7 of the Best Anti-War Songs

The best protest music transcends time and is always relevant. Today, we need it more than ever.

Photo by Tong Su (Unsplash)

This morning, Donald Trump authorized a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran's top security and intelligence commander.

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Kalpee Waxes Nostalgic on “Miles Away”

Polished fusion of R&B, Pop, Calypso and Reggae Rhythm.


Press Photo

From Trinidad and Tobago, singer-songwriter Kalpee recently released the video for "Miles Away," from his latest EP, Home.

Commenting on the song, Kalpee states, "Musically I wanted it to be real chilled, a fusion of rock, pop and reggae. Something that you could easily head bop to, but that still makes you feel like taking a drive down North Coast Road (In Trinidad) on an evening at sunset time."

Kalpee - Miles Away (Official Music Video)

Kalpee exploded on the scene with the release of his first single, "No One," piling up more than 7.5 million views on YouTube, followed by "Colourful" and "Love Letter," resulting in over 25 million streams collectively.

Full of cool tropical textures, "Miles Away" offers nostalgic tones over an infectious beat. "It don't really matter where I'm at / Though I'm miles away, miles away / Can nobody take away the weight of my back / When I'm miles away, miles away."

Follow Kalpee Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify


Jah9 Has a Spiritual Reckoning on "Ma’at (Each Man)"

"What we pay, will be weighed, when we meet our judgment day."


Wade Rhoden

Ever since her emergence from the cocoon of Jamaica's "reggae revival" movement, Jah9's polished jazz vibe has captivated listeners.

Described as "black magic," Jah9's spellbinding vibrato conjures up balanced textures steering the way toward spiritual evolution. Her latest single, "Ma'at (Each Man)," the second single from her forthcoming third album that drops early 2020, carries her potent feminine energy with its blend of reggae, soul, and spiritual consciousness.

Jah9 - Ma'at (Each Man) | Official Music

Jah9 explains, "I speak about the karmic cycle and its real implications for the individual relative to their actions on 'Ma'at (Each Man).' No actions go unnoticed, and I am ever reminded that 'what we pay, will be weighed, when we meet our judgment day' in the lyrics. For [me], it represents a coming-of-age, an initiation into the real meaning of social and personal responsibility, an understanding that fosters self-discipline and strength of will: the key tools for rising above karmic forces."

Follow Jah9 Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | YouTube


HIRIE Talks Addiction, Bipolar Disorder, and Spirituality on her Album "Dreamer"

Tropical-pop singer-songwriter releases third album ahead of headlining her U.S. fall tour.

Tropical pop singer HIRIE's third album, Dreamer, is a sonic journey base-lined by islad beats that celebrate the bold, joyful, and even messy impulses that drive the female experience.

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Meet Zia Benjamin, whose contagious blend of jazz, retro dancehall music, and roots reggae have thrust her into the limelight.

She describes her sound as "rum shop blues," adding, "I think my style is a mix of opposites: I'm like Shabba Ranks meets Marilyn Monroe, with a Nina Simone soul and a few shots of Appleton rum."

Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and going on to attend high school and university in Canada, Benjamin got her start in music as a songwriter and vocalist for Sean Paul and Major Lazer. Then she decided to establish her own brand, which resulted in her debut solo single, "No Fame," and her latest single, "Rudie," putting her on the cover of TIDAL's Reggae/Dancehall playlist, as well as being selected by EBRO as the Beats1 Apple Music Discovered track.

Now, she's directing her music video for "Rudie," and putting the finishing touches on her debut EP, Love In A Plastic Cup, slated to drop in the near future. If that's not enough, on June 14th she makes her debut performance in the U.S., opening for Kabaka Pyramid at Club Reign in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

"Mr. Neverman" rides a potent melody full of percolating roots reggae flavors, skiffing guitars, and horn accents. The one-drop rhythm injects the tune with an infectious tropical feel. Benjamin's sultry voice glides forth on lush, seductive timbres.

