News that Majek Fashek, the reggae crooner who went by the sobriquet ‘Rainmaker’ for an award-winning song of a similar name, had breathed his last, came as a rude shock to the showbiz scene. The thrills of his music made it difficult to imagine his death.
Before Omenka Uzoma, the singer’s manager, confirmed the incident, what many fans of Fashek would later dub an ominous morning shower with a rather macabre edge to it, had lasted for hours in the commercial city of Lagos. Even in death, the 58-year-old reggae star “sent down the rain.”
Fashek is renowned for a slew of hit songs, some of which had pushed him to the global music space and saw him initiate projects with renowned music stars like Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, and Beyoncé. Here are some of his tracks that redefined reggae.
‘Send Down The Rain’ (1988)
In 1988, Fashek had signed with Tabansi Records towards kickstarting his solo career. This move was followed by his release of the album ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ and caused him to quickly become Nigeria’s top reggae artist after the track ‘Send Down The Rain’ became the most popular that year.
It would later win him six PMAN awards in the ‘Song of the Year’ category while the album itself snagged the ‘Album of the Year’ plaque. Fashek became the ‘Reggae Artist of the Year’ among other recognitions that were conferred on him. Yet, that song was far from being the last of it kind.
‘Holy Spirit’ (1991)
Released in 1991 as a track off the late singer’s album ‘Spirit of Love’, ‘Holy Spirit’ was one of the songs that earned Fashek international acclaim and got him signed to Island Records’ Mango imprint, a music company that was dedicated to marketing reggae internationally at the time.
‘Hotel California’ (1997)
Fashek’s 1997 track ‘Hotel California’ was a sort of eulogy wherein the singer recounts his encounter with a damsel in a Californian hotel, which he regarded as home. “On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air,” the song reads.
‘Religion Na Politics’ (2012)
In ‘Religion Na Politics’, Fashek blends talking drums and slick guitar riffs in a track that addressed the hypocrisy with regard to religious ideologies. This was said to have been inspired by incessant religious conflicts that often broke out between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria at the time.
‘I Come Fron The Ghetto’ (1991)
This track sees the late singer croon about his humble beginnings while taking a hit on political leaders and the social vices in the country that had seen children suffer hardship, aggression, and abuse.
“If you go to Lagos state Nigeria Africa, you’ll see little children playing around the street of Lagos. They sell all kinds of food. All this time all these years since the colonial masters gave African leaders freedom, we still abuse little children. Its a shame for our leaders,” he can be heard saying.
‘Africa Unity’ (2008)
“When will the African people unite? When will the African people come together? Europeans, Americans getting stronger every day. And there’s disunity among African people,” those were the thoughts of Fashek. To date, many believe that, even with a few words, much was conveyed.
‘Can’t Give Up the Fight’ (2015)
Before his death, Fashek had battled an illness, according to his manager. In video clips that surfaced online, he was captured visibly writhing in pains as medical personnel standing in front of his sickbed gave gory details of how he (Fashek) was reacting after being injected with painkilling medications.
After years of activism with his music, he had released a track in 2015 where he vowed not to give up his fight with his unique and fearless style of hit tracks. This prompted the singer being likened to Fela Kuti, the late Afrobeat legend, on account of his outspokenness regarding social issues.
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