Lion Tafari – Birth name Demetrius Durand was born April, 22,1980 on the Island of Dominica. While growing up his interest lead more towards singing, taking part in school talent shows or simply being in the hallways with friends, at recess chanting a few reggae tunes.
In his mid teens he relocated to the U.S. Virgin Islands, St Croix. His latest single is Remember The Dayz (revised version) released in October, 2016 from the album FYAH STARTA. Both come recommended because this single slightly varies from the original, and the rest of the songs from it are of equal standard quality.
Reggae and rap come together with the same weight-level on all of Lion Tafari’s songs, but the single is carefully chosen as well. This isn’t father or even your brother’s reggae, nor is it of that status in hip hop. Instead it reaches highs neither seem to be able to consistently reach. I don’t know if the two genres are even very often blended like this, but if so, then he even nailed it together better than I’d expect. And he does this all with a snarky touch, so you don’t have to dwell on what his songs are all about, if lyrics come second for you. He does a great job of keeping the tonal semblance right, regardless of the words.
But those words also have not only great semblance but an overall positive perspective behind them, with the usual hip hop humor I enjoy around it. But it’s not all roses, he doesn’t leave out harsh reality, he just refuses to let it dominate on this or any songs from FAYA STARTA. At first you might smile at the sound of him, and that always helps with the rest. His recall of the better times and the things that compared to today, just don’t stack up to produce such memories. He goes through several examples of that and it works because he never loses focus of what the song is all about, by vocalizing what doesn’t belong.
It’s a certain magic that any reggae or hip hop artist has the ability to do, as the two genre’s aren’t completely, but only slightly separated. He brings both together with ease, which can be otherwise difficult because one is drum-beat driven and the other primarily vocal-driven. These are hard times for most, and his message echoes of the past and hope for a better future. Can’t be bad, but not everyone can do this without coming off negative about something. Well, you’ll find that coming out in the wash with his positive sense of humor. Don’t forget, this originally comes from a well-received CD from around the globe.
If you’re consuming the singles format or still an album lover, then picking up both is all there is left to do. The uplifting “Tell Dem” has a huge sound to it with some great piano. “See Me Fall” has plenty of the same but reaches the other side of the spectrum. One of the themes he gets into is people watching him rise, while they want to see him fall. It makes for his usual rap sense combined with Rastafarian elements. I also enjoyed the tricky effects used in many tracks, particularly the intros. And another mention from the FYAH STARTA disc is “Beauty” which for all it’s worth is exactly that, once you get a full listen to it.
Top marks to the revised single, as well as the CD from which it comes.