According to Benjamin, "The video, 'Mr. Neverman,' is a visual vacation, I tried to invoke the feeling of a place where time stands still, showing Jamaica's beauty and showcasing its talent. All the fashion in the video is Jamaican-made (Flowerchild1999, Spokes Apparel), down to the nail polish (Bella's Beautique) and jewelry (Peace is of Bianca). I was pretty depressed when I started directing the video, and so I just poured my heart into it, I tried to express beauty and a sense of timeless love, but then ruin it with reality."

Benjamin explains "Rudie," saying, "'Rudie' to me is far more than just me throwing shade, its really me trying to play with the power constructs around relationships: it's about women diminishing and undermining each others power with a male as this prize, and yet the male that is the prize has already shown himself to be unworthy of a crown and their affection."

"Rudie" opens on deliciously skiffing guitars. A fat bass line rumbles as Benjamin's voice imbues the lyrics with cool textures of color, as she confronts her man's other woman.

"Baby forget him, he's mine all mine / You gonna regret it, wasting your time / He say he's leaving the past behind / You'd better put those dreams to sleep / I'll sing your lullaby."

Both tracks, "Mr. Neverman" and "Rudie" confirm Zia Benjamin's lustrous talent and sense of rhythmic flow, as well as her luscious smoldering voice.

Follow Zia Benjamin Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

This week sees the release of the Marvel's latest blockbuster and, oh man, angry internet dudes are raging.


Captain Marvel

As the first female-centered superhero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel's success or failure will likely influence the priorities of Disney's future output. This is probably a positive thing, as the movie is likely to do very well at the box office and it's about time we have more superhero movies that star people other than white guys. But does that mean Captain Marvel will actually be a good movie? Judging from the trailers, it's hard to say––it looks just like every other MCU movie from the past decade. If you like everything else Marvel puts out, you're probably going to like this. Otherwise, it looks as generic as always, albeit with the very talented Brie Larson in the leading role.


An Elephant Sitting Still


Deeply human and incredibly depressing, An Elephant Sitting Still follows four people in China as they travel to the city of Manzhouli to visit an elephant who is said to sit completely still and ignore the outside world. Each of the four protagonists, ranging from a schoolboy to a pensioner, are trying to escape their morbid realities––the repercussions of severely injuring a bully, parental disputes, an illicit affair leading to a friend's suicide, being offloaded into a nursing home against one's will. It's not a feel-good movie (the writer/director killed himself shortly after finishing), but it's an honest, empathetic glimpse of humanity.

The Kid

The Kid (2019 Movie) Official Trailer – Ethan Hawke, Dane DeHaan, Jake

A semi-biographical Western about a young kid who befriends famous lawman Pat Garrett (Ethan Hawke) and legendary outlaw Billy the Kid (Dane Dehaan) as he tries to save his kidnapped sister from the clutches of his evil uncle (Chris Pratt). The cast is pretty great and the action looks decent, but the dialogue seems a bit too on the nose judging from the trailer. That being said, Westerns don't come to theaters very often, so if you have an itch for gunslinging, this might scratch it.


BABYLON • Official Trailer HD • Kino Lorber Repertory &

A British film made in 1980 but never before released in the US, Babylon tells the story of a black, working-class reggae musician named Blue. The movie explores the Jamaican "sound system" culture, along with police racism, poverty, and violence against young black men. Watching it now in theaters is an interesting experience, as the movie works as an 80s cultural time capsule while remaining politically relevant today.

Gloria Bell

Gloria Bell | Official Trailer HD |

A reimagining of the 2013 Chilean-Spanish drama Gloria from the same director (Sebastián Leilo), Gloria Bell stars Julianne Moore as a divorcee living it up on the Los Angeles club scene. Not too many movies out there focus on the dating experiences of middle-aged women, making Gloria Bell a rarity, and a good one at that. John Turturro co-stars as Gloria's love interest, but the movie's heart lies entirely with Julianne Moore and her phenomenal performance.

Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at

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