An interview with Sadiki- I

By Vernie

I sat down with the artist known as Ras Sadiki-I one week before thanksgiving 2014 at a restaurant in Braintree MA, a Boston suburb.  After a few false starts (due to his busy schedule) he was able to carve out an afternoon for me; here he shares a very condensed version of his life.

Jevon White was born on August 19th on the tiny Island of Montserrat.  In 1981, he moved to the United States, Boston MA specifically to live with his dad at the tender age of 8.  Jevon discovered that while he loved listening to music, he realized that he actually liked writing and spitting (rapping).  Two of his influences were Big Daddy Kane, and Run DMC.  He also fell in love with Reggae music, it helped that his father was a major Reggae music promoter at the time, (George Buffonge) also one of Boston’s first Caribbean carnival organizers; that institution began in the early 1970′s.  Jevon’s Reggae influences were Yellowman, of whom he has a great love and respect and, Michigan & Smiley.

When Jevon’s father passed away unexpectedly, he returned to Montserrat but came back to Boston to attend Milton High School – he graduated in 1991, and made plans to study at Morehouse College.  In Atlanta, exposed to ideas and ideals of fellow students, “seeking and searching”  he began to listen to Minister Farrakhan amongst others, and wondered about Atlanta and the “blackness” of the people, and realized that he desired something deeper than what his surroundings, or Morehouse for that matter had to offer him.  For Jevon, there had to be a deeper meaning to his life.  In College he lived, studied and participated in some serious debate specifically about religion, he continued to feel lost, and soon thereafter left Morehouse and returned home to Montserrat for some further soul searching.

While in Montserrat, he began to practice Rastafari including the locking of his hair.  His locks took on a life of their own, a “bongo natty” random look, and were very distinctive.  After a time, he began to see hermetic signs and wonders from God, which included the edict to cut his locks, Jevon stated that while he loves Morgan Heritage, he emphatically disagreed with their song “You don’t have to be dread to be Rasta” and wondered at the irony of it, but he said that he conceded and obeyed God.  He also changed his name; and Sadiki-I was born in 1993.

Already well-traveled most of the United States, a good bit of Europe, and the African Continent countries like Senegal, Sudan, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Egypt, it was Ethiopia where Jevon found his calling.

In 2011, Sadiki-I was granted permission to build a new “Temple” for the Ark of the Covenant located in the ancient Holy City of Aksum, Ethiopia. The “Temple of the Tablets” that housed the Ark of the Covenant was in dire need of repair.  With permission from the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahedo Church (EOTC), Sadiki-I worked alongside the Ethiopian World Federation, Inc., to raise funds for the temple repairs and also the Debre Loza Mariam Church that is 1200 years old and others in Ethiopia.  Sadiki-I notes that he is perhaps the first person in history to be baptized by a guardian Monk of the Ark of the Covenant; that event took place on January 10th 2012, in Axum Ethiopia.  In December 2013, the new Temple repairs were completed.

While experiencing some of the most important moments of his life, Sadiki I also finds time to promote reggae music and can call the likes of Queen Ifrica, the Lyricist himself Mr. Tony Rebel, and Sizzla Kalonji close friends.  This past December 2014, Sadiki- I promoted a showcase on the Island of Montserrat including Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel, Sadiki-I himself, it also featured local Montserratian talent.

Sadiki-I created his own label Mystic Lion Entertainment in Boston, MA in 1995.

“That’s just the way it is, things will never be the same…, but better is still yet to come…” Sadiki-I’s lyrics from his song entitled “Montserrat will never be the same…” Is his ode to Montserrat, referencing the old days before the volcanic eruption in 1996 that devastated the island and caused the involuntary exodus of many, especially the elders to the United States, Antigua and the United Kingdom.

As an artist, his lyrics are delivered crisply with a punch.  His style has the heady Hip hop influence of his youth, but the listener definitely knows that his impetus is deeply spiritual and his mandate and purpose is to deliver the message of H.I.M Selassie I.

His track “My Father is a Conqueror” speaks to his total and unwavering belief that H.I.M. Selassie I is God Almighty.

Filed in: Uncategorized • Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

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