Valentine Nakrumah Fraser, now known as Ginjah, was born in Hanover, Jamaica. He later moved to St. James, where he realized the importance of music in his life. In 94’ he transferred to Central Village, Spanish Town, where he savored his first studio sessions at the age of 17, in none other than the infamous King Jammy’s Studio. Eventually Ginjah would catch the eye of Beres Hammond and was invited to the Harmony House Label. In the early 2000’s he started touring with Hammond and in a short space of time performed at almost every important Reggae event across the world. In 2004 he surprised many when he performed on the same bill as Lionel Ritchie at the Reggae SumFest in Jamaica.
Now Ginjah is back with a brand new 2019 single and video, entitled “All This Time”, which is a song about marijuana. Reggae and weed have generated plenty of positive vibes throughout history. Straight out of Jamaica, reggae music flourished and illuminated every corner of the world with rhythmic Afrobeats at the essence of Jamaica’s culture.
It’s impossible to talk about the influence of marijuana on reggae music without mentioning Rastafarianism, a belief system which evolved from the Judeo-Christian culture of inhabitants of the Caribbean.
Rastas use marijuana as a sacrament during their spiritual sessions. The Rasta culture is mediated through reggae music, hence the connection between weed, reggae, Jamaica, and Rasta. Reggae has produced some classic marijuana songs through its history – Peter Tosh’s Legalize It, is without a doubt one of the greatest marijuana song of all time.
“I’ve got a stalk of sinsemilla in my pocket,” Black Uhuru exhaled on the chorus to one of reggae’s most enduring ganja classics, “Sinsemilla”. Bob Marley’s most famous ganja tune “Kaya” was written in the late ’60s with the help of Lee “Scratch” Perry, but wasn’t released as an album until the late ’70s.
Of course there’s Sizzla’s “Smoke The Herb”. Smoke the marijuana and get high… Stay above the wicked and fly. Do we need to say anything else? And now in 2019 we have: “All this time. All this time. Marijuana Sensimilla on my mind,” as sung by Ginjah.
But this is not just a good time tune, it’s a focused anthem that separates weed from what is considered the evils of the world: “Just tru a spliff. Babylon start a rift. Jah Jah give we as a gift. Crack & cocaine me naw sniff.”
Ginjah’s vocals implore and soar with power and conviction of a man on a mission, as he melodically and soulfully rides the rhythm. Ginjah, never being one to shy away from a controversial topic, hits the ground running with this wonderful track.
The beauty of “All This Time”, is that you don’t even have to be a smoker to enjoy this track – the rhythm, the melody, and emotional impact of Ginjah persuasive voice is more than enough to light up your spirit and soul: “Me cant lose, Me never lose. Yeaah, Reggae Vibes. Me cant lose, Me never lose. A the highest me choose.”
Incidentally, while you’re lit, there are another two great Reggae artists releasing a similar song, dedicated to marijuana, namely Jah Cure ft. Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley with their track “Marijuana”.