30 years. 3 decades without one of the greatest musical inspirations to walk the Earth, but if you were to tell me that it’s been 30 years, I would have said you’re lying because all I grew up listening too (or at least 50% of it) was Bob Marley. No question. The first CD I ever got when I got my first stereo EVER, was Legend. And that’s not necessarily because I’m Jamaican, believe it or not (trust me, a lot of people would go with or not on this one), there are Jamaicans that have never listened to a Bob Marley song. How that happened? I don’t know, and I’d rather not want to know, because I just feel that that’s a horrible thing. I’m not judging, but damn son. If you listen to reggae, it’s blatant disrespect to not know who he is.
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
Bob Marley was the vocalist in a time when the world was run amok. The 60s for sure, when you had wars left and right, and civil unrest, and I’m not just talking about Vietnam & the U.S’s issues (although, you should read 1968, which is a great book depicting the events that took place in that year), but in Jamaica, things were bad, and just when things were getting worse, they needed a vocal leader to essentially preach to the rest of the world about the struggle have gone through. He was a man who didn’t associate himself with violence. He was always promoting peace, and encouraging individuals to free their mind and think outside of their own societies. He sang about the personal struggle not only of his own people, but of Africans as well, always referring to slavery and reminding us of what we used to be. He was what you would call the inaugural “conscious reggae singer.”
The only thing that has bothered me about how Bob Marley’s legacy was left, was the association of weed. Listen, people smoke weed, we know this, but everyone just associates him with weed because of the way that it was promoted and whatnot. It’s ignorant that people associate him with weed first and not his music. Of course, not everyone does it, but from personal experience: I went to school in Hamilton, I lived on residence, and there were less than 10 black people out of about 300. A good majority of the kids from smaller suburban cities (I’ll just say white people, because it’s true) just have a big flag with Bob Marley with some kind of marijuana symbol by his name. That’s not what he stood for, he stood for uplifting black people from the struggle into prosperity. Yes. He smoked. A lot. Of weed. BUT, that’s not the main point. He was a passionate man who loved his music, and loved the people who loved it. He didn’t make ‘ONE LOVE’ for no damn reason. So, that whole misconception that he’s all about weed and when people link weed smoking to him, it irritates me.
The Rastafarian movement is one of religion as it seems. There’s more behind the dreadlocks, weed, and vegetarian diet. It goes back into the 30s, when it was internally Jamaican. Bob Marley wasn’t the pioneer of Rasta, but he helped spread the wave worldwide with his music. He made music for the people who were followers of the movement, but of course, once you go mainstream, that’s all she wrote. It impacted the amount of people growing dreadlocks, and weed smoking, but at the same time, there were some people who would go out to actually learn about Selassie I , Marcus Garvey, and really explore the depths of the movement. Bob Marley contributed to a lot of the followers because of his music, so whether it has a positive or negative impact, the fact that his music 30 years after his death is still influencing generations, just goes to show you that he’s one of the greatest to ever do it, and on this day, his birthday, it’s a great thing to know that his legacy will never die.
I leave you now with a couple of his albums, because I have the full discography, and my lord it’s long. It covers pretty much over 20 years, and about 20+ albums. It’s a big Matzah ball, but if you get around to it, and if you have uTorrent, then by all means, download The Complete Bob Marley Discography, but for those who don’t have that kind of patience, I’ll give you 3 albums. The ones that I enjoyed the most, even though the majority of his music is amazing as it is. Stay blessed, and we should live by the words of Bob, by staying passionate about what we do and live with a purpose in life, but for now,
That’s My Word & It STiXX