Bob Marley Official Site — Life & Legacy — History
Bob Marley's Early Years: From Nine Miles To London | …
Some remains, of course, have their own way of seeking out inheritors. Marley's message of resistance, of spirit as a means to defeat oppression and claim one's inherent rights, has clearly emerged as his most powerful and important legacy. It's true that many others in popular music have spoken to these same concerns, including Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, Bruce Springsteen and Tupac Shakur. But with the exception of Tupac, these voices addressed injustice, intolerance, deprivation and oppression from outside the living heart of that experience. Marley risked his life to say the things he believed, and as a result both his art and his example managed to uplift or embolden others — particularly members of the African diaspora — in cultures and conditions that no other Western pop star has entered with such authenticity. In the years since, only hip-hop has had the same international impact.
Cedella Marley, Daughter Of Bob Marley, Talks Music …
Rita Marley stayed close to her husband throughout this time. Their marriage had been neither simple nor painless for her. Marley had grown distant from his wife as his career began to ascend in the early 1970s. He saw other women, and he fathered at least seven children outside his marriage. (Marley and Rita had four children of their own.) Even so, he could be intensely possessive of his wife, and on one occasion, wrote Rita, her husband almost raped her when she tried to refuse him sex. She thought about divorcing him, but she believed the bond of their partnership ran too deep and that Marley still needed her protection. As Marley's life was closing, the disease had drained him so much that he cried out, "God, take me, please." Rita writes that she held him and sang to him until she began to cry. Marley looked up at her, and with what voice he had left, he said, "Don't cry. Keep singing."
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Catch A Fire ..
Of course, another part of what has made his message so effective and enduring is how he framed it. He was a superb melody writer, and his songs' insinuating pop hooks pull the listener into the realities Marley was describing. It's a wonderful yet subversive device: Marley sang about tyranny and anger, about brutality and apocalypse, in enticing tones, not dissonant ones. "One Love," the Marley song that the BBC named "The Song of the Century," is a good example of his methods. On the surface it sounds like a feel-good chant-along about the power of love to bring unity, but enter that song and you'll find something else: It is about war, it is about damnation and a vengeful God's Armageddon, and it is about those who have been so wicked in their efforts to oppress the souls of mankind that they can't possibly escape the fire that is going to rain down on them. The "one love" refrain is really just the part of the song that pulls you in. Once you're there, you realize it's really about: one hell. And still you hum it, you sing it when you're by yourself. You can't help it. Your children will do the same. Trust me. I doubt if anybody has ever pulled off feats like this better than Marley. He was the master of mellifluent insurgency.