Why Bob Marley matters
By Jack Kelly
On April 20th, or more appropriately ”420,” a documentary directed by Oscar winner Kevin MacDonald hits theaters focusing on the Iconic Bob Marley. Depending on your cultural and musical awareness, your opinion on Bob Marley may vary. Some may view Marley as some Jamaican stoner who made cool music you heard on Spring Break in the Caribbean by the pool. Or he was the guy playing in the background as you smoked insane amounts of weed blowing your parents money while at college. And for others, you will see Marley for what he was; a once in a generation musical phenomena and political force.
He was everything Dylan got credit for being; authentic, impactful and had a huge set of balls.
This is how Marley is described for the movie:
“Bob Marley’s universal appeal, impact on music history and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. MARLEY is the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, and legend, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom.”
Marley’s impact could literally be felt through his music. His message of peace and revolution for economic equality through peaceful means, brought the message of Martin Luther King Jr. to music. A rare combination of smooth rhythms and important lyrics, while adhering to Rastafarianism, provided Marly with a unique ability to impact the world in ways the Civil Rights movement proposed to achieve. Contrary to appearance, Marley was not some passionless stoner with no ambitions.
His ambitions were in line with the freeing of his people from oppression, both racially and economically. He understood that through his music, he could change the ‘evil’ that existed in the world. Marley is said to have believed that he could literally cure racism through the hymns of his music. In addition, Marley even gave writing credits for his smash hit “No Woman, No Cry,” to Vincent Ford so he could use the royalties made off the record to run a soup kitchen. I challenge anyone to find something Dylan did that is even remotely similar to that act or any other “political artist” for that matter.
Regardless, of what one thinks of Bob Marley, his music, like many great artists will live on for all time, but through his music a more powerful message will thrive. A message of love, tolerance and political freedom. Marley has proved that even in today’s era of shallow artists that existence is solely based on profits and iTunes downloads, visionary musicians like Marley can help shift the world into a beautiful direction, simply by singing great songs.
And if you don’t believe me, Check out what Will Smith has to say about it in the movie I Am Legend in this clip from below: