Marley caught up with Jasmine Solano and Melo-X in Austin, Texas, the first stop of their North American Electric Punanny tour — here’s a little preview of what to expect!Follow Me
It’s nearly impossible to point at one musician and say they started a genre, but if there were no Afrika Bambaataa, it’s safe to say there would be no such thing as hip-hop. From his early days of DJing/throwing parties in South Bronx to his mega-smash “Planet Rock,” Bambaataa has been a positive cultural touchstone for 40 years.
The House of Marley is excited to be taking part in Afrika’s 40th anniversary weekend, which includes a number of shows happening in New York City from November 6 through November 10. With a heavy hitting lineup that features live performances from hip-hop all stars including Ultramagnetic MCs, Ice T, Ice Cube, Public Enemy and more, this weekend is sure to be a killer time.
As Afrika has often said, the connection between reggae and hip-hop is one that runs extremely deep. The proof is in the music, as our namesake Bob Marley has been sampled by dozens of hip-hop artists throughout the years. In preparation of Afrika Bambaataa’ 40th anniversary party in New York, we’re taking a look at some of the best Bob Marley samples throughout the history of rap. Pop on some headphones and lose yourself in some of the best music of the past few decades.
Jungle Brothers “Doin’ Our Own Dang”
Naming himself after Afrika Bambaataa, the Jungle Brothers’ Baby Bam also makes a reference to Bob Marley with a sample of “Jammin’” on the group’s track “Doin’ Our Own Dang.” Bam will be DJing as a part of the festivities for November 6 and he is sure to break out more of the sick reggae records that inspired him.
Kardinal Offishall “Naughty Dread”
Taking the name of his track straight from the Bob Marley song he samples, Kardinal Offishall’s “Naughty Dread” is a laid back lesson in flow. Still rapping a decade after he first hit the hip-hop scene, Kardinal continues with his socially conscious efforts and has been working hard for charities in Haiti.
The Game w/ Swizz Beatz and Jay Electronica “Higher”
On The Game’s debut record, Dr. Dre utilized Bob Marley’s “Iron Lion Zion” as the propelling beat of the track “Higher.” Starting off with the classic chant from 1974 recording, the song quickly kicks into overdrive with a flourish of drums and sirens.
Public Enemy “Fight The Power”
“Fight The Power” is the ultimate hip-hop sound collage, as it pastes together some of the most commonly used samples in a way that has never been done again since. While at times it’s hard to hear Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff” in the song, it’s apparent Public Enemy’s social conscious music is deeply indebted to the reggae singer. Check out Public Enemy when they perform on November 8, at the National Black Theatre as a part of the Afrika Bambaataa birthday celebration.Follow Me
Like the very sun that makes this planet habitable, Bob Marley is a light that will never go out. As one of the most celebrated musicians, philosophers, and humanitarians of all time, Marley received countless awards and accolades in his lifetime. Since his passing, the tributes have not only continued, but they have increased, both in number and scope.
Earlier this month, Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff officially signed into law a national reggae day to celebrate the cultural contributions the genre and its artists have made to the country of Brazil. The new National Day of Reggae in Brazil will be celebrated annually on May 11 – the date of Bob Marley’s passing.
Though the reggae day bill was written to commemorate the importance of reggae music as a whole, not surprisingly, Bob Marley is specifically honored in the new law for his remarkable influence on the genre, and by extension, Brazilian culture and culture globally.
Brazilian Senator and author of the reggae day bill, Rodrigo Rollemberg, wrote that May 11 would serve to honor “the music rhythm spread worldwide by Robert Nesta Marley.” The reggae day bill continues, “The legacy that Bob Marley left the world goes far beyond reggae: it is through this music that many Brazilian artists use the medium to make legitimate social criticisms.”
Bob’s legendary flair for social commentary (recently highlighted in the documentary, Marley) was an integral part of the music he created throughout his career. From The Wailers’ major label debut, Catch a Fire, to his aptly titled final album, Uprising, Marley used his music to shine light on social causes and spark conversation.
Rollemberg sees that tradition continued in contemporary Brazilian artists in particular. The reggae day bill cites, “Cidade Negra, Edson Gomes, Gilberto Gil among many other national artists devoted to continue to push through reggae, messages of peace, love and social criticism to encourage people to fight for their rights, just like Marley.”
Props to the Brazilian legislature for embracing the cultural role of Bob Marley, reggae, and the arts in general in Brazil. The newly established national reggae day ensures that the spirit of Marley, and the peace, love and unity that he stood for will remain with the people of Brazil for years to come.
Skrillex, Wiz Khalifa and Bob Marley are all related. No, they aren’t family, per se… but there is a musical web that features straight lines from the reggae rhythms of Bob Marley to the new distinct sounds of Skrillex’s heart-pounding dubstep and Wiz’s smooth flowing rhymes. Through the music of the Marley family, The House of Marley has assembled a brief look at the history of reggae music and it’s influence on today’s popular music.
Whether roots reggae, ska, rocksteady, dub or dancehall, these Marley tracks have consistently bred new kinds of music over the course of the past 40+ years. From hip-hop to dubstep and ska to political punk, through the history of reggae and Bob Marley, the course of music has forever changed.
Roots Reggae: Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Get Up Stand Up”
Roots reggae is best exemplified by Bob Marley’s later work. Relying heavily on bouncing bass rhythms, scratchy guitar sounds and lyrics that dealt with beliefs and political stances, the genre would be forever defined by massive hits like “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Get Up Stand Up.” The tradition of catchy music with social themes is carried on today by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Lupe Fiasco.
Ska: Bob Marley & The Wailers – “One Love/People Get Ready”
Featuring an early take on the classic “One Love” and a cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready,” Bob Marley & The Wailers take the offbeat rhythm of rocksteady and amp up its pace in this ska classic. Following Marley and Desmond Dekker’s lead, the ska sound has gone on to be played by large selling acts like No Doubt, Sublime, The Specials and Madness.
Rocksteady: Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Rock Steady”
Recorded in the late ’60s, Bob Marley & The Wailers’ “Rock Steady” is the perfect example of the song’s genre namesake. Rocksteady features less reliance on the organ than ska, and has slower tempos. Closely following the formula of hits used by Motown in the ‘60s, this R&B influenced version of reggae eventually helped breed artists like The Roots, Raphael Saadiq and Black Eyed Peas.
Dub: Bob Marley w/ U-Roy – “Small Axe”
Dub may be one of the most interesting sub-genres of reggae as producers use instrumental parts of popular reggae songs to create new spaced-out sounds. Pioneers of the genre, including King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry, have had a heavy influence on the creation of dubstep. Dubstep closely follows their formula by adding reverb, echo and delay to samples. Check out the wild sounds of U-Roy mixing Bob Marley’s “Small Axe,” and tell us Skrillex and Bassnectar didn’t pick up a few things from Jamaica.
Dancehall: Damian Marley and Skrillex – “Make It Bun Dem”
A modern take on Dancehall music with a little dubstep thrown in for good measure, Damian Marley and Skrillex make a formidable duo by combining forces on the new track, “Make It Bun Dem.” Sampling a reggae organ, Damian spits fast and furious rhymes over a Skrillex mix that catapults the sounds of Jamaica into the 21st Century. Hip-hop artists like Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and The Game have found similar success by sampling dancehall for chart-topping hits.
The history of reggae music has had far-reaching effects over the years. From the birth of new music and new listeners, to new collaborations like that of Damian Marley and Skrillex, reggae music has developed into something that stretches far beyond its birthplace of Jamaica. Now the whole world is listening.Follow Me