Musicians play various roles in society, from being the conscience of society to providing soothing melodies for reflection, education and jubilation. From artistes like Fela Anikulakpo Kuti, Bob Marley and Tina Turner we have had our consciences shaken and our minds excited.
In comes The Ras General with “Which Kin Ting Be Dis”, a social commentary on the way our society is evolving. He says, “I was inspired by the total surrender of Africans to mediocrity and ignorance, the madness and confusion that religion has brought. Almost every friend or family member I talk to would end their hopelessness with the sentence “It’s well’, a sentence of surrender to poverty and the lows.” The Ras General laments, “People are not willing to challenge wrong or fight for their rights but simply resign with ‘It’s Well.’ Many Pastors have deceived and ruined Africans because the people believe in them. It’s sad living abroad and seeing how hard the west is working everyday to advance in all endeavors while the biggest business in Africa is the Church business.”
Which Kin Ting Be Dis is an afrobeat track which voices the numerous instances when all we say is “It Is Well.” The Ras General along with his producer, Wise Peters Braide aka Holy Prince weave a tapestry of sounds with echos of the great Fela Kuti in a contemporary groove. This is a song that shakes the very foundations of your being, challenging you to wake up to the realities of surrendering your ability to change your situation with that simple platitude, “It Is Well,” hence the question, “Which Kin Ting Be Dis?” He intones:
Person dey hungry, he say It is Well
Man No get Work, he say It is Well
Person Who dey sick, he say It is Well
Person wey dey die, hin say It is Well
The Texas based Ras General, aka Stanley Onyebuchi Onwu started his foray into music after an attempt to join the army in Nigeria floundered. Viewing music as a vehicle for social change which he had wanted to do through a career in the army, he gathered his siblings and in 1985, formed the first family reggae band Africa, similar to the Morgans Heritage band. The Rasta Officers Band was signed to Leader Records in Nigeria where they released” Rasta Officers Take Over” in 1991.
Ras General then relocated to Ghana where he teamed up with Original Ras Korby to form the militant reggae group Nazirite Vow. The group recorded an album, “Free” for the German based label Kelele Records.
The Ras General is also a writer, poet and actor who self-published his first book as a member of the Rainbow Organization of The Rastafarians of Nigeria (ROOTRON) in 1990. The book, “The Nigerian Rastafarians, Who Are They?” found its way into the National Library Catalog in Nigeria. He also has a book of poems out, “Dangerous Game” on Outskirt Press.
He co-starred along with Jamaican movie star, Paul Campbell in the blockbuster movie, “Jamaican Mafia.” He’s also starred in his own production, “Not Just Enough” and is currently working on some movie scripts.
As a musician, he’s shared the stage with reggae stars like Buju Banton, the late Culture, Don Carlos, Mutabaruka and Yasus Afari and continues to record on his own labels, People’s Army Production and People’s Army 432.
Twitter, Instagram, TikTok @therasgeneral