R.I.P. Bob Marley – 35 Year Anniversary: Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley was born February 6th 1945 and tragically passed away at 36 years old on May 11th 1981. Today is the 35th anniversary of his passing and we wanted to dive into the impact that Bob and his family have had in the Hip-Hop industry. Bob created a style that was unique and captivated audiences worldwide with songs that are still getting rotation today. Bob will forever be remembered for hit songs “Stir It Up”, “Get Up, Stand Up”, “I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman, No Cry”, “Jamming”, “One Love/People Get Ready”, “Is This Love”, “Could You Be Loved”, “Redemption Song” and “Buffalo Soldier”. These are all songs that we are familiar with and most of us can belt out the line after line without even thinking about it, but did you know that Bob’s music, style and family are fused into hip-hop. Some of Bob’s samples were used in the classic Eric B. and Rakim song “Never Scared”. Bob was also sampled for The Fugees “No Woman, No Cry”, The Pharcyde “Bulls*it”, UGK “Cocaine In The Back Of The Ride”, Lauren Hill “Forgive Them Father” and Jay-Z “Some Like It Hot”.
In November 1999 one of Bob’s sons (Stephen Marley”) produced “Chant Down Babylon” which remixed Bob’s classic songs with hip hop artists throwing down like they were right there next to Bob in the booth. The artists were handpicked and chosen since they were the cream of the crop. Erykah Badu, Krayzie Bone, Guru, Rakim, Busta Rhymes & Flipmode Squad, Lost Boyz & Mr. Cheeks, Lauren Hill, MC Lyte, Chuck D, The Roots and Black Thought. The roster alone proves how important Bob was to all of the artists involved in the project.
Bob has 11 children total and most are musically talented following in their fathers footsteps. Sharon Marley Prendergast was adopted by Bob when he was married to Rita Marley and she was once in a group with Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers along with some of her other siblings even collecting 3 Grammy awards. Cedella Marley is the first born daughter of Bob and Rita who also was in the Melody Makers until 2002 and now is the CEO of Tuff Gong International. David Nesta “Ziggy” Marley is the leader of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers and also known for singing in The Seven Do Bees. He dropped 12 albums with the Melody Makers before starting his solo career dropping another 5 albums with a 6th slated for a 2016 release. Stephen Marley worked with the family as a member of Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers and is a 6 time Grammy winner. “Mind Control” dropped in March of 2007 and won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album.
The album had guest features from Mos Def, Julian Marley, Mr. Cheeks, Spragga Benz, Damien Marley & Ben Harper. Rohan Anthony Marley who is connected to hip hop thru Lauren Hill who he has 5 children with. Julian Ricrado Marley is a member of the Rastafari movement and was involved with Ghetto Youth International with Ziggy and Stephen. Ky-Mani Marley has a style that combines reggae and hip-hop. He has worked with Praswell from the Fugees on a cover of “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant. Damiam Marley is the youngest son of Bob and his second album “Halfway Tree” was co produced by Damian and Stephen Marley. He won a Grammy for the Best Reggae Album in 2002. The album also featured guest appearances from Bounty Killer, Drag-On, Eve, Mr. Cheeks and Treach from Naughty by Nature. His third album “Welcome to Jamrock” won 2 Grammy awards for Best Reggae Album and Best Urban/Alternative Performance on “Welcome to Jamrock”.
The album featured guest appearances from Bobby Brown, Black Thought & Nas. “Road to Zion” was a song with Nas that sparked an idea for a collaborative album with the two artist. “Distant Relatives” dropped in May 2010 fusing reggae and hip-hop being released under Universal Republic and Def Jam Recordings. Damien has also worked with Skillrex, Sean Paul and Cypress Hill. Bob and his family will forever be known for fusing reggae and hip-hop and continue to take it deeper push further and further into the hip-hop world.