Bob Marley: An Inspired Life

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How did legendary Bob Marley get his start in music? Just like many others before him, Marley’s path took a winding route, with forks along the way that led away from his humble start in life and took him to the musical world stage. His father worked on a ship as a quartermaster for the British West Indian company. He was 32 years older than Bob Marley’s mother when they met. His father was of Caucasian ancestry, and received pressure and negative feedback from his family, and because of this, Bob Marley did not see his father often.

His mother moved when he was a young teenager, moving the family to Kingston from their home in northern Jamaica. However, they could not afford to live in Kingston proper, and instead lived in an adjoining shanty town just out of town known as Trenchtown. Here, Bob Marley met the people who would go on to be his band members. These new friends included Peter McIntosh and Bunny Livingston. At his home in Trenchtown is where Marley got his humble start and the seeds were sown for him to grow into one of the most influential and memorable musicians in music history.

It may not seem like a recipe for success and worldwide fame, however the music industry is known for such Cinderella stories. At least it used to be before corporate bigwigs decided they didn’t care for the risk. While corporate interests did influence music even then, it pales in comparison to today. During music’s heyday, an artist who had talent, a message, the desire, and a little luck, could break out from their humble beginnings and become a rich and famous musical success, a story that is hard to replicate. Could Bob Marley succeed in today’s industry? The answer is a topic of debate.

Fortunately for everyone who enjoyed the rise of Reggae and Bob Marley to musical prominence, it did happen. His influence could be felt everywhere. His message of peace went beyond just his music and religion. This young boy who grew up during adversity in a confusing time managed to not only succeed but serve as an inspiration for millions around the globe. His message and his music continue to inspire today. In fact, young people are still plastering their walls with posters of Marley as they jam to his music and use it to inspire art and music of their own.

We are lucky to live in a time that makes it easy to record music and pass it from generation to generation. It has been many decades since Bob Marley’s musical debut, but his music is still popular with today’s youth. It makes you question just how much longer his gift of music will inspire.

Ini Kamoze, The Lyrical Gangsta Of Reggae Music

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Hey, hey! Ini Kamoze, my favorite Jamaican reggae poet, has been laying down wicked lyrics and beautiful songs for decades. Kamoze was born in Port Maria, Jamaica back in 1957.

Kamoze’s musical career really started with the release of Trouble You a Trouble Me back in the first half of the 80s. Bringing a songwriting talent that was the equal of greats like Bob Marley and a sharp sense of social responsibility into the recording studio, Kamoze had the wit and musical talent to become one of the reggae scene’s greatest artists. Kamoze wasn’t interested in conventional success, though. He refused to be categorized, made some strange choices in his music career, and even reportedly spent part of the 90s in prison.

Although Kamoze isn’t very well known beyond Jamaica’s shores, people all over the world learned his name from the song Here Comes the Hotstepper in 1994. Hotstepper, a slang word from Jamaican Patois used to refer to a fugitive criminal, became Kamoze’s nickname. The song would become Kamoze’s only track to top the charts in the United States.

I’ll always love Ini Kamoze, and hearing him breathe the magic words “hey, hey …” into the microphone always tells me that something special is coming. His socially-conscious lyrics are melded with a diverse musical taste that embraces elements of rap, hip-hop, and R&B. I have never once been bored by Kamoze’s music, and usually, I find it speaking directly to my innermost thoughts.

Kamoze is an advocate for social change, but he would never condone violence. He released a landmark song called Gunshot (Respect Not) almost twenty years ago that took the corrupt politicians of Jamaica to task for their failure to curb gun violence among the younger generation. Unfortunately, this urgent message is as valid today as it was when Kamoze penned the song, with gun-related fatalities still a chronic problem for Jamaica.

The personality that Kamoze brings to his music is definitely a confident, perhaps even arrogant one. That doesn’t stop him from being witty, eloquent, and graceful when he performs. I would have a very hard time naming other reggae artists who even come close to Ini Kamoze when it comes to laying down interesting lyrics. He even writes a mean love song! Kamoze’s career is dotted with collaborations with some of the genre’s greatest names, including Robbie Shakespear and Sly Dunbar.

If you’d like to hear Ini Kamoze for yourself, the place to start is with his self-titled debut album released in 1984. This might be a little tough, as it’s available exclusively on vinyl. There is a double CD set called Debut out there; these are re-recordings of Kamoze’s greatest hits. They suffer a little from lower production values (Sly & Robbie are absent), but the heart-clutching lyrics are still there in full force.

Roots, Rock, Reggae…

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Reggae music, also referred to as rock steady, is something that has really been able to flower into a true giant due to oppression contaminating the winds of Jamaica. The origins, according to Andrew Kopkind, seem to go back to when rock seemed to turn over and the birth of reggae turned into a voice or outlet to speak for those who have not had their own voice across the world.

One of the major players acting as a catalyst for the creation of the reggae state is Jimmy Cliff. He stated that if you listen closely, you are really able to hear that about 60% of the reggae music created is about oppression, while the other 40% is fantasy. New reggae music is something that appealed to the souls of people, helping to open their eyes to all of the realities of the world. At the same time, the music that you would usually find in North America was more of a self-destructive, cultural contrast throughout a violence and sex trip.

