Thu | Jul 9, 2020

‘Fire a go burn pon your idiot plan’ - Maxi Priest, Canadian activist decry injustice in remixed song

Published:Saturday | June 27, 2020 | 12:22 AM
Maxi Priest
Maxi Priest

Singer, songwriter, and activist Jonathan Emile has recruited legendary British-Jamaican reggae fusion vocalist Maxi Priest for a remix of his prophetic ballad Babylon Is Falling. The track was released yesterday via Emile’s MindPeaceLove record label. It is distributed by Tuff Gong International.

The song, which speaks about dismantling oppressive systems, comes as civil unrest grips America and much of the world. Maxi Priest and Jonathan Emile designed the remix cover art, which features the now-iconic image of the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct burning to the ground during a night of public outrage over George Floyd’s murder.

Maxi Priest, a Grammy-nominated singer, described the collaboration with Emile, a Jamaican-Canadian based in Montreal, as an interesting experience.

“I can relate to the youthful energy he brings to the message. I grew up a young black man in Southeast London during a racially charged time. I’ve lived and feel that same pain. To see history continually repeating itself only shows the cause and effect of an unjust Babylonian system. I’m not saying there should be anarchy, but something must be done. There is a level of injustice that has been consistent throughout my lifetime. The new generation sees this through a clear lens, and they are making their voices heard,” Maxi Priest said.

In Babylon Is Falling, he sings: “Fire a go burn pon your idiot plan..., So you better understand, like a castle in the sand.”

Emile expressed his own excitement over the collaboration.

“Working with Maxi was rewarding and inspirational. I’m just blessed to have had the opportunity to co-write with a master and a legend, just him and I in a living room, focused on the riddim, going line for line, run for run. He brought such a profound wisdom and dimension to the song.”