In 1999 Stephen Marley produced ‘Chant Down Babylon’, an album of digital duets with his father Bob Marley and some of hip hop’s biggest stars.
The objective was to introduce the reggae king’s music to a new generation. With his latest album, Revelation Pt II: The Fruit of Life, Marley is again reaching out.
Released last week, the set hears the multi-Grammy winner collaborating with a number of hip hop and dancehall artistes including Rick Ross, Pitbull, Waka Flocka, Iggy Azalea, dead prez, Rakim, DJ Khaled, Busta Rhymes, Wyclef Jean, Shaggy, Black Thought (of The Roots), Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, Bounty Killer, Sizzla and Capleton. “What wi doing is bridging the gaps an’ introducing the message to a wide audience. The concept is to show the connection with who we influence an’ who influence us,” the 44-year-old Marley told the Jamaica Observer last week.
He pointed to a growing number of major acts like Rihanna and Drake sampling dancehall music as evidence of the Jamaican influence on the lucrative pop market.
But while their songs sell in the millions, the sales for most contemporary Jamaican artistes are dismal. Marley, who enjoyed commercial success as a member of the Melody Makers and with Chant Down Babylon, said the Jamaican music business lacks structure.
“Wi still not organised an’ dat’s part of the reason things not working. Wi come from a small island an’ some people still carry a chip on dem shoulder,” he reasoned.
To help promote ‘ Revelation Pt II’, Marley recently completed a two-month tour of the United States. The set debuted at number one on Billboard Magazine’s Reggae Album Chart.
His Revelation Pt I: The Root of Life also fared well on the publication’s reggae table but failed to impact its main charts. It won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2012.
Not even a vaunted brand as the Marleys has escaped the global downturn in global music sales. Jr Gong’s Welcome To Jamrock, released in 2005, sold over one million units; it is the last album by a Marley to reach those heights.
With help from some well-heeled friends, Stephen Marley is hoping to score big with Revelation Pt II: The Fruit Of Life.
“There’s no limit with di music. Wi want it reach everyweh an’ everyone,” he said
Source Jamaica Observer