It’s no secret that vintage band tees are expensive, some of the designs are obscure but now obsolete. I came across this powerful vintage Bad Brains tee that I couldn’t afford to buy so I induced my DIY side and decided to make my own with a few new design choices. The shirt references the song title ‘I and I survive’ below I have included a write up from the genius website outlining the important subjects of the song;
A reggae tune with an apt name which speaks to the heart of the Rastafarian Movement… Given the seemingly insurmountable depravity forced upon countless Jamaicans throughout their history, including before and during the rise and spread of reggae music, reggae itself is inextricably interlaced with messages and themes of hope and survival in the face of oppression. Indeed, this song embodies the spirit of survival espoused by reggae musicians and the Rastafarian movement. The title’s “I and I” refers to the Rastafarian message of closeness to the divine, unity (or I-nity), resistance to oppression, and embracing life and spirituality over possession-based so-called richness and wealth. In short, the Rastafarian’s “I and I” is a subject pronoun expression which supersedes and over-serves where “we” and “they” would typically be used within English vernacular. To simply say “I and I” translates to “we” and/or “they” would lose the implications of survival, unity, solidarity, and spirituality found within “I and I”, and which are implicitly missing from the often divisive, oppressive, and presumptuous “we” and “they” found within the language of the oppressor.