Roots reggae is the cornerstone of the genre, so naturally the name fits with a rootsy project like Meta & The Cornerstones. Born and raised in Dakar, Senegal, Meta began playing music at an early age and found his calling as a self-taught street musician performing around his hometown. After traveling halfway around the world, Meta brought his West African flair to the United States, where he collaborated with his ‘Cornerstones’ in one of America’s greatest cultural hotspots – New York City. The result is a traditional roots style, countered with a new age world twist… and is catchy as hell.
the track almost pokes fun at how weed-smoking is still a serious issue in society
In anticipation of their upcoming album HIRA, Meta & The Cornerstones recently gave the reggae world a taste of what’s to come with a rerelease of their 2013 LP Ancient Power – complete with two new tracks, never before heard! Although it hasn’t been determined when the new full-length album will drop, the two new tracks “Yellow Cab” and “Mr. Jamaica” are more than enough for fans to vibe to until then. “Mr. Jamaica” is that quintessential song every reggae band has on every album about the persecution of Rastafarians over their love for marijuana. Sounds boring, right? Well, Meta & The Cornerstones deliver the subject matter in such a fun and melodic matter, that it hardly seems commonplace! With lyrics like “my sticky green queen” and “oh my gosh, you’re so high”, the track almost pokes fun at how weed-smoking is still a serious issue in society. Can’t you see, society? “It’s a medical affair… you cannot blame the Rastaman.”
“Yellow Cab” also is delivered in a tongue-and-cheek manner, yet oh-so-subtly. The song is about an actual experience in a New York City cab, where the driver was drunk and put the band in a bad spot, hoping not to die. The story is a scary one, yet the tone of the track is soothing, with smooth horns over a complacent rootsy beat. That’s one way to turn a horrific life event on its head – make it into musical irony. In the track, Meta pleads “take it easy, take it slow” to a cabbie out of control, which is a parallel to the Rastafarian way of life; Meta is a metaphorical one, to say the least.
The band is currently on tour, having just headlined the Red Hook Festival in Brooklyn, New York. With one more show this month in New Jersey, Meta & The Cornerstones will then head overseas to do a Western European stretch of their summer tour – even stopping to perform at WOMAD, Europe’s biggest world music festival to date. So, for Euro fans, now is the time to see Meta & The Cornerstones while they’re in your neck of the woods!
Preview and download Ancient Power on
- Roaring Lions
- Mayan River
- Price of Everything
- Tijahni (feat. Capleton)
- Loneliest People
- Beloved Africa (feat. Damien Marley)
- Anywhere for Love
- Without Heart
- Rooftop (feat. U-Roy)
- Silence of the Moon
- Bound to Glory
- Ancient Power
- Without Heart (Acoustic)
- Mister Jamaica
- Yellow Cab