Sunday, April 01, 2007

rasta & dope

(Since we were talking about rastas last post.)

Ya don't 'ave fi dread to be rasta

Morgan Heritage

I cant say with absolute certainty but I truly believe that Morgan Heritage stole that line from my parents.

My parents are old time West Indian folk who have an inbred distrust of those with locs or those who claim they are rasta. In their eyes anyone with dreads or their hair even slightly loc'ed is a rasta. And by rasta they mean someone devious, head intoxicated from illegal drugs and up to no good. Actually anyone who deviates from the norm could be a rasta in their sight.

Head in locks you are definitely shady. Must be some criminal element in your background probably a by product of all the dope we know you smoke. Oh you don't smoke dope? If not then why ya notting up ya good hair for? You don't know that combs still stirring and barbers and hairdressers still looking for business?

No you must be doing something wrong to have your hair in such a predicament.

And less I make it seem as if there was no basis for their judgement I'll just say that their beliefs were forged by some of the crazy good for nothing so called rastas and others with locs who they have come into contact with in the past. Seems like many of the the lawless criminal elements used to knot up their hair, smoke weed and claim Jah.

But their description of rasta now extends past anyone with dreads. Consider the following conversation I had at home this Christmas.

Mom: Yes he get vex wid dem ever since Judy marry and he din get invite.
Me: Oh who she marry, the same fella she had from evasince?
Mom: yes the said same rasta fella.
Me: rasta fella? I din know he was a rasta?
Mom: Well he don't wear any locs but he is a rasta. He duz smoke dope.

So anyone who smokes weed or any other illegal drug from crack to heroine which my parents all categorize as 'dope' is automatically a rasta in my parents books regardless of dreads or not.

I can just imagine the conversations they must have had after Hillary Beckles' son killed that boy down at Mona over weed.

"Chupse! See all a dem turn to this rasta foolishness and let the dope lead dem astray. Look at he doah! Good boy come from decent family and now look how he embarrass he mudda an fadda. Is the foolish dope and rasta igrance dat dem gettin in dem head. De dope ain't nuh good fa dum at all!"

And God forbid you are a vegetarian. What not eat meat?

Mom: Yes and she like she is a pieca rasta now play she dont eat meat
Me: Oh you mean she is a vegetarian?
Mom: Yes she is a pieca vegetarian rasta. She musse duz smoke de dope too.



Luke Cage said...

Brotha J, I know lots of the old school island folk who to this day still believe that. My mom had already passed away when my brother began to lock up his hair and his locks are just beyond his shoulders now.

They would have been longer, but he's on the NYPD and wrapping it up can become a pain in the neck especially for the sake of the job. But my mother would have felt the very same way about people who lock their hair and probably would have linked him and every body else to every rasta affiliation there is out there.

I always found it amusing. But I like hearing why that mentality was that way to begin with and more importantly, why it is that way today.

Crankyputz said...

This was funny, can you imagine what my Indian Parents say?

Guess there's no changing old school mentality

GC (God's Child) said...

your Mom is funny
My Mom really respects rastas but I guess because she has met a lot of really devoted, faithful ones who are all about family and God and livity.
And she has locks too, but she is not a rasta though.

Miz JJ said...

LMBAO @ your parents comments. I told my mom once that I was giving up on chemicals and would be locing my hair. She was upset for days. She called my brother, who called me and told me that 1) I was not to loc my hair and 2) that I was to call my mother immeadiately and tell her I was kidding, I do not smoke weed and that I would never, ever loc my hair.

That story of them youths in Jamaica is crazy.

Abeni said...

They tell me of my granny's disgust when one my uncles turned rasta..oh the shame and disgrace. But I suppose as it got more mainstream she softened cos she didn't have any issues with a niece that grew dreads

Guyana-Gyal said...

Uh-oh, please don't tell them I don't eat meat, you don't know what they might think, even though I have 'normal' hair, and don't drink or smoke, hahaha.

Do your parents read your blog, JDid?

Mighty Afroditee said...

