Oct 11, 2021 Latest Reggae News
Reasoning with Ras Kidus about his
“What happened to
By Reggae Festival Guide (RFG)
R: My name is Ras Kidus A.K.A. Jon Cornelius, Bally, Skiddy, Massive, and Rhino. I’m a reggae artist from Jamaica.
RFG: What do you do as a performer and what instruments do you play?
R: My first instrument was the drums and my first group were an international Reggae group called Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus. We toured all around America and Canada.
RFG: Do you also sing?
R: I’m a Reggae player and I’m also a vocalist. I made six Reggae albums and currently working on my next album that features my daughter Marisa (Beezher.com) and our latest single “Where is Jah Love?” We have a
real dreamy dub version of that recording and it’s great to be able to sing so sweetly with my talented daughter. Our new EP, called The One Love Tree also features collaborations with artist A.J. from Arabian Gold, the
Yemen Peace Maker, Toho Saunders from Vibe Arc Studios, Makonnen Blake Hannah with Caspa Studio in Jamaica, Undah P and Jingles, and Dalton Brownie from Bobby Digital studios. It will be released before the
RFG: When did you first begin performing Reggae music?
R: Well over the last 30 years.
RFG: How did you get started?
R: I listened to my old town music, which is Reggae music in Jamaica. I said to myself one day I’m going to be a Reggae singer, player, or something to do with Reggae, you know? At the time I was learning a trade
working as a welder, an apprentice when I was 19 years old. It was during that time when Reggae music first hit me.
RFG: Have you made any music videos?
R: I have many on YouTube. You can follow these links or see most of them in my reggae-mentary
I star in three Jamaican film so I’m rated as a musician and actor. I’ve even composed some film and video soundtracks and my tunes and have made the soundtracks commercials too. Levi’s Jeans was one of my commercial clients. Big time.
RFG: When did you first begin practicing Rastafari?
R: Back in the days…when I was fifteen years old, I went to the beach one day with my herbs man and I saw a black man who looked to me like Jesus and I though a black man can be Jesus too. He was a Rasta man with
dreadlocks. He had the same structure of the face and the same features and the beard. I was inspired. I said, “oh…God could be Black.” I started to see more about the faith from him. The first words of Rastafari, I was
taught was from him after people kept asking’ “what is Rastafari?” I would say, “Rastafari is internal, external, intellectual, and spiritual, international” I was a churchical kind of guy, my church was the Ethiopian Orthodox church in Jamaica.
RFG: How do you practice Rastafari? What do you do
that makes you a Rastafarian?
R: I as a Rasta always feel God Jah with me at all times and it gives me a hopeful and upfull and rejuvenated attitude facing life’s challenges. I choose to be close to Jah by eating natural foods, reaching out to
celebrate Jah with my music and my close family and friends. I take time each morning and evening to pray and give thanks for all I have, all I give and all that I receive. Although I’ve been able to be close to Jah with
or without the divine medication of Ganja, it does reveal yourself to yourself, as the great Bob Marley said. I am present with my strength in my Jah each moment.
RFG: Do you have any Biblical texts you use?
R: Yeah, the Book of Revelations is a big part of the Rastafari faith and all the psalms, especially Psalm 28 and 29. Jah will give strength unto his people; the Lord Jah will bless his people with peace. One heart, One
Love, One Peace, One Destiny.
RFG: In terms of Reggae artists, what types of groups inspire you?
R: Jimmy Cliff and after he came up Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Toots and the Maytals. I was always inspired by Motown and the great soul singers like David Ruffin’, The Temptations, and all the stars that
came out on Soul Train. Damn when I first saw Soul Train. The Mighty Dells. Wicked!
RFG: When did you first learn how to play drums?
R: I slept with the drum set next to my bed and in the middle of the night I got up to practice them. In the day times I was around the drums too because I worked and hung out at the studios like with Berres Hammond with Cornell Marshall, and Mike Williams. Berris at Zappo Studios gave me my first gig in Negril. Two drum sets were in Zappo’s Kingston studio and Cornell, who was my teacher let me hop on one of the drum sets as he
played the other. I’m a little lefty ya know [laughs], so I started playing my lefty in unison with him. He played a beat so I follow and it was then I closed my eyes and when I opened my eyes, he wasn’t around his set. He
had disappeared from his set. Then he said, “do that one drop beat for one year man, twelve months, and you will be approved as a drummer.”
A little before that, I had the opportunity to play with Ras Michael and we played together for years. I played hand-drums, the funde, repeater, bass, and many other percussion and instruments.
