Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
Public Secret, Yasus Afari's eighth CD, was launched on Saturday at the Redbones Blues Café on Argyle Road.
The low turnout indicated few Jamaicans were interested in hearing the secret.
However, the St Elizabeth-born dub poet was not daunted; and so used the opportunity to paint a glaring picture of his philosophies with his poems and songs.
The launch, described aptly by co-emcee Ritchie Innocence as one with a twist, was later confirmed and clarified by Yasus Afari.
"It was not so much a launch, it was a celebration. You could call it a show-launch, like a showcase. You noticed that the first segment was a memory-lane journey over the period of years, and the second segment, Public Secret, was with the band and just the songs from the album. It served the purpose of a launch, but also served the purpose to showcase the band, showcase the album, and showcase what we hoped to carry on the road," Afari told The Gleaner.
On the matter of the reason behind the poor turnout, Afari said "it was difficult to know. I will have to think about it. Maybe we could have done better with the promotion. But little bit with contentment is great. Rather than bemoaning the couple hundred of people who are not here, I celebrate those who valued what we have."
And so the unveiling of Public Secret began with a reality check, Poetry Cyaan Nyam.
The poem was inspired by the words of the mother of the St Elizabeth Technical High School graduate, when she learned that he wanted to be poet.
Next, it was the secret of marrying poetry and comedy, in Put a Ring on Comedy.
As a result of the marriage the surname is now 'Pomedy', he explained.
Each item was preceded by controversial, philosophical and contextual information.
Other secrets were revealed in Isus, and the much-requested Wine Pon Paper.
Let's Talk New York, also on the album, is getting its fair share of rotation in the Tri-State Area, and according to Yasus Afari, inspite of its strong lyrics, people are embracing it.
Perhaps this is so because "we don't want to condescend, we don't want to chastise people, we want people to think outside of the box. I want people to go out there and check what I am talking about."
The curtain closer was Guide I and I Oh Jah, a public confession, as a mark of honour.
Interestingly, Afari opened his act with a poem titled Honour. Also delivered in the first segment were a tribute to Miss Lou called Patois Talk and I can See Clearly, a tribute to the late Jamaican singer Garnett Silk, as well as the performance of Hard and Tough, which was preceded by an explanation that "people who process their hair were the first bleachers".
Yasus Live in Concert also saw a cameo act from Bryan Hart, as well as Innocence and his co-emcee Steppa.
Following on the heels of the launch, Afari and his band Dub Vijan have some interesting times ahead.
These include tours in the United States of America, a number of requests for remixes of selected songs/poems, and plans to sign off on an exclusive contract with a management company based in Europe, and an event called Band Stand Live, scheduled for Mandeville, on December 8.