Music they say is the food to the soul, good music thus nourishes the mind. We live in a world where the dynamism and cultural affiliation of good music identifies with the core values and ideals of different people. As we all know there are various cultures in this world and America harbors a lot of them on her land. Musical artists from different part of the world tend to provide its listeners and fans alike with songs that appeal to their imagination and feelings. The cultural affiliation of the artists, the drive to get the attention of new fans (from other cultures and ethnic groups) and the determination to win the heart and mind of the limited but enthusiastic fan base plays a vital role in the choice of lyrics, rhythm and flow they produce. If this is true, that is, if the definition of a good music is in part influenced by our cultural bond with the lyrics, rhythm and flow of what we listen to; what parameters then if any we can use to ascertain and authenticate what a good music is? I will answer this question by invoking what the great Bob Marley said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”. Indeed when the music of the great Marley hit me, even when I was down, I felt no more pain. I felt no pain because of the vitality, exuberance and thought provoking libretto in his song which appeals to the soul. He (Marley) said that “People want to listen to a message…This could be passed through me or anybody. I am not a leader but Messenger. The word of the songs, not the person, is what attracts people” He was spot on and absolutely precise. His message, not his personality, not his ethnicity nor his nationality influenced me to become a great fan of the reggae king. How is an African guy a great fan of a different genre of music that originates from the island of Jamaica? Well, my reasons are not far-fetched, that is, they are not readily credible because of implausible elements therein. So highlighted in five bold points are my reasons, and these points are what make Bob Marley arguably but in my opinion the best musical artist of all time. I know I may have struck the wrongs nerves or possibly caused the hair at the back of your head to tilt vertical, but before the criticism starts I employ you to reflect on the points I will highlight, and also examine the reason Rolling Stone Magazine named him number 11 of the100 best artists of all time.
1. He preached love in the midst of hate, although he is gone, his message lives on.
The great Marley was the lover of people regardless of their race, ethnicity or nationality; although he is gone his music still echoes his principle ideal, love! “One love” is amongst if not the best beautifully crafted musical lyrics I have ever heard. The reggae man’s songs is admired because he spoke universally to all people, he preached liberty, friendship, kindness, harmony, happiness, peace, love; and more imperatively he made it evident in his lyrical genius. It’s practically impossible not to grasp and meditate on these lyrics when listening to his songs.
2. His unconventional music flair attracted much audience from all around the globe.
Although he smoked illegal drug (weed) and promoted it as well, his music all the same was not meant to make us “high” but to make us “glad”. He introduced an unusual kind of music (reggae) to the masses, wrote some reggae classics, but more importantly his unique musical brand and style was adored by many; but he died young in 1981 to realize the impact the lyrics in his music had in the world at large.
3. A politically savvy rasterman that spoke out against oppression.
“Marley came from the poverty and injustice in Jamaica and that manifested itself in his rebel sound” ~ The Rolling Stone Magazine. He was born and raised in the era of white prejudice, street violence and social injustice. He managed to use his voice as a weapon to speak out against oppression and tyranny and also united people in love against its hatred. Gallivanting along the streets of Kingston ghetto, he would rebel against what he thought was unjust, and encouraged others to follow in his steps. In this quote from one of his songs, he said, “Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight”. This quote epitomizes his astute character.
4. He identified with the people of his heritage and fought their cause through music.
Although he spoke out universally, he still knew his heritage and Africa was always in his mind. Marley was a dedicated Rastafarian. Haile Selassie was crowned King of Ethiopia in 1930, hence came the name “Ras Tafari”. Marley identified with the African people and used songs such as redemption song, buffalo soldiers to explain the injustices of his people. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds, have no fear for atomic energy, cause none of them can stop the time”. This quote does it for me, it hit hard like a sledge hammer because it transcends time.
5. His dynamic musical panache pierces the soul of even the most cynic skeptic.
A contemptuous friend of mine once asked, “how come you love Marley so much? I responded, you wouldn’t understand until you listen to one of his songs. He is engaged to Jamaica lady as you read this article. His songs fit perfectly into every situation whenever they are played and listened to. His songs begins with musical beats that combines real drums, artistic guitars and saxophones, and then along with some deep message has the ability of making us reflect on his real feelings and true meaning of the message in the songs. People are literally liberated when they listen to the song about freedom, are absolutely cheerful when they hear him preach about love, and if we pay total attention to his songs, it has the ability transform our mood instantaneously.
My father told me to “dress the way you want to be addressed….”
I love wildlife….
One of my favorite songs…