“Life Goes On” by Long Beach Dub Allstars is a timeless reggae-rock collaboration. We might not know the song as we enjoy it today without the summer of 2000 that saw the Dub’s on the Vans Warped Tour making friends with a hip-hop group named Jurassic 5.
“Life Goes On” was released on Sept. 11th, 2001 via Long Beach Dub Allstars sophomore record, Wonders of the World. The track features Ives of Delinquent Habits, Half Pint, Tippa Irie and Chali 2na of Jurassic 5. The song showcases each artist displaying their vocal strengths on a tune that didn’t feel at all crowded with 4 different vocalists.
Listen: Long Beach Dub Allstars – “Life Goes On” (ft. Half Pint, Ives, Tippa Irie & Chali 2na)
In a past interview with The Pier, 2na tells us he first met the Dubs while on the Vans Warped Tour during the summer of 2000: “I use to hang out with Lou Dog, get high with Opie Ortiz and kick it with Marshall Goodman… I’d be up in the fucking morning trying to find a toilet, and after that, meeting the vendors, smoking weed, trying to find a cup of coffee–That’s how I was befriending everybody.”
Marshall Goodman of Sublime & Long Beach Dub Allstars tells
The Pier: “I met a lot of good folks on that tour! The Warped tour always had a big common area for meals where the artists could meet and mingle, and our tour buses were parked close together so there were a lot of opportunities for the artists to link. I remember meeting everybody in Jurassic 5 and somewhere along the line Chali 2na mentioned he was born in Chicago, so we clicked as I’m originally from Chi as well.”
Following the tour, Marshall hit up 2na to jump on a song he was working on called “Life Goes On.” The music was developed with Gabrial McNair (No Doubt/Sublime with Rome) who played all of the keyboard parts. Marshall tells The Pier: “Half Pint, Tippa Irie, Ives, and 2na were the vocal artists I chose for the song and they are each from different geographic regions & neighborhoods. So I told them to write a ‘day in the life of…’ about their neighborhoods or their lives. I remember 2na was impressed to meet Pint and Tip.”
The song was actually tracked at Marshall’s home studio and after being invited over, 2na gushes: “I walk in the living room and fucking Half Pint & Tippa Irie are sitting on the couch! I lost my shit. I was like a little girl. I told them I was a major fan, started running down tunes.”
Ives was leaving just as 2na was arriving so they apparently caught each-other in passing after Ives had just tracked his verse. Marshall explained that Half Pint reportedly came up with the hook on the spot while everyone else wrote & laid their parts down that same day.
“Marshall sent me a beat, but it wasn’t all the way done,” 2na explains. “I was jotting down some ideas but I was coming over there to finish the verse. Seeing Tippa & Pint just inspired the shit out of me [Haha]. But that song was lightening in a bottle because everyone used their talent in the right spot on that song.”
The connection Jurassic 5 established with Long Beach Dub Allstars on Warped Tour, notably Chali 2na & Marshall Goodman, is what lead to “Life Goes On” as we know it today. The song, 2na confirms, is what opened the door to him later being a household name in the Reggae-Rock community as we cheer his regular collaborations alongside Slightly Stoopid, The Movement, J Boog, Hirie, not to mention his other notable work alongside reggae legends in Beenie Man, as well as Stephen & Damian Marley.
“Life Goes On,” however, which saw a dubby reggae track highlighted with hip-hop verses and a melodic delivery from Half Pint on the hook, never got the love it deserved. The song, along with the album, came out the same day planes flew into the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 impacting the release of the album, the subsequent tour as well as such a song as “Life Goes On.”
The timing couldn’t have been worse, but for some of us reggae-rock fans at the time, we listened to that album like therapy while gazing at the artwork & reading through the credits like a novel. Another reason this song isn’t celebrated more is that the band and this album operated at a time before social media, certainly before Youtube. But a good song is a good song and a timeless one always gets remembered or found, regardless if Life Goes On.
Watch: Slightly Stoopid – “Just Thinking” (ft Chali 2na)
Listen: Ras MG ft Slightly Stoopid & Jud Nester – “Words”