Bob Marley was much more than the Marcus Garvey’s slogan “One Love” that the reggae legend put to music. This is according to his oldest son Ziggy Marley.
“People think of him as a peace-and-love guy, but there’s much more to him than that,” Ziggy said. “Those were things he spoke about and sang about, but they weren’t the only things he spoke about and sang about. Bob was a revolutionary. He was a person who wanted social justice in a real sense, in a real physical sense. There’s a lot more to it than the whole ‘Bob Marley, oh, love and peace and smoke weed.’ No. It’s deep! It’s very deep.”
So how did Bob Marley became this peace loving Rasta almost like the Jesus Christ in the bible? There is a strong possibility that the Rasta movement needed to be pacified before it could spark a real revolution like the one Dutty Boukman started in Haiti. The powers that be probably saw Marley as someone that could be used to tame the oppressed so instead of wanting to fight physically for their rights they would depend on God or Jah to fight it for them. The Maroons of Jamaica and the Haitians in 1804 had already proven that Blacks could win their spiritual fight for justice.
Those who were close to Bob Marley and the other members of the Wailers were not weed smoking Jamaican hippies either. Even though the rest of the Wailers like the Barrett Brothers did not get the financial rewards their hard work deserved, they shared similar views on life as Bob.
“They all believed in a certain philosophy and way of life,” Ziggy Marley says. “They were a tight unit who had the same ideas, and the same kind of way of life that they wanted to live. That created a very tight, together sound. These guys were innovating at the time they were making this music. It was revolutionizing what reggae is and what reggae would become.”
In Ziggy’s ears, there could actually be a genre of music named “Bob Reggae” because Bob’s music was above and different from all other reggae artists before and after him.
“Bob’s music is Bob’s music,” Marley says. “You can’t really nail it down to roots reggae or something. It’s Bob’s reggae. In the world of reggae, Bob’s reggae sounds different than any other reggae artist. It just doesn’t sound the same.”
the sad thing is, Bob was the lead singer but it was the Barrett brothers who actually created the music, unfortunately they were never paid fairly and until today have not reaped what is rightfully theirs. It is ironic, because when Rasta and Babylon system collide, you expect the Rasta teachings of justice to trump the Babylonian philosophy of exploitation.