I listened to a question overheard when two some strangers idly idly talked about Bob Marley. We were all waiting for a London tube train. The discussion was ribald but friendly banter. It was a debate about: ‘How did Bob Marley became so famous to have such an impact on the world?’
What made the topic most interesting was the fact that these were white, seriously untrendy strangers. from an income bracket quest influenced the world? Here are just five ways.
- Popularised Rastafari Culture
Through his lifestyle and music he demonstrated through actions, the ways of Rastafari in a way which attracted adherents in their millions. It became fashionable for uptown, light/white-skinned people to wear the dreadlocks they previously despised and warned their sons/daughters against.
- Bonafide Street Voice
He represented the hopes, dreams and aspirations of poor, oppressed, downpressed and maligned people, not just in Jamaica but all over the world. He genuinely represented the poor and down-trodden more than anyone else. This wasn’t a PR opportunity: he talked the talk then walked the walk. He reputedly accredited authorship of some of his songs to long-time brethrins so that they could benefit from his royalties. He regularly gave money or food to people.
- Increase Ganja Appeal
Alongside Peter Tosh Bob Marley was the world’s biggest brand ambassador of marijuana, ganja, weed, bush, collie, sensi – no matter what you call it in your part of the globe. While more known for his spiritually uplifting properties, both Tosh and Marley also emphasised the medicinal and ceremonial uses of the herb, decades before the term ‘medicinal marijuana’ entered the lexicon.
Marley World Influence
- World Recognition
Bob Marley was referred to by many as “the first pop star of the third world” and opened the door for dozens of other successful acts imported from similar territories. Weathering the initial xenophobia, Marley was able to connect with the masses while staying true to his Jamaican roots.
- Protest Chic
Get Up, Stand Up – Remember Occupy Wall Street? A resounding theme and constantly chanted slogan was the “Get up, stand up/ Stand up for your rights” lyric from Bob Marley’s song of the same name. Along with other icons of the 1960s, Bob Marley stood for freedom, equality and self-expression.
- Success Recognition
Nothing cements your immortality better than being successful. As far as success a musician goes very few and this includes very familiar household names, come anywhere close to matching Marley’s financial success.