American rappers Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa visited Judgment yard and paid homage to Sizzla Kalonji while visiting the island to plan their Black Star Line Festival in 2024.
The rapper shared a video showing Sizzla and himself interacting and the latter collecting the information for Sizzla and his team, presumably to keep in touch to plan the upcoming Black Star Line Festival that seeks to unite African Americans and the black diaspora. The inaugural show was held in Accra, Ghana, back in January (2023) and saw overwhelming support from Americans traveling to the Motherland while Ghanaians also turned out in the thousands.
Chance The Rapper, who has shown himself to be a conscious rapper and who knows and understands the influence and power of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a Jamaican Pan-Africanist and Civil Rights figure that fought for the rights of black people, shared how surreal the experience was meeting up with Sizzla, a religious Rastafarian.
“We out here Jah bless. This is actually crazy. Crazy thing, I can’t believe that we’re here. Thank you so much for letting us into the space. We’re with some real Rastafari brothers right now. Black Star Line Fest we out here. Thank you Dadda,” Chance says on the video.
Sizzla also shared equal sentiment telling the camera, “They’re structuring their Black Star Line Fest. That’s where it started, started with Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
Marcus Garvey is a revered figure in Jamaica, and he was one of the founding fathers of the Rastafari movement that promoted Rastafarianism as a religion for black people versus Anglo-Saxon Christianity foisted on slaves and which was adopted for generations among black folks in Jamaica and around the world.
Garvey is known for his powerful speeches promoting the black race and calling for unity and for all black people to travel home back to their motherland- Africa. Many Jamaicans believe he should be named a National Hero.
In the meantime, the two rappers were welcomed and paid a courtesy call on Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett at his Kingston office on Tuesday. The rappers were spotted taking photos with the Minister and other high-level officials.
The event is likely to be beneficial to Jamaica which depends on tourism earnings to support the local economy, especially from the United States, one of its largest markets.