your Lights Down Low. Et cetera. I’m not saying I would want one now but what I really need is a dreadsock or a rastacap for the days when my dreads are so nappy and I walk around looking like Unlucky Dube – which if I’m being honest, is most times.
Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against Marley. A customized ‘vintage’ Marley poster would be legendary, for example. I’m always whining about how I want so many posters on my wall – as soon as I figure out how to put them up, my Star Wars poster is so beat from all the times I’ve tried (SOS). So, the poster would have him seem to be in deep thought (but really thinking about how he missed that goal while playing yesterday) or captured swinging his dreads with that classic Marley smile on his face. And with an Easter egg, like the place of the ‘concert’ tweaked to a place the person and I always hang out at.
I stole one of my favourite necklaces from one of my dread friends. Well, not stole, more like borrowed for an infinite amount of time. It’s a beaded necklace with the Pan-African/Rasta colours – red, green and yellow. And because a girl can never have too much jewellery, I’d add a rasta ankh necklace to my collection – yes, the symbol with the womb and the penis, lol. Or a (golden) Lion (of Judah) , an Ethiopian Cross or crystals for my locks.
Obviously, vinyl was going to be on the list. The first vinyl I’ll own will probably be DAMN. or To Pimp a Butterfly. After that, the next 10 will probably be reggae albums. Because, very few things make me happier than swaying my dreads to sweet reggae on a Sunday morning. But a) I don’t have a record player and b) vinyl is mad expensive. It’s only cheap when it’s old and worthless. So, I’d get the old vinyl and upcycle them to make bookends. That way, I’d have Black Uhuru on the left and Peter Tosh on the right making sure my books don’t topple over like they always do.
And one of the books would obviously be an Ital cookbook. Although, in all honesty, I have a bunch of cookbooks, both hard copy and on my Google Drive but I never get to try out any of the recipes because I’m short of ingredients or energy. Which wouldn’t bug me as much if one of my goals this year wasn’t learning how to cook. I’m failing tremendously in all of the goals I set. The others were learning to drive, recovering my knowledge on First Aid, learning how to code and improving my French or picking up any other language.
Well, there are so many languages I want to learn. Italian. Arabic. Spanish. Others are fictional like Dothraki and Klingon. And creole languages like Nigerian pidgin and Patois. Some of my favourite videos on YouTube – apart from pandas falling over and CUT videos – are about guys reading ordinary children books but in Patois. Idk what kind of Patois-inspired gift I’d go for. Maybe just the books. Like a puzzle search one.
In the end, it really comes down to what makes your rasta happy. For this dread, hanging with my girl singing reggae at the top of our lungs with the herb steamin’ the whole car is all I really need.