I have/had been contemplating locking my hair, and it sen' out a bi hubalallooo rund the fambily ranks. Mi mudda always watch me as the 'special' chil' who would have the inclinations to dread and turn rasta. She could have a wnderful rapport with your mom.

Charles Follymacher said...

Every now and then I get a reminder that non-West-Indians don't know that dreads were considered as punkers were be here. Which is to say, as undesireables

Maany years ago, when it was really fresh and hip so to do, I considered loxing my hair, too. I made the mistake of mentioning the idea to my mother, who promptly made plain her objection...

"Are you a rasta?" she asked.
"No, mom."
"Then why would you lox your head?"
"Don't come in here wid no lox, y'hear me?"
"Ok, so I guess I'll have to wait til I move out." I thought I was being clever.
"Then you can't come an visit!"

Hardcore. I'm tellin you.

Mad Bull said...

Funny stuff, but

Mad Bull said...

When I say true, I don't mean that rastas are deviltry, by the way, just that the elders does fight them down...

SimplEnigma said...

LMAO...I so know what you're talking about, being that my hair is locked and I get all the stereotypical island prejudices directed at me as well.

I actually find it funny. My mom swears my hair is the reason for every ill that has befallen me since I've had it. Can't get a boyfriend? "Is di hair." Didn't get the job I interviewed for? "Is di hair." And don't let me have must be the weed. Did I mention I don't smoke? LOL.


poeza said...

It's all too funny. The first time I went to visit my wife's family in j.a. I had to take out my twist which was the rage back then. My sister-in-law has had her locks for more than 12 years and she braids them before she goes down to see the old folks so they look more like plaits than dreads. Her grandmother even commented how much nicer her plaits look than dreads. lol! shame!

Island Spice said...

hahhahaha! your mom rocks!
My parents are *eh hmm* over educated upper sint andrew folk.. who still in 2007 think something is wrong with people who choose to grow locks, moreso people who chose to follow the rastafarian faith. *sigh*
My indian grandmother still gets annoyed when she sees me with my hair wild and curly.. she loves it blw dried and flat ironed.. perhaps i am less likely to bun weed with that hairstyle...

Trouble said...

I man is a ballhead rasta.

Amadeo said...

When I first grew my locs that's the first thing my uncle asked me was, "So you smoke dope." I had to explain that weed was no longer considered dope."

Lene said...

i have uncles that are rastas, so it's not a problem in my family. of course, when they were younger, they had to move out of my granny's house. womp womp...

i'm not allowed to visit my uncle by myself, because my mom is afraid he will teach me about the medicinal properties of weed, and i'll forever be hooked...

Jdid said...

@luke - I think its just that some older folks still view locks as a negative as they were seen back i the day. T be honest I'm not completeky sure where I stand on them myself.
@cranky - no changing at all
@GC - your mom is cool
@miz jj - my parents would probably disown me if i did that
@abeni - times they are a changing
@guyana-gyal - so you one of those vegetarian rasta people lol? and no they dont read my blog but if they did i'd tell them my wife made me write this :-)
@mighty A - your poor mother's blood pressue must be rising.
@charles - typical west indian mother response.
@mad bull - yea its just the way they view them from long ago
@simplenigma - thats funny
@poeza - i can just imagine what they would have said if you had gone with twists. "is what an upstanding young gal like mi dawta doing wid dis one ragamuffin yout wid him air 'loks" lol
@island spice - my mother would agree with yours
@trouble - well mek sure the dope doan lead ya astray :-)
@amadeo - reminds me of the time i was listening to the group three times dope at home, you would have sworn i was doing crack or something.
@lene - so funny about your uncle

nahmix said...

jdid, my parents have the same view. they were both furious when i locked my hair almost 5 years years ago. my dad was convinced i wanted to be a rasta. i remember telling him that i didn't know the first thing about rastafarians and he said good, keep it that way. i recently told my mom about my plans to cut them off and she almost dropped to her knees to thank god. my dad, more than my mom is set in his old ways of thinking.