All About Bob Marley: A Revolutionary Reggae

All About Bob Marley: A Revolutionary Reggae

Nesta with his straightforward but impactful lyrics, Robert Marley, better known by his stage name Bob Marley, was the man who revolutionized reggae music. His complex yet deftly constructed music grabbed and ensnared all of his listeners, leaving them yearning for more. With just his rich voice and his messages of love, equality, and peace, the guy from the so-called Third World created a whole new musical period. Moreover, his albums were the best reggae albums in NYC.

He was born on Feb. 6, 1945, in the small town of Nine Miles, Jamaica, to a black mother and a white father. At the age of twelve, he moved with his mother to Trenchtown in Kingstown after his father died when he was only ten. Here, he would team up with his boyhood buddy Neville Livingston—better known as Bunny Wailer—to establish his first band. Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer became official step-brothers and bandmates after their parents got married.

In 1962, Marley had already begun working with local record producer Leslie Kong on song recordings. The title of his debut song was Judge Not. However, he did not have the same level of popularity following the publication of that song as he did in 1963 when he recorded Simmer Down, the song that would eventually become the debut single for The Wailers, with Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh.

The Wailers, who recorded their singles under producer Lee Scratch A Perry, would go on to achieve some success over the next few years. In 1972, they would release their first full-length reggae album, Catch a Fire. It was The Wailer's first full-length album and the first reggae album ever released, completely revolutionizing the marketing and packaging of reggae music and subsequently becoming the best-selling reggae album of all time and one of the most important of all. The band sponsored tours around the US and the UK which gave the band an international reputation. He was one of the best reggae artists in NYC and all across the globe.

Marley spoke for the people whose voices were unheard by using his music as a medium for both self-expression and advocacy. For example, Catch A Fire had several politically charged tracks, such as the urban poverty ballad Concrete Jungle and the song Slave Driver, which examined how past injustices have shaped the present. Songs like "Get Up Stand Up," which boldly called out to all those who were oppressed and urged them to fight for their position in the world, were included on the Wailers' upcoming album Burnin. It also featured the song I Shot the Sheriff, which has strong racial overtones. The singer claims he only shot the sheriff in self-defense and is wanted for killing the deputy.

Up to Survival, his second-to-last recorded album, he would keep penning songs expressing political disapproval and disillusionment. As a Rastafarian, he incorporated religious fervor into his music, which was most evident in songs like Jammin and Exodus. In fact, he literally quotes the Bible in songs like Zion Train and Forever Lovin Jah. His political and religious beliefs were frequently in line, and one of his songs can be heard in either way: Redemption Song, which appears on his last studio album Uprising, is frequently seen as a very political and passionately religious song.

Marley received the Jamaican Order of Merit in February, the month before he passed away from toe cancer in May 1981. Only 24 persons have received this, Jamaica's fourth-highest civilian honor, to date. "He who does the truth comes into the light" is the slogan of this organization.

 In fact, Bob Marley did more than just act by the truth; he also elevated it to prominence and ingrained it into the collective consciousness. He started acting as Jamaica's spokesperson. He was named the most influential artist of the second half of the 20th century by the New York Times, and One Love was selected as the Millennium Anthem by the BBC. Many people believe that his song Zimbabwe is the unofficial national anthem.

Bob Marley's career had an impact not only on a worldwide level by bringing forward concepts of liberation and changing political order, but also on a universal level in that his presence has changed the globe. The head of the Human Rights Action Center, Jack Healey, stated that Bob Marley is a global symbol of freedom. He was one of the best reggae artists in NYC. During Bob Marley's burial, Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Saega gave the eulogy and stated, "Such a man cannot be erased from the mind." He is a component of the country's collective consciousness."

He has, in fact. He now exists posthumously in the hearts of all music lovers, and he is ingrained not just in the global but also in the Jamaican collective psyche.
Back to blog