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Med332 roots, rocks, reggae the politics of bob marley


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Med332 roots, rocks, reggae the politics of bob marley

  1. 1. ROOTS, ROCKS, REGGAE: THE POLITICS OF BOB MARLEY #med332 @rob_jewi0 1
  2. 2. Bunny Wailer (The Wailers -­‐ 1963-­‐1974) 2
  3. 3. My music is protest music, music protesHng against slavery, class prejudice, racism, inequality, economic discriminaHon, denial of opportunity and the injusHce we were suffering under colonialism in Jamaica. We were taken from Africa where our fore-­‐parents were kings and queens and brought to Jamaica on ships as slaves, where we were stripped of our names, our language, our culture, our God and our religion 3
  4. 4. But music is the soul of Africa … and this they were unable to conquer. […] Every twist and turn of Jamaican music of the last forty years has reflected what has been happening to the people, either politically or socially, and oWen it’s the other way around, with the music and sound systems influencing the country’s poliHcs. -­‐-­‐ Prince Buster quoted in Bradley, 2000: xv. 4
  5. 5. Overview • History of reggae – Role of ska and rocksteady • Global impact (Bob Marley) 5
  6. 6. Reggae = Ska Rocksteady Roots Dub Dancehall Raga 6
  7. 7. 7 -­‐ Prince Buster – ‘Independence Song’ -­‐ Lord Creator -­‐ ‘Independent Jamaica’ -­‐ Al T. Joe -­‐ ‘Independence is Here’ -­‐ Derrick Morgan -­‐ ‘Forward March’ -­‐ Joe White and Chuck -­‐ ‘One NaHon’
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. 9
  10. 10. 10 ‘Ska’ represented a musical cross-­‐breed between a fiery, indigenous culture and black US music -­‐ Chambers, 1985: 154
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  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. 13 Marcus Garvey's words come to pass (x2) Can't get no food to eat, Can't get no money to spend, Wo-­‐oo-­‐oo Can't get no food to eat, Can't get no money to spend, Woo -­‐oo-­‐ oo Come, li0le one and let me do what I can do for you And you and you alone Come, li0le one, wo-­‐oo-­‐oo Let me do what I can do for you and you alone, woo-­‐oo-­‐oo He who knows the right thing And do it not Shall be spanked with many stripes, Weeping and wailing and moaning, You've got yourself to blame, I tell you. Do right do right do right do right do right, Tell you to do right, Woo -­‐oo-­‐ oo Beg you to do right, Woo -­‐oo-­‐ oo Where is Bagawire, he's nowhere to be found He can't be found First betrayer who gave away Marcus Garvey Son of Satan, First prophesy, Catch them, Garvey old Catch them Garvey, catch them Woo -­‐oo-­‐ oo Hold them Marcus, hold them Woo -­‐oo-­‐ oo Marcus Garvey, Marcus Woo -­‐oo-­‐ oo
  14. 14. 14 June 22nd 1948 Tilbury (Essex)
  15. 15. 15 1960s – Ska and rocksteady Jamaican independence a decade of strong economic growth • strong investments in bauxite mining • tourism • manufacturing
  16. 16. 16 [Rude boys] were mostly unemployed and had taken to carrying German ratchet knives and handguns. They could be anything from fourteen to twenty five years old and came from all over West Kinsgton. And above all, the rude boys were angry. CondiHons in West Kingston had hardly improved with the passing years. Rather than buckle under to a life spent doing menial work or no work at all, the rude boys took to the street and to crime -­‐ Hebdige, 1987: 72
  17. 17. 17 Rudies in court, now boys, rudies in court Rudies in court, now boys, rudies in court Order! -­‐ Now, this court is in session, And I order all you rude boys to stand ! You're brought her by a verdict for shooHng and raping, Now tell me, rude boys, what have you to say for yourselves ? Your honour, Rudies don't fear, Rudies don't fear no boys, rudies don't fear, Rudies don't fear no boys, rudies don't fear, Rougher than rough, tougher than tough Strong like lion, we are iron Rudies don't fear no boys, rudies don't fear, Rudies don't fear no boys, rudies don't fear :/ Rudies don't fear no boys, rudies don't fear, fe real Rudies don't fear no boys, rudies don't fear, bad...
