Reggae as a class of music with its slow bass beat is a very enjoyable genre. It is hard not to give credit or turn away from the man who put this genre of music and his country on the map. Bob Marley's powerful political lyrics and new age sound has become timeless. It is more" today" then it was when he wrote it; timeless work, absolutely timeless. He also comes from humble beginnings in the St Anne township (the same township as the first lady of Jamaica). He never forgot how painful it was to be a black man even in a country that is predominately black, sharing with the people of his homeland that they had no voice, no freedom. They were slaves on the sugar plantations of wealthy foreign Colonialists. or on the plantations themselves. He must have literally clawed his way to the top. Much has been said about his recreational use of Marijuana, as if this choice somehow negates his impact on his accomplishments. With ultimate human fragility and irony, his mind was destroyed by brain cancer which is what killed him. His son, Ziggy Marley is also a singer. They have very different sounds and lyrical content. Ziggy Marley is also a great talent in his own right. There are days when listening carefully to Bob Marley's music, one can be transported to to a church listening to the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; or take another journey to the crowed, dirty streets of India listening to the the gentle martyr, Papa Gandhi. These are all extraordinary voices of liberation. Bob Marley's message was no less important because his death did not come at the end of a gun. God bless him and the many others who have the courage not only to think great things but to share them.
But beyond Bob Marley, there is a whole world of other roots reggae artists. Producers such as Lee "Scratch" Perry, King Tubby, and Keith Hudson produced dubbed out tracks for many many bands. Bands to check out are Israel Vibration, The Upsetters, Augustus Pablo, Culture, and Sugar Minott. For more modern roots music, check out 10 ft. Ganja Plant or Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. .