Dred I Dread brings good vibes to Mankato

The Grammy-nominated band brought reggae music to MNSU

Mansoor Ahmad
Staff Photographer

The basement of the Centennial Student Union was buzzing with sounds of drums and acoustic guitar riffs. 

The Flexible Programming Space was filled with tropical vibes as the crowd inside bobbed their heads to Dred I Dread and their reggae tunes on Wednesday. Performing songs filled with messages aimed at every single soul present in the room, the band had one take-away message for any and all who listened: peace above all.

Fronted by the unmistakably distinct presence of the literally dreaded Peewee Dread, the band performed numerous songs from their first album to their latest, spanning 21 years. 

One song that touched hearts was their performance of “Stew Peas & Rice” that spoke about the love of a mother, something many can relate to.

Formed in 1998, the colorful band’s members are from Jamaica, New Orleans, Turkey, and Minnesota, and if that alone doesn’t hint at how diversely beautiful their music is, you might want to hop on your favorite streaming platform and give their songs a listen.

The band also touched a sensitive topic in “Gunman”, singing about active shooters across the country. The passion Dread puts into his songs, coupled with the lyrics, end up having a profound effect on those who listen. And if you think Dred I Dread was just about sad, sentimental songs, they also mix hip-hop into their music to make it more relatable to the younger generation.

When asked what he hopes to achieve from his songs, Dread said he wanted to promote peace among the community, while also making them self-sustained. Based on the same principle, Dread also makes and sells his own hot sauce called “Rasta Tease”.

Although Dred I Dread is classified as a reggae group, the secret to the Grammy-nominated band’s longevity, besides the undying support of their fans, is their own take on reggae and how they “stretch it to the limits” while staying close to the core of the vibrant music genre. “We always push our fans outside the box. We get them out of their comfort zone,” Dread added.

When Dread moved from New Orleans to Minneapolis, he started Dred I Dread with Rawle G. Since then, the band has released four studio albums, and one live album– and they don’t have plans to stop anytime soon, as they will be travelling around the country playing across multiple states.

Header photo: Peewee Dread performs at the Serendipity Music Series Wednesday, Jan. 16 in the CSU Flexible Programming Space. (Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter)

Mansoor Ahmad

Mansoor is a photographer who likes telling stories even when none of his friends are interested in listening. He likes photographing sports and concerts, and is down for basketball any given day.

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