  18. 18. 18 Reggae is transmogrified American ‘soul’ music with an overlay of salvaged African rhythms, and an undercurrent of pure Jamaican rebellion. Reggae is transplanted Pentecostal. Reggae is the Rasta hymnal, the heart cry of Kingston Rude Boy, as well as the naHvised naHonal anthem of the new Jamaican government -­‐Hebdige, 1976: 140-­‐1
  19. 19. 19 Aston Barre0 (The Wailers 1974-­‐present)
  20. 20. 20 [Reggae ceased] ‘to signify an exclusive ethnic Jamaican style and derived a different kind of cultural legiHmacy both from a new global status and from its expression of what might be termed a pan-­‐Caribbean culture’ -­‐ Paul Gilroy, 1993: 82
  21. 21. An ‘Africa’ which lay dormant and forgo0en inside the language of the white Master. Read between the lines the Text could be made to deliver up this Africa, to free it, and to restore it to the ‘righteous sufferer’ -­‐ Hebdige, 1979: 33 21
  22. 22. 22 Rastafarianism
  23. 23. 23 Rastafarianism -­‐ Ras Tafari Makonnen -­‐ Haile Selassie I -­‐ Ethiopian Regent 1916-­‐1930 -­‐ Emperor of Ethiopia 1930-­‐74
  24. 24. 24
  25. 25. 25 The Rastas played out the kind of existenHal absurdity in Jamaican society. They defiled the sacred images of the white Jesus as liberator through their own theology of Haile Selassie, and yet they also offended the spiritualist churches, which supported Jamaica’s poor, by shunning the pracHce of possession trances. The Rasta call for repatriaHon to Ethiopia was a rejecHon of poliHcal involvement in their own society. -­‐ Lewis, 1993: 9
  26. 26. 26 Their refusal to imitate English mannerisms – the undisputed sign of respectability in Jamaican society – showed a disregard for convenHon. They viewed marijuana – a drug popular among the working poor as a palliaHve to help them endure labor in the fields – as a tool of illuminaHon to make one aware of the bourgeois world. These traits marked the Rastas as a challenge and a threat. -­‐ Lewis, 1993: 9
  27. 27. Bob Marley -­‐ 1945-­‐1981 27
  28. 28. 28
  29. 29. 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 deh pon nobody's side. Me don't deh pon the black man's side nor the white man's side. Me deh pon God's side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white -­‐ Marley interviewed by Webley, 10 May 2008 29
  30. 30. 30
  31. 31. 31 ‘Duppy Conqueror’ -­‐ Burnin’ 1973 Yes, me friend, me friend Dem set me free again Yes, me friend, me friend Me deh 'pon street again The bars could not hold me Walls could not control me now They try to keep me down But God put me around Yes, I've been accused Wrongly abused now But through the powers of the Most High They've got to turn me loose Don't try to cold me up On this bridge now I've got to reach Mount Zion If you are bull-­‐bocor I'm a duppy conqueror, conqueror
  32. 32. 32 Most people think great God will come from the sky Take away everything and make everybody feel high But if you know what life is worth, You would look for yours on earth Now you see the light, Stand up for your right
  33. 33. 33 That unHl the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned; That unHl there are no longer first-­‐class and second-­‐class ciHzens of any naHon; That unHl the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That unHl the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That unHl that day, the dream of lasHng peace and world ciHzenship and the rule of internaHonal morality will remain but a fleeHng illusion, to be pursued but never a0ained; And unHl the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; UnHl bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-­‐interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-­‐ will; UnHl all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven; UnHl that day, the African conHnent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary, and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil. – Haile Selassie I speech to the United NaHons General Assembly in 1963.
