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Radzi's playlist extended into the rock-steady period of the late '60s and through the roots and dub currents of the mid and late '70s. What you wouldn't hear was dancehall, which exploded in popularity as the '80s progressed. Ironically, as roots reggae found an international audience with its message of black consciousness, spiritual transcendence, and social justice, it fell out of favor in its native land, replaced by dancehall's focus on braggadocio, gangster chic, and materialism.
Radzi concedes this trend added to his growing disenchantment with being a DJ. "The way that a lot of reggae is going these days isn't a direction that I feel is positive," he says. "Dancehall makes a lot of money, but as someone who believes in the religion of Rasta, it's not music that moves me. Things have changed so drastically within Jamaican culture, and the music has changed along with it. You listen to WAVS [the predominantly Jamaican Top 40 outlet at 1170 AM] or 96.1 [the dancehall-heavy FM pirate] and you're not going to hear about Haile Selassie I." He sighs and adds, "Kids today just aren't interested in Rastafari; they have different values."
While Radzi leaves open the possibility of a DJ stint closer to home in Broward, for now he intends to concentrate on another of his passions, one that flows from his background as a graphic artist (that's some of his work in the animated film The Hobbit): sumptuous, hand-drawn renderings of ancient Mayan temples (see his site at www.mayavision.com for examples). Radzi's fans pining for classic roots rhythms (at least the night owls) can, thankfully, still tune in to Clint O'Neil on WLRN-FM (91.3), weekdays from 1:00 to 5:00 a.m.