I use to love to go visit the dubmaster, Augustus Pablo up in the hills of Jamaica. I needed frequent getaways from the hustle of my life as a music executive. On the surface, it made me feel rather special to spend time with one of the most amazing musicians to come out of Jamaica. (Google him) But beneath the surface were the living precepts of Rastafari. Augustus Pablo lived Rastafari.
I first met Augustus Pablo when I graduated from Syracuse University. It was one of those speechless moments when Trevor, my baby’s daddy and love of my life introduced us on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn. Having played his music as a college radio dj for the previous 4 years it was life coming full circle right in front of me. As Trevor’s good bredren, Pablo automatically became mine and even long after Trevor made his transition he continued to spiritually, mentally and even materially tend to my needs. When Busta Rhymes illegally used one of his samples…he called on me to remedy the situation. I was able to broker a deal that benefitted Pablo. He turned around and gave me a significant portion of his earnings. This was his WAY. The Rastafari way. Chalice everyday. Ital living. Music, deep reasonings and a disdain for all things Babylon…with me by his side. I loved our time together. I was the Queen of his bredren and he treated me like a Daughter. Visiting him in the hills on a regular brought me closer to the lifestyle that I had chosen as a child much more than Brooklyn ever could. He was my shining example of Rastafari.
There were studio sessions; sitting in at Rockers record shop which he owned; Tuff Gong meetings (where his records were pressed; to the ital bredren pon the corner with the good cornmeal porridge were the equivalent of heaven to me…my favorite part of the visits were when we went to see his herbalist, Dr. Bagga. I remember when we first pulled up at Bagga’s gates in Kingston…one of many many times that I would visit him. The veranda was full of people needing his care. Inside was full with another set of people. Old, young, Jamaican, Asian. You name it…they were there. Pablo, who never went anywhere empty handed would enter immediately and greet his bredren and present him with whatever gifts he brought. He would then sit down with us in the back yard which was also full of people (LOL) and reason for a few minutes before he would have to get back to his patients.
Dr. Bagga’s house was the healing house. Many who had been turned away by the local hospital were sent to Dr. Bagga, the roots doctor up the road. With patients everywhere. Dr. Bagga truly did everything in Jah time. He healed, he smiled, he loved and I was one of the thousands and thousands of recipients of his healing hand.
I learned last week that he was in the hospital. I made mental note to reach out to his daughter and send him whatever I could. Before I could do that…Dr. Bagga made his transition on the earth day of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey (Monday, August 17th) at 11:40pm. It hit me particularly hard because he transitioned before I did what I said I would do. Bagga joins his bredrens Trevor and Augustus Pablo in the world of eternity. Meanwhile we here, the living, must rise from our sleep and slumber and manifest both the little and the big of what we KNOW and SAY we will do. Lesson Learned.
I am working everyday to get better at being me…a Rastafari child of the Most High. I continue to fall short at times but I am greatly encouraged by the all the angels that I have working on my behalf. I will not fail.