Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bob Marley

Image from NYU

Bob Marley was an iconic musician who, together with his band, the Wailers, brought reggae to the world spotlight. Born in Jamaica in 1945, Marley formed his band before age twenty, then lived in Trench Town in Kingston.

This place is beautifully evoked in No Woman no Cry, a song, written by fellow Jamaican Vincent Ford. His band's first big hit, this song helped Marley rise to the top of world music before his tragic death of cancer at the age of 36.

According to Biography, he invited people to stand up for their rights, and he survived an attempt at assassination in 1976. As his widow Rita explains, threatened by Bob's influence, and his plans to do a peace concert, the government sent attackers with guns against the band that preached brotherly love. Exodus, his ninth album, was produced the following year.

One good thing about music, said Marley, was that "when it hits you, you feel no pain." He also said that individuals must emancipate themselves from mental slavery and that "none but ourselves [could] free our minds."

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