Along with his music, Jimmy Cliff was able to play a major role in the overall politics in Jamaica. A movie came out called The Harder They Come, which sought to show the true essence of Jamaica, helping to focus on Jamaicans who were poor and black. When this movie made its way into the theaters, people were not able to hide from the truth any longer. The movie helped to spark criticism within the Jamaican party (JLP) while also contributing to the PNP electoral victory. This had a profound impact because if the party had won, there would have been a major rebellion.

The prime minister of Jamaica, Michael Manley, stated at one time that if you were looking for the truth as to what was happening in Jamaica, the only thing that you need to do is look closely at the music. Reggae is known to be the music of the people as a whole, which seeks to help educate the masses on all of the injustices that are going on and to inject a bit of hope into those who are going through an oppressed stage in their lives.

Reggae or rock steady has had a tremendous impact on all people that are located around the world. There are the sounds of children playing and running while beating on rocks with sticks, footsteps of men or women that are walking in place stuck in their minds, horns beeping in traffic and the cries of vendors in the streets that are trying to make enough money to get by. These are the ingredients of reggae music. Whenever you hear African chants along with deep drum bas sounds, you are hearing the political opinions and voices for many people along with the cries of oppression for the masses and the claim of freedom for all.

THE RISE OF REGGAE MUSIC

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Reggae is a music genre that first developed in Jamaica Island in the late 1960s and quickly emerged as the country’s dominant music. The beats and style originated after the development of Ska and Rocksteady, but the tempo is slower than that found in Ska and Rocksteady.

Afer the introduction and acceptance of Rocksteady style, reggae was formed. But people did not like the name Rocksteady. Through different version of an old song Fat man, Morgan changed the beat and created a creep with an organ and rhythm guitar. One of the first reggae bands such as Maytals released the first reggae album. The genre was more energetic than rocksteady but was more complex than Ska.

Reggae music developed from Ska and Rocksteady that bore the weight of increasingly politicized lyrics that addressed economic and social injustice. Reggae music is all about poverty, love, Rastafarian religion and social injustice. The Rastafarian movement played an important role in the origin of reggae music as 1 out of 3 Jamaican are Rastafarian, where Bob Marley and the Wailers were practitioners. Many of the famous reggae musicians practice the Rastafarian religion and therefore it reflects the beliefs and tradition of Rastafarianism.

The words used in reggae music are taken from Rastafarian concepts. Like, Jah that is used to refer to God. There is also a common use of Jamaica slang, like Ganja that means marijuana. Cannabis was smoked as a sacrament in their faith, as they believed that smoking marijuana allowed them to experience closeness to God. But the songs has been misinterpreted by youth especially in America that uses the song as an excuse to get high.

The music is generally mixed from the Caribbean and from traditional Africa beats. It incorporates some of the musical elements of rhythm, jazz, and blues. But one of the most recognizable elements was off-beat rhythms that were played by a guitar and a piano. This style of music stretched the globe with its popularity and the only music which have not originated from America and Europe but is played in every country in the world.

Reggae music was popularized mainly by Bob Marley when we was the leader of the Wailers, which promoted the images of the urban guerrilla. There other reggae music artists such as Burning Spear and Horace Andy, who spread the music beyond the Island, but Bob Marley was the one that made Reggae music to be known and become famous across the world and also influence many people. Bob Marley is the world’s best-known reggae artist and ambassador. His career spanned more than a decade. He began with Rocksteady band in 1963, the Wailers and Culminating. His album the Exodus achieved an international acclaim.

Reggae music will remain to be an evergreen production and people of all ages can listen to it.

Reggae Music And Bob Marley

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It’s not difficult to name music trends that have come out of Jamaica, in fact, it’s so popular now that you’ll hear it all over the world. It’s easy to gauge this popularity simply by how many people are listening to reggae and how everyone that listens to it has at least one CD of this genre of music. Many people enjoy reggae simply because the theme is all about love and happiness, friendship, anti-racism, social equality and joy. Bob Marley took reggae to the next level and it continues to move forward.

When it comes to reggae, there are many brilliant artists that have made this a very popular genre. With brilliant compositions and catchy rhythms, it’s sure to gain a lot of attention. Artists such as Peter Tosh, King Tubby, and Jimmy Cliff have gone above and beyond when it comes to developing reggae music. However, no matter how many artists there are in the reggae genre, Bob Marley reigns supreme with is Group Reggae The Wailers and the album he named “Burnin”. This album alone has sped to the top of the charts. Thanks to Bob, reggae has topped many a chart. It brought Bob Marley world renowned fame and fortune and he then launched another album, “No Women, No Cry” and made another giant success. In 1977 Bob again hit the top of the charts with his album “Exodus” that is now one of his best-selling albums ever.

In fact, Bob Marley has done such incredible work when it comes to reggae that many other artists have been inspired to try their hand at it. King Tubb, Peter Tosh, Shaggy and Burning Spear, as well as, Jimmy Cliff have all launched great careers simply from their love of Reggae thanks to Bob Marley. They are doing brilliantly in continuing to develop this genre and it’s all thanks to the father of Reggae, Bob Marley and his belief in love, joy, and happiness as well as equality. The God Father of Reggae is Bob Marley and the music world is all the better for his love of this genre. While others just dabbled in the music genre of Reggae, Bob Marley took it over the top.