“DIA” Pronounced (Jah) takes the Reggae mastery of one of its foremost African ambassadors to a new level. It is beautifully crafted and full of passion for music and message, sounding pouncing riddims and sweet harmonies to Jah (Dia) rising sun. Yet, it is much more than just another excellent Reggae album. Meta Dia offers hidden pathways to social healing – or “salvation” – as Rastas, Sufis, and all other spiritual Reggae Aficionados may have it. Beware, many of (DIA) tracks take you to the dark side of this time and planet – racism, poverty, war, destruction of the environment. But it does not leave you in the valley of rage and revenge. Meta leads his followers to the final destination, the valley of decision, where good wins over evil.
His lyrical rivers of wisdom are fed by many tributaries, the nomadic mystic traditions of his Fulani forebears, the Rastafari I-sights based on the teachings of Ras Tafari and the wise men of the East, so prominent in his beloved Senegal. Yes, Meta sues for justice. Not only for Africans from his mother continent but for all the “wretched of the earth”. But his bottom line is in line with so many great minds: “Just like the breeze, forgiveness will make us heal.” It comes at a crucial time with so many destructive “signs of the time”: Wars and violence in the false name of religions or cultures, separating the one human race into ever-more fierce adversaries and foes, and selfish nations anything but united. Meta Dia hammers the walls of division to create space for his doctrine of “Peace, Love and Harmony” –against all odds. For him, this is not a safe space of fake consolation or unconditional reconciliation. Quite to the contrary: this Reggae album is yet another wake-up call to come together on a basis of equal rights and justice; for there is no other way of togetherness.
With this fundamental mission, Meta joins the ranks of the all-time Greats in Reggae. Who could be more predestined for this “mission impossible” than a Muslim Fulani Dread, full of Rasta vibes. Here comes trouble for the warmongers. With a superb package filled with the finest sounds and ideas from Dakar to Jamaica to New York and the rest of the globe.
By Werner Zips
Prof. DDr. Werner Zips
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology University of Vienna Austria