‘Protect The People Jah’ - Tarrus Riley gives comfort in the time of coronavirus

March 25, 2020
Tarrus Riley
Tarrus Riley
Tarrus Riley
Tarrus Riley
Students wear protective gear against the spread of the novel coronavirus at the Half-Way Tree Transportation Centre on March 11.
Students wear protective gear against the spread of the novel coronavirus at the Half-Way Tree Transportation Centre on March 11.

Singer Tarrus Riley says these are some "interesting and testing times", and he is happy that his music can be used to comfort people as the world faces a novel coronavirus pandemic.

"Yuh see my music now, even though I am the man wey write the music and make the music, it's not my music, it's for the people. My career and my agenda and what I'm dealing with, is people mi a deal wid, a di people mek mi, suh mi mek people's music," Riley said.

He said that at any given time or during any situation, people are able to draw on his music for comfort, upliftment and enlightenment.

Songs like Protect The People Jah and Never Leave I Jah Jah, recorded years ago, are relevant to the perilous times today. "I don't make music just for the season, I make music for a reason. And because of that, you find that you can use any one of my songs to what's going on in the world ... any of my songs at any time can be used to comfort people in these times and the things they are going through.

"That is my devotion in the music, to mek songs for people to feel nice. Nuff people cyaan sing, but they want to say something. Suh sometime, Tarrus Riley haffi sey, Never Leave I Jah Jah, because a man waan call Father God close to him ... a next man will use Protect The People Jah because people want protection now."

'Lion Paw'

He also speak to Lion Paw, which he also thinks helps capture the current situation.

So all the evil that mean me harm

Can go back where they came from

No demonic works performed shall prosper

"People need a song like that right now, 'cause nuff people think (the coronavirus) is an evil spell. Mi also see people a use Simple Blessing, a next man use Protect The People Jah ... suh mi glad fi know sey we a comfort people in these rough times, 'cause people need strength. I'm not a humanitarian, but I'm dealing with humanity. I don't need a big title. My music is for the people, and if people can't use it, mi nuh interested," said Riley.

There is also something in his songs for the conspiracy theorists, as many theories have been floating around since the outbreak of the new coronavirus, and although Riley says he is no doctor, he is wary of certain happenings that raise suspicion.

In Mad Scientist (released on the 2012 album Bring It Back) Riley sings:

'All these diseases, a who make it, uno sell uno medicine and then a you profit ... careful of dem flu shot and vaccination ... I man don't need no confirmation, we living under modern-day plantation, bare propaganda, wrong information, to brainwash the minds of the young ones.'

"I'm not a doctor, my mother is. But the Rastafari part a mi a tell you sey, stay wid more natural kinda medicine. We know sey the world need medicine ... but it kinda ticklish fi see there is always a new virus and you haffi question yourself. Is it natural or is somebody mek it? A jus me dat, mi put out dem likkle ting dey fi kinda boost the conversation fi ask what is this? That's my job as an artiste, to engage and get the people fi start thinking. Suh mi sey well, uno sell mi this thing and then who profit? Medicine haffi sell, it's a business."

- T.E.

Here are 10 of his songs, that Riley says are relevant to the times:

Protect The People Jah (2010 album Major Riddim - Don Corleon Presents)

Never leave I Jah Jah (2011)

Simple Blessing (2017)

My Day, My Time, My Life (2013 Rising Sun Riddim)

Jah Jah Run Tings (2014)

Mad Scientist (2012 album Bring It Back)

Parables (2006 album Parables)

Beware (2006 album Parables)

Lion Paw (2006 album Parables)

Microchip (2006 album Parables)

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