Archive for February, 2015

Today has been an interesting day. All around the world people acknowledge February as Black History Month – A time where the achievements of “ye mighty race” are commemorated and revered. Among black intelligentsia there is a sort of love hate relationship with black history month and its usefulness and I too grapple with both sides of the spectrum and probably fall more on the love side but that is for another day.

Back to today being an interesting day, whilst February is known worldwide as Black History Month, Jamaica Land We Love is biting off a piece of that ethos and zeroing the focus on perhaps Jamaica’s biggest gift to the world and that is REGGAE MUSIC. Today becomes interesting as it is the Birthday of the undisputed King of Reggae: one Robert Nesta Marley, but you can call him Bob. The commemoration of his birthday this year has taken on the feel of the unofficial launch of Reggae Month celebrations. (Special mention to the legendary Bunny Rugs of Third World who also would have celebrated his birthday today and the Crown Prince of Reggae Dennis Immanuel Brown whose earthstrong was on February 1)

Feeling a real roots rock reggae vibe today I have spent much of the time listening to music from The Wailers and Bob Marley and the Wailers as well as reading their story and examining their discography in detail. This has led me to several conclusions:

1)The catalogue of the Wailers and Bob Marley and the Wailers is probably unparalleled in the world across any genre for absolutely classic songs.

2)Reggae music puts one in a calm and reflective and insightful place in a way that I think no other type of music can come close

3)Reggae Music, and Jamaica by extension has had such an enormous impact on the world that we have yet to even come close to fathoming

4)It is probably the biggest shame in music history that the Original Wailers: Winston McIntosh, Robert Marley & Neville Livingston did not end their careers making great music together. Although without their parting we may have been robbed of some of their great individual successes as well as the emergence of the “three little birds”

5)Besides the obvious, that Bob Marley is an exemplary candidate to be Jamaica’s next national hero the most significant thought I had about the great Bob today is that there are several reggae musicians that did individual things better than him and may have been even more talented than him. Tosh was a sharper “stepping razor” of a rebel. I personally believe Dennis Brown and Freddy McGregor may have had the smoothest voices in Jamaican Music. Some may have done social commentary better and some may have done lovers rock better. But if one thing is certain Bob epitomised better yet epitomises the quintessential total package who can go toe to toe with anyone in all these realms and in my mind that is what solidifies his greatness.

As I sat here trying to gather my thoughts I expected them to be wax far more poetic and profoundly, but I guess I was not blessed with the lyricism of our reggae greats of which Nesta was the paragon. so rather than ending with my incomplete thoughts I will depart with the musical genius of the man himself. i.e. My Favourite Bob Marley song ever (which changes frequently) and my favourite Bob Marely Music Video ever. Also a few words on the man from those he would have had the greatest influence on even from the afterlife – His Children.

Give Thanks

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