  34. 34. 34 1970s Jamaica • Socially and poliHcally divided • Michael Manley government favoured Cuba and developing world over US and UK • In 1977 Archibald Dunkley, the early Rasta leader wrote in The Ethiopian World that ‘Michael has come to do the will of God for Rastafarians’ (Lewis, 1993: 69)
  35. 35. 35 Catch A Fire 1973 Island Records
  36. 36. 36 56 Hope Road (Island House) Chris Blackwell Tuff Gong Studios
  37. 37. 37 Next to homes of President(Jamaica House) and Governor (Kings House) No Rastas allowed uptown
  38. 38. 38
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  40. 40. 40 1976
  41. 41. 1977-­‐1978: RelocaHon to England 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. 43 Jammin / Jah Live – 1978 – One Love Peace Concert
  44. 44. 1979-­‐1981 44
  45. 45. 45 Africa unite: 'Cause we're moving right out of Babylon, And we're going to our Father's land, yea-­‐ea. How good and how pleasant it would be before God and man, yea-­‐eah! -­‐ To see the unificaHon of all Africans, yeah! -­‐ As it's been said a'ready, let it be done, yeah! We are the children of the Rastaman; We are the children of the Iyaman. So-­‐o, Africa unite: 'Cause the children (Africa unite) wanna come home. Africa unite: 'Cause we're moving right out of Babylon, yea, And we're grooving to our Father's land, yea-­‐ea. How good and how pleasant it would be before God and man To see the unificaHon of all Rastaman, yeah. As it's been said a'ready, let it be done! I tell you who we are under the sun: We are the children of the Rastaman; We are the children of the Iyaman. ‘Africa Unite ‘ 1979
  46. 46. ‘RedempHon Song’ 1980 46 Old pirates, yes, they rob I Sold I to the merchant ships Minutes aWer they took I From the bo0omless pit But my hand was made strong By the hand of the almighty We forward in this generaHon Triumphantly Won't you help to sing These songs of freedom? 'Cause all I ever have RedempHon songs RedempHon songs Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery None but ourselves can free our minds Have no fear for atomic energy 'Cause none of them can stop the Hme How long shall they kill our prophets While we stand aside and look? Ooh Some say it's just a part of it We've got to fullfil the book Won't you help to sing These songs of freedom? 'Cause all I ever have…
  47. 47. 47 1983
  48. 48. 48 Up a cane river to wash my dread; Upon a rock I rest my head. There I vision through the seas of oppression, oh-­‐oo-­‐wo! Don't make my life a prison. We come from Trench Town, Trench Town (Trenchtown) -­‐ Most of them come from Trench Town. We free the people with music (sweet music); Can we free the people with music (sweet music)? Can we free our people with music? -­‐ With music, With music, oh music! Oh-­‐y, my head, In desolate places we'll find our bread, And everyone see what's taking place, oh-­‐oo-­‐wo! -­‐ Another page in history. [...] They say, "Can anything good come out of Trench Town?" (Trench -­‐ Trenchtown) That's what they say, (Trenchtown); (Trench -­‐ Trenchtown) Say (Trench -­‐ Trenchtown) we're the underprivileged people, So (Trenchtown) they keep us in chains ‘Trench Town’ 1983
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  50. 50. 50 Rastafarianism and reggae ‘significantly altered the way in which noHons of ‘blackness’ and black idenHty were expressed’ -­‐ Benne0, 2001: 81 Influenced punk during late 1970s (taken up by alienated white working class youth). They shared ‘similarly opposiHonal stances against the dominant BriHsh society’ -­‐ Hebdidge, 1979: 64
  51. 51. 51
  52. 52. • ‘Reggae Wallpaper’ D.ST. • ‘Tybee Umbrella’ Bri0any Randolph • ‘Rasta’ Naomielise Harden • ‘Bob Marley’ Sougata Ghosh • ‘Bob Marley’ Luke McKernan • ‘This Old Rasta’ josh hunter • ‘creaHve commons -­‐Franz Patzig-­‐’ A. Diez Herrero 52