Bit of a GQ as well, but I figured that I would have more chance of an answer in this forum.
I’ve been listening to some nice rootsy reggae of late. It’s not a genre I know a lot about, but I like it. I noticed they the use the term “I and I” quite often.
Do they mean “we”? Or something else? Or am I hilariously mishearing something completely different? Someone please enlighten me.
Also, if you came in and answered this because you are an undisputed reggae expert, what would you recommend to someone who likes Burning Spear, Misty in Roots, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Gergory Isaacs to a lesser extent?
“I and I” is Jamaican slang for… me (or I).
I would suggest the Gladiators and Israel Vibration.
Especially “Unconquered People” by Israel Vibration.
It’s a while since I was heavily into dub and roots reggae but ‘I & I’ can mean ‘we’ as far as I’m concerned…
And I’d suggest Bunny Wailer or Keith Hudson
I think “I-and-I” can mean “I” or “we”.
I think it’s meant to emphasise the Rastafarian beliefs of oneness of man with God, and the oneness of all humankind.
So, “I-and-I” can mean “me and the person beside me”, “me and God within me”, “all of humankind as one, and the one person of God within each one of us”. “I-and-I” used to mean “we” emphasises the oneness of humankind - the two people are equated as one, and the spirit of God is equally present within both. At least, that’s what I understand from what I have read. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rastafarianism subsection 3.3 explains the idea most clearly, I think)
If I’ve got this all wrong, hopefully a passing Rastafarian can set us (I-and-I) straight.