Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bob Marley

Mr. Heart of an Iron, Lion in Zion Himself. Bob Marley lived from February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981.
Nesta Robert Marley, better known to the world as Bob Marley was born in the small village of Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica. Despite being born Nest, Robert a Jamaican passport official later went on to swap his first and middle name. Norval Sinclair Marley, his father was a white Scottish Jamaican. Along with being a plantation overseer Norval was also a Marine Officer and Captain. It was around this time period when he married Bob's mother Cedella Booker. She was eighteen years of age at the time, she was a black Jamaican. He was often away on trips so despite Norval providing financial support for his wife and child, he seldom saw them. When Marley was 10 years old in 1955, his father Norval had a heart attack that took his life. He was 60 years old. Unlike the problems that Alicia Keys claimed to have lived without (mentioned prior) Marley suffered racial prejudice as a youth due to his mixed racial origins, and also faced questions about his own racial identity throughout his life.

He once reflected:
"I don't have prejudice against meself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don't dip on nobody's side. Me don't dip on the black man's side nor the white man's side. Me dip on God's side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white." Irie Bredrin!

Although Marley recognized his mixed ancestry, throughout his life and because of his beliefs, he self-identified as a black African. In songs such as "Black Progress," "400 Years," "African Herbsman," "Buffalo Soldier", "War" and others, Marley sings about the struggles of blacks and Africans against opression from the West or "Babylon."
Marley and Neville "Bunny" Livingston (later known as Bunny Wailer) became friends and the two began making music together. Leaving music at the age of 14 he began to make music with Joe Higgs, Higgs was a local singer and devout Rastafari. Later on at a jam session with the two Marley met Peter McIntosh (who was later known as Peter Tosh) who had similar musical ambitions. In 1962, Marley recorded his first two singles, "Judge Not" and "One Cup of Coffee", with local music producer Leslie King. These songs, under the pseudonym of Bobby Martell were released on the Beverley's label. They attracted little attention. Both songs were later re-released on the box set, Songs of Freedom, a collection of Marley's work.
^Higher Like the Lion in Zion^
Bob Marley
I only wish I could have seen the man perform.

Despite the breakup of The Wailers, a group that Marley was a part of throughout the 60's and Midway through the 70's Marley continued recording as "Bob Marley & The Wailers". His career grew as much as it possibly could in the last decade that he was alive. He became an inspiration to many and an artist loved throughout the world.
Marley was found to have acral lentiginous melanoma in Huly of 1977. This is a form of malignant melanoma. According to widely held urban legend, the ilness was detected in a football wound. Supposedly the wound was given to him by broadcaster and pundit Danny Baker and the wound was on his right big toe. Because of the Rastafari belief that the body must be "whole" Marley refused amputation and may have possibly seen medical doctors as samfai (tricksters, deceivers.) True to this belief Marley went against all surgical possibilities and sought out other means that would not break his religious beliefs. This cancer then spread to marley's brain, lungs, liver and stomach. After playing two shows at Madison Square Garden as part of his fall 1980 'Uprising Tour', he collapsed while jogging in in Central Park, the rest of the tour was cancelled. He then finally sought out medical Help from Munich specialist Josef Issels. Josef promoted a controversal type of cancer treatment. The treatment was partly based on avoidance of certain foods, drinks and other substances. (For religious reasons Marley was already a vegetarian.)

While flying home from Germany to Jamaica for his final days, Marley became ill, and landed in Miami for immediate medical attention. He died at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami, Florida on the morning of May 11, 1981, at the age of 36. The spread of melanoma to his lungs and brain caused his death. His final words to his son Ziggy were "Money can't buy lifeMarley was inducted into the Rock an Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Time magazine chose Bob Marley & The Wailers' Exodus as the greatest album of the 20th century.
Marley is Survived by his Wife Rita and his 13 children.
Personal Thoughts:
I'm sure I've mentioned before how much I love this mans music. Reggae being one of my favorite genres Bob marley is a name that I've known for as long as I can remember. I was introduced to his music by my father. Till this day i still listen to his music and admire his mind and thoughts of freedom, emancipation from mental slavery and hopes of equality throughout the world. A Professor of mine told me that he met Bob Marley and I felt a slight sense of jealousy lol. But with all that Said This is my report (Scratch that) ode to Bob Marley.

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