R.I.P. Gregory Isaacs

Gregory Isaacs died yesterday at the age of 59. This Lee Perry production was recorded in 1976, the year when virtually every singer in Jamaica was bemoaning the crashing economy and widespread political violence. Isaacs’ most celebrated contribution was this good-natured plea to be left alone to smoke weed because “it’s better than in the streets busting gun.” It’s a fine example of reggae’s mellifluous protest: pressing messages transmitted in soothing tones.