12/12/2018: “I Swear” by Chuck Fenda

I didn’t know whether to include Richie Spice’s “Marijuana” instead of this. But the riddim is called “I Swear Riddim” for a reason. Chuck Fenda’s version just sounds right. (Richie Spice’s song is still fantastic, by the way).

This song is typical of a certain modern style of Reggae music. Vocally, it’s somewhere between Bashment and Roots, and instrumentally, it’s definately Reggae, but tending to be harder edged and faster.

“I Swear” is a bass driven, high tempo skanker. It is anthemic and serious in equal measure, and the digital style of the riddim doesn’t diminish the traditional nature of its message.

Nor should it. This is reggae made for new times, and there shouldn’t be a need to stick to the same tried tested formulas that we’ve had since the 70s.

The lyrics of the song are pure conscious reggae. Chuck Fenda’s Rastafari faith, social justice, and warnings about not selling out all feature heavily in the stridently sung agenda for this song.

The song was released in 2004, as a single, and on the album Better Days in the same year.

A great song.

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