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Oluwakemi Adesina

The profound ramifications of the roots reggae music and Rastafarianism as philosophical and ideological tools for the understanding of Africa and the African diaspora reached its highest point with the eclectic musical career of Robert Nesta Marley (hereinafter Bob Marley). At home and abroad, Bob Marley was regarded as a poet, a prophet, and a mystic. He was a “revolutionary artist,” “Rasta Prophet,” and a host of other significant epithets all derived from Marley’s vintage messages of strength, defiance, and rebellion in the face of racial and all forms of oppression. A powerful writer of revolutionary and visionary songs, the extremely charismatic and iconic Bob Marley was the twentieth-century Jamaican music legend born of mixed parentage in St. Ann’s Parish, Jamaica, on 6 February 1945 When he was ten years old his father died of a heart attack and Marley then left home at the age of fourteen to ...

Article

Eric Bennett

The first global pop star to emerge from a developing nation, Bob Marley has won fans from nations around the world who share his vision of redemption and freedom and love his innovative blend of American and Caribbean music.

Marley was born Robert Nesta Marley in rural Rhoden Hall in St. Ann Parish, Jamaica. His mother was a Jamaican teenager and his father a middle-aged captain in the West Indian regiment of the British Army. Marley's parents separated when he was six years old, and he moved with his mother to Kingston, joining the wave of rural emigrants that flooded the capital during the 1950s and 1960s. Marley and his mother settled in Trench Town, a west Kingston slum named for the sewer that ran through it.

There, Marley shared quarters with a boy his age named “Bunny” Neville O'Riley Livingston The two made music together fashioning ...

Article

Norman Weinstein

Born Peter McIntosh, Tosh's entrance into music began during his teenage years in the Trenchtown ghetto of Kingston, where he and his friends Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer imitated the vocal harmonies of Curtis Mayfield. Tosh's early recordings as part of a Ska/Reggae trio with Marley and Wailer (who became known as “The Wailers”) made clear that his singing and songwriting talents were strongly flavored by rage against hypocritical individuals and institutions. Songs like “400 Years” and “Downpressor” are prime examples of his mastery of political protest songwriting. His first recordings as a solo artist in the early 1960s include a wry commentary on sexual mores (“Shame and Scandal”) and a boastful declaration of Rastafarian identity (“Rasta Shook Them Up”).

After quitting The Wailers in 1972 Tosh pursued a performing and recording career as a solo artist marked by the cultivation of a persona ...