Bob Marley is known worldwide not only for creating and popularizing a certain style of reggae music, but also with using music to focus attention on the difficulties of black people around the world and on various social issues. While he was deeply involved with the context and culture of his country, Marley’s musical influence was felt internationally. His style of music and protest lyrics was truly inspiring and touching. The lyrics and style of his music were also a comment on society and had enormous political and activist appeal.
I am sincerely honored to be performing a research on this exemplary human being. I chose this particular person because it seemed extremely curious how influential he still is to our generation. Bob Marley has truly become a legend. Bob Marley: Bob Marley: A Cultural Icon, a Prophet, and a Legend. Bob Marley was a moral and religious figure as well as a major record seller internationally. He promoted world peace and served as a highly influential prophet. Bob changed people’s perception of things regarding world poverty and dreadful issues like racism.
His music was life transforming and relatable by those who suffer, love and long for salvation; In other words, every one of us. Aside from being an international artist, Bob Marley had big political aspirations in which he critiqued how his people were suffering by the hand of the white man. Robert Nesta Marley, better known as Bob Marley, was born on February 6th, 1945 in a small village called Nine Miles in the parish of St. Ann, Jamaica. He was the sixth out of nine children to a white British Naval Officer named Norval Marley and Cedella Booker, an eighteen-year-old black girl.
Bob never really had a father figure present in his life because his father barely visited him due to his family’s disapproval of his racially mixed marriage. Bob Marley was basically raised by his mother, who moved him and his brothers to Kingston’s Trench town due to the scarcity of jobs in Jamaica. Trench town was known as the “ghetto” of Jamaica, it is home of police and gang members. This place really influenced Bob because although the atmosphere might be one of a dangerous one, the “community and its leaders believe in social change and responsibility” such as he did later on in life.
Trench Town also produces a wide amount of reggae artists due to their “nature of the ghetto”. To the residents of this part of Jamaica music is highly respected and valued. Despite their misfortune of material things, music is the only thing that they can say they actually have. Bob Marley really developed as a musical artist in Kingston. There he met Bunny Livingstone with whom he shared a passion for reggae music and whom went on to becoming his band member in the “The Wailers”. These introduced a new genre of music to their audience know as “ska”.
This type of music consisted of lyrics which were basically speaking about the ghetto and the life they lived. While this gained popularity and a large fan base, the members of the Wailers began to have a different train of thought. Through their study and growing commitment to Rastafarianism, Bob Marley and Wailers were “determined to control their own destiny”. From reports composed by Universal Music, their determination was so strong that they were focused on making a new future direction of reggae.
As the Wailers group finalized, Bob Marley continued in the music business as a solo reggae artist embracing Rastafarianism, “a religious movement that accepts Haile Selassie I, the former emperor of Ethiopia, as King of Kings, Lord of Lords and the Lion of Judah as Jah (the Rastafarian name for God). ” The main belief of this religion is that the only way Black people can escape oppression is to return to Africa. Haile Selassie I was truly inspiring to Bob such so that he wrote the song titled “War” from the speech Haile wrote to the League of Nations pleading for world equality. As time went by Bob Marley turned into a musical icon.
His simple and politically profound lyrics were the key to his success. Marley’s musical influence was felt internationally. Each and every one of his songs had deep and reflecting meanings that could be understood by everybody. Marley used his music to focus attention on the difficulties of black people around the world and on various social issues. Bob Marley gave voice to the poor “the most intelligent people is the poorest people” -Bob Marley. He expressed that the white men were thieves and corrupt yet they had all the money and the black are poverty stricken. One of his particular songs was particularly political.
This powerful song is titled “War” and was inspired by a speech that Rastafarian Messiah, Haile Selassie, wrote to the League of Nations expressing his desire for a world were peace was dominant. Bob Marley in one of his many attempts for world peace, he decided to play a free concert at Kingston’s National Heroes Park in order to send a peaceful message against the ghetto wars that were occurring in Trench town at the time. But tragedy struck two days before the concert; a gunman broke into Marley’s home and shot him, his wife, Rita and two more friends. Luckily no one was killed by the fatal shots.
Despite the shooting, Bob Marley went onstage to put on a memorable show two days later at the Smile Jamaica concert. After the show he left for the UK. He remained there for about a year in a so called self exile, because he was terribly hurt by the Jamaican people for their attacks against him. In 1978, in Kingston, there were only three issues at hand: the increasing shortage of goods on sale in stores, the consequence of Washington’s efforts to bankrupt the Manley government; and the longing return of Bob Marley to Jamaica from his self-imposed exile following the shooting in December 1976.
One day during a video shoot at the Keskidee Centre, Bob had been approached by gunmen of Jamaica’s opposing political parties. They asked Bob if he would agree to take part in a “One Love Peace Concert” to help bring an end to the island’s murderous political rivalry. It was to be held in Kingston on April 22, under the sponsorship of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The “One Love Peace Concert” was as predicted, a huge success. It marked the returning of Jamaican hero, Bob Marley, from his self- exile.
During the concert, Marley shook hands with Prime Minister Michael Manley and Edward Seaga who were both opposing political leaders of Jamaica. “I just want to shake hands and show the people that we’re gonna unite . . . we’re gonna unite . . . we’ve got to unite . . . The moon is high over my head, and I give my love instead. The moon is high over my head, and I give my love instead. ” He held their hands firmly together while he said “Yes, the Peace” Conclusion
Bob Marley was a incredible person who took every chance that was presented to him to remind us that each one of us has the right to live, everyone has the right to have peace, every one has the right to love. He introduced the world to an idea of everybody living as one world sharing one solemn love. Through his prophetic music and charismatic self being he inspired us and teaches us that world unity is indeed possible. Like Dr. King, he changed the world by expressing his ideas and went on to becoming a Legend.