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Story of the song: Sizzla sings of strength

Published:Sunday | May 1, 2016 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke


Strength - as in resilience in the face of adversity - is a recurrent theme in Sizzla's catalogue of music. Whether that strength is in his own character as he expounds at length in Solid as a Rock, or he is encouraging others to dig deep within as he does in Rise to the Occasion, Sizzla consistently nurtures the will and drive to keep pressing on despite adverse circumstances.

Solid as a Rock, is on the 2003 album Da Real Thing. The first verse borrows from well-known sayings as Sizzla deejays, "they can't keep a good man down" and "who Jah bless I say no man curse". Immediately preceding the chorus, Sizzla uses an all too familiar situation, an encounter with the police, to illustrate his state of grace - even if what the police find is illegal: He sings:

"Here come the officers asking for a search

They found no weapon just only a draw of herbs

Cause I'm so solid as a rock they just can't stop me now

Even when they set their traps they just can't stop me now."

Rise to the Occasion is also the first track of an album released in 2003 by a prolific Sizzla. While Solid as a Rock is personal, in Rise to the Occasion, Sizzla is a voice that commands self-reflection (which may be taken literally):

"Rise to the occasion

Look at yourself then say you strong

No one can stop you

Rise to the occasion

Go ahead you know you strong

No one can stop you."

Putting the personal strength and encouragement of others together, Sizzla comes up with Aint Gonna See Us Fall:

"All of my people, all of my thugs

All those beautiful women I love

They ain't gonna see us fall."

The higher power is involved in the strength, which the deejay displays personally, as he outlines in Holding Firm. There are varied responses from human beings ("Some will share, others do as they like/Some you flesh them waan tear wid dem fork and knife/Some don't care their hearts are like ice..").

No matter what, though, in the chorus, Sizzla states his innate right to an income and reliance on the Almighty:

"But I'm holding firm

Every man deserve to earn

Jah Jah crown my plan with success

I'm holding firm

Every man deserve to earn

You won't sink I in the mess."

Then, when there has been triumph over adversity, there is rejoicing, even as Sizzla continues to defy those who opposed him in, Dem a Wonder (even as he mockingly thanks them for being part of his life):

"Dem a wonder

How we do dis

Dem grow wid hate an' anger

Fi Jah prophet

But as me locks get longer

Heathen heart it a twis'

No spread no propaganda

Cause yu cyaa stop dis

Now dem a ponder

How de ghetto yute so slick

Dem grow wid hate an' anger

Fi de prophets

But as we locks get longer

Heathen heart it a knit

We no beg oonu fi no sponsor

So oonu cyaa stop dis."

Sizzla goes on to state his reliance on the Almighty in no uncertain terms:

"No man no badda dan dat

An a we a run Jah crew

So oonu come inna oonu thousan' an two."