Album review
Rasta Resiste
Roots Natty
Roots Natty Records
29 - 01 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Nyahbinghi Chant
  2. Jah Rastafari
  3. Confusión
  4. Reggae is a music
  5. Rasta Resiste
  6. People Coming On
  7. Mental Dread
  8. Unemployment
  9. Global Warming
  10. Zion, Zion, Zion
  11. Dub Resiste
  12. People Coming On (dub vocal)
  13. Itation Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5

'Rasta Resiste' is the labour of love by Max Rivera. On his website (www.rootsnatty.com) he decribes his life inna fascinating way :

"I Max Rivera now known as Roots Natty, since at a young age I was always fascinated with music and arts. Always had a guitar around me but I never took it too seriously until later on when music became a mission. As a teenager; some neighborhood friends and me made a band by the name of: Revelation, inspired by Christian faith, the band did not last long after the first show. After some trips back and forth to Puerto Rico I had decided to stay and live in Costa Rica in the Caribbean side in the small village named Cahuita. I survived there painting T-shirts and signs for restaurants, the t-shirts had the trade name of: Roots Natty. At nights Rasta’s from the village would gather and chant songs and play drums and other hand made percussive instruments. That's when music became a mission for me and I packed my bags to come to Puerto Rico again to buy instruments and form a reggae band. Back in Puerto Rico in 1995 I met with others that had the same vision as me: play reggae music. So we started rehearsing and the band took the name of: Roots Natty just like the t-shirts so one thing will promote the other and so on. The first show was self produced as many other shows thru the years. The first show was on a September 23rd, 1995 with a small crowd of friends but; that crowd build up slowly thru the years for the band to become one of the bands with the highest crowd pull. Some shows had crowds from a 1,000 to 2,000 followers. In 1996 Roots Natty had the chance to make the first opening act for a popular reggae band from Jamaica; the Black Uhuru. That show help the band get some promotion and recognition. After that show the band continued playing allover the island and especially in the west coast where I have the largest following of fans. 1997 had even a bigger challenge for Roots Natty: the opening act for the first show of The Gladiators in Puerto Rico. The band rehearsed hard for months to open the show and it paid off in the performance that night sharing the stage with The Gladiators. The next year I continued writing my own lyrics and practicing a lot. In February 6, 1998 Roots Natty produced a show to celebrate Bob Marley's birthday inviting Jamaican reggae artist; Pablo Moses to the island for the first time. It was a "tuff" test organizing a show of that magnitude but thanks to the enthusiasm of the group involved in the production it was a success. That same year had another important show for Roots Natty; the "Reggae fest ina the west" with most of the reggae bands from the island and Jamaican reggae artist Eek-a-Mouse. Roots Natty that night had something special for the crowd the show was a compressed set of original songs mix with dubs that blew off minds. During the year 1999 Roots Natty had a significant grow in popularity doing radio and television interviews. That year the band played two beach concerts for the series of summer beach festivals sponsored by La Mega radio station. After four years of struggle and hard work members of the band left Roots Natty to continue other projects of their own, I was left alone with the mission to continue Jah musical works. It was never easy, and still today is not. Recording was the goal to achieve all this years so nothing could stop this to become a reality. What always seemed so far finally came true during the year 2000 and in a blessed way that I never imagined. Going to Jamaica was always a goal for me and I finally got there not only to visit but also to make my first album with some of my favorite musicians. Working with Earl "Chinna" Smith, as producer was a blessing, the whole process was guided by years experience and professionalism. The experience was great and the results; just listen to the recording! Mr. Errol Brown at the board had everything under control and the musicians did a great work. I give thanks and praises for this experience that helped me grow personally and musically. For the rest of the year 2000 I have been busy with the executive production of the album, the graphic design of the album and putting a band together to be ready to hit the road once the album is released. Roots Natty is already playing shows as guest artist with the legendary Zioniers band and Jah Trinity band, stay tuned to Roots Natty for future events. So Roots Natty goes on with the mission of carrying the message and the roots reggae music that the legends live fighting for."

It's clear that Max Rivera is a spiritual indivual whose passion for reggae music certainly will carry his fame all over the world. The album is pure roots 'n' culture business with conscious tunes (in both English and Spanish) delivered across steady traditional one-drop riddims, delivered by such fine artists as Earl "Chinna" Smith, Christopher Meredith, Earl "Bagga" Walker, Robbie Lyn, Uzziah "Sticky" Thompson, Dean Fraser and Wilburn "Squidly" Cole, David Madden and Pablo Moses. Roots Natty's musical and lyrical roots are the works of Culture, Burning Spear and the great Bob Marley. His vocal delivery is smooth, sometimes fragile, but never dull. Standout tracks on this solid album are Jah Rastafari, Reggae Is A Music, People Coming On and Global Warning. The dub tracks are a nice addition and round off an album of an artist whose debut set carries a lot of noteworthy efforts.

Teacher & Mr. T.