RFG: What about your writing process or producing process and making of songs – when did you started making music of your own?
R: I always made music of my own but as an adult I got to work in the studios of Kingston and spend money on studio time or traded security or assistant director for studio time. My first hit was based on the tune The
House of the Rising Sun with Keith Hudson on the Mafia Label with brand new lyrics to reflect my love of Africa and my hope to return to the motherland one day. After that came Hey You and Story of Love from
Coxone’s Studio One.
RFG: What do you want to create in the future?
R: I world where the youth can be themselves and not get bullied. Keeping our minds positive anything is possible. Now we can collaborate cross national boundaries and so many more people are online, yet needing spiritual guidance and love. I am actively spreading the love and peace of Rastafari in many ways for healing, for family land development, and for creative collaborations of all kinds. Know where we are from, where we are at, and where we are going. Who’s coming with me my tribe?
This track is a reminder to all to bring forth
Jah love amongst each other and within INI!
“Where Is Jah Love?” is now available on all platforms
and for DJ’s and radio stations including the dub version.
Watch Official VIDEO Here
Watch Lyric VIDEO Here
Listen Here on iHeartRadio
Listen Here on SPOTIFY
Listen Here on APPLE MUSIC
“Where is Jah Love? “was recorded as a father/daughter duet at Caspa Studio, Kingston Jamaica, under the direction and editorial
of Makonnen Blake Hanna
“When I heard the song, I felt the heartbeat of our culture travel from one generation to another,” said Ras Kidus.
Beezher,a singer/songwriter like her father
adds, “This song reflects the strength of the roots connection we have and was a dream come true for me!”
Ms. Barbara Blake Hannah, who brought the project together explained, “The song is a joy to experience!”
Focused on Rastafarian teachings of unity, peace, and love, Jamaican-born singer Ras Kidus and his band perform reggae music following
Ras Kidus’ motto: “It is better to get down than to be down”. His Songs are filled with exciting dance rhythms and spiritually uplifting lyrics.
Ras Kidus grew up singing at an early age with bands such as Soul Syndicate before forming his own group, Roots Connection, whose first recording in 1975, “Exile Song” made the British pop charts. Since then he has recorded on his own and taken his reggae message to world locales from Canada and California to Egypt and England.
You may remember John ‘Ras Kidus’ Cornelius for his classic role in “Rude Boy the Jamaican Don” and for his authentic
reggae tunes such as:
“Son of a Slave”
Watch Video Here
“Reggae with Me”
Watch Video Here
Musician, Producer, and Actor, original roots man, Jon Cornelius a.k.a. RAS KIDUS has mixed his musical talent next to the greatest Reggae artists in the business including Ras Michael Sons of Negus with whom he traveled on his first American tour. While still in Jamaica he shared the stage with the legendary Bob Marley, Third World and Burning Spear, the famous Beres Hammond, The Psalms, and the late great Gregory Isaacs and Sugar Minott. RAS KIDUS leads his band,
Roots Connection and currently performs live in many venues in
America and around the world.
is one of his six albums including his Lively Mix.
MTV aired a long series of Levi’s Living Large Commercials that Ras Kidus provided the music soundtrack. His second CD, Under Pressure was rated S.F. BAY AREA’S Reggae Album of the Year in 1988. Later, he toured with artists including Burning Spear, Toots and the Maytals, The I-Threes, Rankin Scroo and Ginger, Glenn Washington, Hugh Mandell,
and Yellow Man.
In addition to concert performances RAS KIDUS is a film star known worldwide. He portrayed the Jamaican Don Shotta, Rhino and Massive in three movies with Beenie Man and Ninja Man (Mark Danvers): RUDEBOY– THE JAMAICAN DON, GANGSTA’S PARADISE,
and COP AND A BAD MAN.
Recently Jon played the leading role and created the soundtrack for TEXTIVE a short film and web-based television series. It was produced by Roots Force Production and Slade Digital and filmed in the San Francisco Bay Area —available on DVD and on Youtube. The short film, written and produced by Stephanie Slade was featured at the Oakland International Film Festival 2012 and the Berkeley Film Festival, 2011.
His song, ‘Jamaica Land’ is the soundtrack to the short film
JAMAICA LAND, directed by Stephanie Slade which was screened
at the Jamaica International Reggae Film Festival, 2013.
Bionic Roots: Ras Kidus, Spiritual Messenjah
Link Up With Ras Kidus:
For more information on both Ras Kidus and Beezher:
All inquiries please contact Stephanie Slade,
Bionic Roots PR | 510 302 8734