Macka B is a reggae superstar – and vegan to match.

With a new single and video, ‘Wha Me Eat’, out in 2009, and a headline appearance at The Brighton Vegan Fayre on March 21st 2009, as well as a scheduled appearance at the Bristol Vegan Fayre on May 30th and 31st 2009, Macka B is set to take the UK vegan circles by storm, as he unleashes his top vibes on the scene. Here Slack Timbo, organiser of both events and also a veteran of the 70’s and 80’s, trys to make himself interesting in the shadow of the great Macka B himself and ask some vaguely challenging questions.

By Slack Timbo
Macka B in the house! What a privilege! How’s it cookin’, maestro? Greetings Timbo, Everything is irie. Give thanks for life. I hear on the grapevine you is comin’ to both Brighton and Bristol Vegan Fayres in 2009 – is that right? Yeah man, as you know I am a vegan and when I was invited to perform at Brighton and Bristol Vegan Fayres, I jumped at the chance. The fayres are an important part of spreading the Vegan lifestyle to the people, it is good to be involved. Tell me about your new toon – ‘Wha Me Eat’ – I’ve heard it and it’s pukka! The song has a strong vegan slant – how important is this to you? It is very important, as they say “food is the staff of life” and “you are what you eat” I strongly believe that we are not really supposed to eat meat and that man only started eating it because of certain circumstances, and those circumstances do not necessary prevail today. There are a lot of misconceptions about Vegan living (some people think we only eat grass) so I did the song to address some of these misconceptions and to educate the people about the positives of a Vegan lifestyle. Do you see yourself as a bit of a vegan evangelist? Is it a religious thing? No it is not religious; religion is always trying to control people, I am advising and showing people that there is an alternative. Most people don’t relate the food on their plate to the living animal that it once was and most people could not kill the animal and then eat it, so deep down they know something is not right. At the end of the day it is their choice, but they are only given one side of the coin to choose from. That is where I come in, to show them the flip side of the coin, that is why I called the song ‘wha ME eat’.

took notice; it seemed like the only way that we could make them listen. Even the people who were supposed to be protecting us (the police) were racist. It was a Dread situation. What about the Ital ting in Jamaican culture – that’s food eaten straight from nature’s garden, no? Uncooked, vegan, raw, unprocessed… the ‘Good Life’. Yes, Ital is vital; for years RasTafai has been telling the world of the virtues of a natural healthy diet or maybe we should call it livet. Most Rastas are italist, food can be cooked but it is vegan and natural. I know a few true Rastafari Brederen who would eat fish – ‘the fruit of the sea’. What would you say about that? It is their personal choice. RasTafari is primarily about seeing the Divinity of H.I.M Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. It is a way of life where one has to choose his own path and livity. When it comes down to food my path is Ital or Vegan . When I went to Sri Lanka a few years ago on holiday, I stayed in a village that had just escaped the worst of the Tsunami a year before. The village had lost all its fishing boats, and some generous Dutch fella had bought them all some new ones, and they were all really prosperous, kids were healthy etc. Meanwhile, a couple of clicks down the road, the destruction had been worse, and they had no fishing boats still, and were in poverty. Quite a difference. Is there a case for eating fish in places like that? Is it just the Developed World that needs to eat vegan? As I said earlier, man only started eating meat because of certain circumstances, so if that is all they have so be it. But you will find that education is the key; a lot times the people don’t know what they’ve got. I have been to many countries where people eat a lot of meat and their country is abundant with so many fruit and vegetables it’s unbelievable, they don’t realise what is right under their nose. Also, some of the most nutritional food on the planet is in the sea (spirulina. kelp, dulse etc), but the people are not aware of it. Education is the key. A lot of the fruit and vegetables in the so called developed world come from the so called underdeveloped world where it is needed even more. It is all about economics. Macka B – you are a family man. Let me put you on the spot – how long would you let your family go hungry if there was no food except for some animals to kill and eat. Well first I would look for what the animals are eating; have you noticed that most carnivores only eat herbivores? Somewhere down the line you always get to vegetables and herbs. If there was no food, the animals would be gone too. If that didn’t work we would all become Breatharians; also we would be living off the sun (fruit and vegetables are manifestations of the sun). Return to the source. Moving on – you’ve been a top, top reggae artist since the seventies, no? Since the eighties; in the seventies I was a teenager jamming with a local sound system in Wolverhampton. I started recording in the eighties with labels like Fashion records and Ariwa (Home of the Mad Professor). To date, I have around 18 albums released and I have travelled to many, many countries round the world. I am well known for my social commentary and conscious lyrics. Music with a message. What about the ‘Rock Against Racism’ ting in the late seventies – I remember that, I remember the Blair Peach riots in Southall and ting like that, were you a part of that…? The riots were nationwide; we had to stand up and fight for our rights. The powers that be stood up and Yeah, it went right off, innit? St Pauls, Brixton, Handsworth, Toxteth, Chapeltown, it was pretty mental…..What about the Labour Government – do you see it surviving the next election? I mean, we had 18 years under Thatcher, right? Surely no one wants to see the Tories back in power, no matter how shit Gordon B and his plonkers are…? Personally, I think the difference between labour and the conservatives is shrinking every day. Is it just me, or do they all look and sound the same now? Got to ask: what about the ol Lambs Bread Chalice ting… still partake? Gotta admit I is very fond of it meself still, proper luvs it, that’s what Bristol is so cool for!! Gert lush!! Love the herbs. It’s the healing of the nation, it is a sacred thing, so spiritual. Only problem is that they are messing with it too much, using too much chemicals. It isn’t all about the strength it’s about the vibes, so don’t abuse it. Keep it natural. My sentiments entirely, nothing like a bit of sun and wind to spice tings up… Well Macka B – times is marchin' on, and there’s works to be done. Do you see a vegan universe one day? Maybe; only Jah knows. Until then we have to keep trodding, edifying and leading by example. Macka B, you are truly respected by the Yout’ ting today – any message to them? Mine is eat vegan, skin up and dance, right? Give thanks for life; respect it. And what does the B stand for? Anything? From I was young my nickname was Macka and when I was looking for a stage name I put on the B because of the Maccabbes from the Bible who were holy warriors, but as wisdom and

knowledge increased I realised that a lot of the Bible has been plagiarised. But sometimes your subconscious mind does things that your conscious mind is not aware of. So I was amazed to find out that in the Akan language of Ghana Macka.B (they spell it maka bi) means one who has his say and I truly have my say. Anything else you’d like to talk about…? Check out my new CD “More Knowledge”, ‘Wha me eat’ is on it. Available from my website and leading stores. Blessed Love to you all RasTafari.

Thanks very much Macka B, you have been far more interesting and far more worthy that many of our guests in Off The Hoof – and we adore your vegan politics as well as your laid back reggae rhythms, top buzz mate, may you live long and healthy and produce many more tunes like ‘Wha Me Eat’!!!

Macka B plays the Brighton Vegan Fayre March 21st 2009 and the Bristol Vegan Fayre May 30th and 31st 2009.

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