‘Steamers a Bubble’ is done on the Apartment riddim, originally recorded in 1982 at the Channel One studios by the Roots Radics band for producer Franklyn ‘Ben Up’ Irvin (Shamala/Hit Bound Records). In its 2013 incarnation, the riddim has been aptly renamed ‘Inna De Yard’.
As Rastafari, representing the livity and mission, the reverence paid to the Most High and the sacramental use of herb is expressed by Jah9 in her track ‘Steamers A Bubble’. The video for this song is a tribute to the grounding spaces of grassroots Jamaica where the griots of reggae brought forth music that has inspired generations the world over. Spaces like ‘the Vineyard’ in West Kingston and ‘Inna De Yard’, home of legendary guitarist Chinna Smith, are testament to the indisputable relationship between the use of herb and the creative process. This is evident in the beautiful tradition of ganja anthems like Holt’s Police In Helicopter, Marley’s Easy Skanking and, of course, Tosh’s poignant Legalize It. Jah9 also continues this tradition with tracks like Taken Up (New Name Album) and Favourite Company (to be released on a marijuana mixtape in December 2013).
Jah9’s own personal convictions are unfolding and carving out a greater path than just being a female musician with a touring and recording career. Without intentionally aiming to dispel the regular edicts of what makes one an “artiste,” that is exactly what’s happening as she grows before us by and by.
November 2nd, the official release date for this video, holds greater significance as the 83rd anniversary of the Coronation of His and Her Imperial Majesty as is alluded to in the song, where she says “the King and Queen crown same time.” This event is noteworthy because it signifies a break in tradition as the first time that an Empress is crowned on the same day as the Emperor, highlighting not just the significance of female balance but also family.