There are many bands around the world who have encroached on the sound of Jamaica. The old adage that a white man cannot play the blues is similarly quoted in regard to reggae. The Blue Riddim band from the USA and Zound System from Japan both played at different Reggae Sunsplash shows, and although both were entertaining, they lacked an authentic feel for the music. On the west coast of America, an audience for reggae was burgeoning, inspired by expatriate Jamaican Tony Moses. Strictly Roots emerged from San Francisco and featured a mixed line-up including representatives from Jamaica to give the group more credibility. The band embraced Rastafari and received an award for a local concert from the Sonoma County Sherrif’s Department.
In 1998 the group’s bass player and vocalist Ras Jacob released on the JAM label his debut solo album, Breaking The Barriers. Having played with a number of Jamaica’s finest musicians/DJs including, Josey Wales, Supercat, Culture and the Mighty Diamonds, Jacob felt sufficiently qualified to accomplish increased notoriety. The album was recorded at a variety of studios in Jamaica, Washington and San Francisco and the Scientist gave the completed project its final mix.