BOOMSHOTS Heavy Rotation: Bob Marley, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Ziggy Marley, Lauryn Hill

Today would have been Bob Marley's 66th birthday. And while he's no longer here in flesh, Marley's songs of freedom are more urgent than ever. Just last week his very last live concert—in 1980 at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh—was released as a double album called Live Forever. It's a perfect title because that's exactly what Bob Marley's music does. Of all his great performances, none was more memorable than his 1978 "One Love Peace Concert," at which Marley managed to bring together Jamaica's biggest political rivals, Prime Minister Michael Manley and Opposition Leader Edward Seaga, on stage together in a powerful symbol of unity that, like Marley himself, was tragically short-lived. His spellbinding dance during "Natty Dread" looks like he's chasing evil spirits off the stage. Everything that follows is a dramatic demonstration of the spiritual power of music. Let it go...






Bob Marley's musical offspring have carried on their father's works. Kymani Marley recently featured on "Rasta Love," the new single by the Jamaican artist Protoje. Julian Marley did a tough tune the other day called "Violence In The Streets." Nas and Damian Marley recently returned to Bob's old Trenchtown neighborhood to shoot their latest video. And Stephen, Damian and Buju just put together a wicked tune called "Jah Army." (Many of the Marley brothers will be performing March 12 in Miami at the 18th Annual 9 Mile Festival.) But no song symbolizes the Marley family's sense of purpose better than this Jam2 production: "The Mission."  Run that...



Bob Marley always wanted to reach beyond Jamaica and touch listeners all over the world. "Play I on the R&B," he sang on one of his biggest chart hits "Roots, Rock, Reggae," a song that reflected the reality that reggae music was embraced by rock radio before black radio caught up with the beat. But Bob needn't have worried about a thing. During the big closing number of this 1999 Tribute Concert, it was more than clear just how far-reaching Bob Marley's influence has been, spreading from genre to genre, generation to generation. (There are so many stars on the stage, the camera man literally cannot figure out where to point his lens: Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, Dr. John, Ben Harper, Jimmy Cliff, Toots Hibbert, Queen Latifah, Chrissie Hynde, Darius Rucker, Tracy Chapman, and of course a whole heap of Marley family members.) Singing covers of Bob Marley songs is always a tricky matter. It's hard to improve on Marley's intensity, so artists sometimes resort to stunts and gimmicks. But in these memorable versions of two of Bob's most powerful songs, Lauryn Hill and Ziggy bring it back to all Bob ever had: these songs of freedom.




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Usher Releases "Peace Sign" Video Off Of 'A' Project

Given Monday's (Dec. 10) debate about who's the king of R&B, one of the names that steadily popped up in the conversation has stepped onto the scene. In a visual promotion for his A soundscape, Usher released the video for "Peace Sign" alongside producer Zaytoven.

Previously, the pair hit the studio for an eight-track project that pays respect to their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. It was surprise-released in October and effortlessly fuses ATL's aura on the soundscape. Now, the "Peace Sign" video puts that decision into cinematic motion.

"Atlanta offers a certain attitude and a sauce that I can't explain, and it is a little bit in 'No Limit,' it is a little bit in 'TNT.' I'm literally talking sh*t, man," he said in an interview with The Fader. "I'm popping sh*t that I haven't popped, like really ever. And that's what being in the moment creates. When you have months and months to think about it and you begin to analyze all the people who you need to think of and what you want this entire project to work out, you'll lose certain elements of your spontaneity an incredible culture that just happens in the moment. I didn't give that space. I really was honest with the feelings, I was honest with the conversation and I was really in the moment. And I thank Zay for that."

Watch the video up top.

READ MORE: Tyrese, Usher And Others Reacts To Jacquees' Claim That He's The King Of R&B

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T.I. Releases Short Film For "The Amazing Mr. F**k Up"

T.I. keeps himself accountable for his wrongdoings in the cinematic visual for "The Amazing Mr. F**k Up."

Premiered Monday (Dec. 10) on his series T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle, the track featuring singer-songwriter Victoria Monet, is flipped into a 10-minute-short film. Directed by Mike Ho, the short film stars comedienne Britney Elena, Colombus Short, Woody McClain and model Denise Rodriguez.

Starting at a fancy dinner gathering among friends, things take a turn for the worst when the rapper's other partner invades the feast. On the Dime Trap cut, T.I. calls out himself for his past mistakes and deviances with acknowledgment on how he needs to do better.

"It's amazing all the sh*t I done / Such examples I've been setting for my son / All she did was stay down and have my kid / All the time just to realize I ain't sh*t," T.I. spits. In addition to the rapper flexing his acting chops, the album version of the song includes the infamous scene in ATL between Tip and Lauren London, where his character snatches a necklace he gifted for New New.

The rapper is currently closing out the year on an impressive note as it was revealed that his music has been streamed 276 million times on the music streaming service Spotify. "A modest flex to end my 18th year in this sh*t!!!! Multitudes of Gratitude!!! #NextYearWeGoBigger!!!!," the Grand Hustle emcee tweeted on Saturday (Dec. 8).

Check out the video above


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Extra thx to @brittneyelena @woody_thegreat @mikeho_ @officialcshort and errrrbody involved in bringing this vision to life!!! #TheAmazingMrFuckUP out @vevo after tonight’s episode of Friends and Family Hustle!!! @vh1

A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31) on Dec 10, 2018 at 6:34pm PST


A modest flex to end my 18th year in this sh*t!!!! Multitudes of Gratitude!!! #NextYearWeGoBigger!!!!

— T.I. (@Tip) December 8, 2018

READ MORE: T.I. On 'Madman' Donald Trump: 'On The World Stage, It's A Joke'

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Meek Mill Is Surrounded By His Day Ones In Visual For "Intro"

Self-proclaimed "Champion of the United States" and Philadelphia-bred rapper Meek Mill delivers the official music video for "Intro" on Monday (Dec. 10).

Directed by Kid Art, the three-minute visual frames Meek's mental state as he re-enters the rap game as he continues to battle the justice system as a young, black man. Presumably surrounded by those he considers family, "Intro" retrospectively takes a look at the 31-year-old's come up as a notable rapper out of North Philly.

Juxtaposing his current lifestyle with not-so-distant memories of the trenches, the video shuffles scenes of club confetti, bullet holes, poured out bottles of Ace of Spades and dirt bikes– a presumed nod to Meek's unjust jail sentence.

"Pouring champagne 'cause all my n***s dead/ If they ain't in the graveyard, then they in the feds/ I give a f**k if that crown heavy, put it on my head" spits Meek over the instrumental to Phil Collins' "In The Air."

Last week (Dec. 2) music engineers Young Guru and Anthony Cruz spoke to VIBE about Meek's choice to sample Collins' "In The Air Tonight" on the track, stating that "Meek had this vision" to flip the classic track since he first heard it in Paid In Full and was glad to finally make it happen in a standout fashion on "Intro."

If you haven't already, be sure to take a look at the official music video for "Intro" up top.

READ MORE: Young Guru And Anthony Cruz Discuss Engineering Meek Mill's 'Championships' Album

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