Toots and the Maytals remind us all that we ‘Got To Be Tough’

Photo Credit: Hugh Wright

The world is moving at a breakneck pace, a whirling dervish of emotion each and every day as a societal torrent of energy and pain and confusion and anger unfold at a speed few of us have ever experienced. So when an elder voice calmly tells us we have to be tough, and the man on the mic draws on six decades of his own strength and perseverance, it’s best we sit back and listen.

Such is the case today (June 12) as Toots and The Maytals return with the hypnotically affirming “Got To Be Tough”, the first studio release by legendary ska and reggae voice Frederick “Toots” Hibbert in more than a decade. It’s also the title track to the new Maytals album, which hits globally August 28 via Trojan Jamaica/BMG Records.

This is usually the point in the Vanyaland article where we cite some sort of quote about the track from the artist. But here on “Got To Be Tough,” the message is firmly planted in the song, and it rises up in blossom through its reggae swirl — and the life “Toots” has lived, and continues to live. Take a breath, take a moment, and take inventory of your own toughness.