Bob Marley and Reggae Music

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There are numerous talented musicians worldwide, but only a select few can be considered true legends, including those in the Reggae genre. According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, Reggae is a popular music form that originated in Jamaica and blends indigenous styles with rock and soul influences. It is characterized by its moderate tempo and focus on the offbeat (“Reggae“). Although Reggae may not enjoy equal popularity as other genres, there is one name that shines above all others when it comes to this style – Bob Marley.

Bob Marley, renowned for his distinctive sound and style, is an immensely influential figure in the realm of reggae music. At a mere 17 years old, he commenced penning songs and subsequently joined forces with other gifted individuals to establish “Bob Marley and the Wailers.” Despite their triumphs with numerous chart-topping hits, the band ultimately disbanded. After a brief stint working in a factory, Marley reunited with his musical comrades to persist in crafting melodies. Regrettably, their subsequent collaboration failed to attain the same level of accomplishment as their initial undertaking.

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Bob Marley desired to expand his group by incorporating female vocals, leading him to persuade his wife Rita Marley to join. Consequently, The Wailers swiftly gained popularity. In 1976, an assassination attempt was made on Bob Marley’s life, resulting in injuries but ultimately sparing his life. However, shortly before embarking on a U.S. tour, he received a diagnosis of Brain, Lung, and Liver cancer and subsequently passed away just eight months later. Bob Marley possessed immense talent as a singer/songwriter with the potential for even greater success if his life had not been tragically cut short (“Bob Marley.”)

Marley’s music, it becomes evident that his distinctive Jamaican drums are a prevalent feature in almost all of his tracks. These drums, along with other unique instruments, contribute to creating a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere rarely found in other genres. Furthermore, Marley’s smooth and straightforward lyrics gradually soothe listeners, enhancing the calming mood even further. Ultimately, the sound of his music has the power to empower listeners and establish itself as one of the most influential styles out there.

After listening to Marley’s music, I have come to realize that there is much more depth to his songs than what meets the ear. His songs often touch upon public issues or make references to the rastafarian movement. The rastafarian religion promotes black empowerment, the prohibition of hair cutting, and the use of marijuana. Bob Marley and the Wailers always managed to incorporate these beliefs into their songs, setting them apart from other music. While some may not agree with my personal opinion on Bob Marley and his music, I believe that his ability to fuse these elements together is truly remarkable.

Despite the fact that some people find his songs offensive, controversial, and promoting black empowerment and marijuana smoking, many fail to recognize the talent it takes to incorporate these issues into his music and still maintain its popularity. Bob Marley’s music goes beyond just marijuana smoking as it serves as a source of inspiration. A perfect illustration of this is his politically charged song “Get up, Stand up.”

It rejects religious hypocrisy, advocating for unity among people who share the same beliefs, while also promoting individual worship. Despite potentially offending some individuals, the artist expresses these beliefs in his songs because they align with his own convictions. The ability to boldly defend one’s beliefs and stay firm can be incredibly difficult, especially in the entertainment industry where religious matters must be delicately handled. Many who have tried to address such issues have met with significant failure.

Bob Marley’s music is unforgettable, as it has undeniably influenced many. According to Baker’s Biographical Dictionary, he was the first artist from the third world to achieve international stardom (Slonimsky 2287-2289). Bob Marley’s ability to capture and captivate people greatly contributed to his rise to stardom and made him relatable. One of his songs that personally resonates with me is “Is this love?” It explores and questions the concept of love with concise yet meaningful lyrics. Ultimately, Bob Marley revolutionized reggae music and became a symbol of peace while advocating for human rights. His mellow music induces relaxation and connects with millions, despite being controversial at times.

Bob Marley challenged the music industry and transformed the genre of reggae by addressing topics such as religion, politics, and life in his songs. This unique blend of issues proved to be a difficult task for many other artists. Marley’s impact on reggae music is undeniable and has permanently altered its sound.


“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.

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Bob Marley and Reggae Music. (2019, May 01). Retrieved from

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