While Rastafarians continue to promote self-care, good health and spiritual togetherness, they have historically been targeted by political forces due to their beliefs. Jesse Royal, a reggae artist from Jamaica’s St. James parish, aims to bring those stereotypes to light in his new video for “Natty Pablo.”
Premiering on Billboard below, the 300K-directed video finds the artist moving product on a truck before he and his crew get stopped by the police. But instead of finding drugs as they predicted, the officers are met with a surprise that reflects their contradictory mind-set.
“Ain’t nothing like di Narcos, tell mi where we cyan go with this contraband inna we cargo/ Call him Natty Pablo,” Royal spits on the chorus atop a steady, pounding bass line.
“There’s good in bad and bad in good,” Royal explains to Billboard about the song’s lesson. “Many teachers will come along your path, but it takes a real student to grasp the message and activate. The time for reintroducing love to the revolution is now.”
Director 300K also weighs in: “Directing Jesse’s ‘Natty Pablo’ has been one of my favorite projects to date. Throughout my childhood, I remember not feeling all the way safe around police, but we had lots of respect for the older people in our community, the OGs. They made sure we were all good and that impacted me greatly. When I first heard the record, I knew right away that I wanted to translate that into the visual.”
“Natty Pablo” follows previous singles “LionOrder” featuring Protoje and “Sweet Sensation” alongside Heavyweight Rockaz. The Easy Star Records-signed artist plans to release his sophomore album later this year, which comes after 2017’s Lily of Da Valley debut album, which topped Billboard‘s Reggae Albums chart.
Royal will be featured on Cali Roots Riddim 2020, a project co-produced by Collie Buddz and American producer/multi-instrumentalist Johnny Cosmic. It will serve as a sonic treat for attendees who planned for the now-postponed California Roots Music & Arts Festival. The project will drop May 22, the fest’s originally scheduled date.
View the new “Natty Pablo” video below.