Certainly, there are a variety of musically inclined artists in the world yet few can actually be considered legends. Several of these artists fall under the Reggae genre. Reggae, according to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, is defined as, “popular music of Jamaican origin that combines native styles with elements of rock and soul music and is performed at moderate tempos with the accent on the offbeat,” (“Reggae,”). This style of music is not as popular as others, yet there is one name that comes to mind, Bob Marley.
Unquestionably, Bob Marley’s unique sound and style has dubbed him one of the most influential artists of the reggae genre. Bob Marley began producing songs around the age of 17. He then met up with several other young talented people and formed the group “Bob Marley and the Wailers. ” The band stayed together long enough to produce several big hits then soon broke up. Mr. Marley went off to work in a factory for awhile, yet he soon reunited with the group and began producing more songs. This time the band was not as successful as they first were.
Bob thought that adding female vocals to the group might bring some diversity so eventually convinced his wife Rita Marley to join. The Wailers eventually sky rocketed to fame. In 1976, an assassination attempt was aimed at Mr. Marley and although it left him wounded, it was deemed unsuccessful. Soon however, before a tour through the U. S. , Bob Marley was diagnosed with Brain, Lung and Liver cancer and died eight short months later. As a singer/song writer, Bob Marley would surely have gone a lot further in his music career if his life hadn’t ended so abruptly (“Bob Marley. ”).
Granted many people are familiar with Mr. Marley himself, a number of people are unfamiliar with his music. When first turning on a song by Bob Marley, you instantly notice the distinct Jamaican drums that fall into almost every one of his songs. The drums, along with other unique instruments, create a relaxed and calm mood which not many other genres of music are able to do. Then slowly, Marley begins to soothe you with his smooth and simple lyrics, which help to bring the calm mood to its peak. The sound of his music makes it one of the most empowering styles available. While examining Mr.
Marley’s music I’ve realized that there really is a lot more behind his music than meets the ear. Almost every song involves his opinion on a public issue or a reference back to the rastafarian movement. The rastafarian religion consists of black empowerment, no cutting of the hair and the smoking of marijuana. Bob Marley and the Wailers always seemed to have found a way to incorporate these beliefs into their songs. This ability is one of the reasons why Bob Marley’s music is so far set apart from other music. There are plenty of people who wouldn’t agree with my personal opinion on Bob Marley and his music.
Most people don’t like his music because they feel that he says whatever he wants in his songs. He promotes black empowerment and smoking marijuana, which obviously offends some people, and some even argue that his music is too controversial. Yet, nobody realizes that being able to put these issues into his music and still have it be just as popular, really is talent. Bob Marley’s music is about much more than just smoking marijuana, he’s a very inspirational person. For example his song, “Get up, Stand up,” is one of his more political songs.
It denies religious hypocrisy, which entails that people who believe in the same thing should stick together, and fights for a more individual worshipping. Although He puts these things in his songs, he’s not doing it to offend people, he’s doing it because that’s what he believes in. To have the ability to stand up for what you believe in and stand your ground can be one of the most challenging things to do. Especially in the entertainment industry because you have to walk on eggshells when it comes to anything religious. Plenty whom have attempted it, have failed miserably.
This is why Bob Marley’s music is unforgettable. Bob Marley’s music is no doubt some of the most influential out there. Of course it would have to be because according to Baker’s Biographical Dictionary, “ Bob Marley emerged as the first (and possibly only) artist from the third world to achieve international stardom,” (Slonimsky 2287-2289). His ability to capture and entrance people was of great help to the development of this stardom and made him a person that many could easily relate to. One of his songs that I find myself easily relating to is, “Is this love? This song describes love and yet at the same time it describes how we question it. The lyrics are short and simple, yet hold a lot of meaning. In conclusion, Bob Marley has taken the reggae world of music and opened several new doors for it. He’s recognized as a peace maker and has stood up for the rights of human beings everywhere. The mellow style of his music can easily help a person relax whereas, at the same time he is easily related to by millions. Although some don’t like his music because it is extremely controversial at times, there is a lot of meaning behind each song that fails to be recognized.
He sings about religion, politics and life in general and plenty of artists have a hard time pulling off a mix of issues like that. Bob Marley impacted the music industry and changed the sound of reggae forever and that’s extremely hard to argue with. Works Cited “Bob Marley Biography. ” Rolling Stone Magazine. 2001. “Reggae. ” Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. 2008. Slonimsky, Nicolas. “Bob Marley (actually, Robert Nesta). ” Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. 4 (2001): 2287-2289.