Freddie Gibbs
VIBE/ Stacy-Ann Ellis

Freddie Gibbs Is Making Bigger Business Moves Than You Think

Don't worry about Freddie Gibbs, The Businessman. He's winning.

Rapper Freddie Gibbs has made a pretty penny flipping street sales into big business.

 

Freddie Gibbs doesn't like seeds in his weed. Even more importantly, Gibbs' right hand man, Diego, doesn't like seeds in his weed. A cozy trailer parked behind Bonnaroo's The Other Tent has become Gibbs' backstage birthday pre-game spot. Plastic cups, ice bags, wine, champagne, an assortment of juices, sodas and energy drinks, and a half full bottle of Patron (the rapper will take the rest to the face during his debut performance an hour later) crowd the countertop. Gibbs is coolly seated on top of the cooler housing all the cold beers and water. His manager, Pun, is leaning back in a cushioned recliner playing DJ with his iPad, rattling the room. Madlib—the producer, DJ and Piñata collaborator who linked with Gibbs thanks to mutual friends, good marijuana and a musical chemistry that just clicks—is posted up against the wall, passing an already lit blunt to another one of Freddie's L.A. homies. And a stressed out Diego is interrupting Freddie's VIBE interview to point out all the seeds in a batch of weed they copped.

"Aye, shut the f**k up, I'm doing a motherf**king interview, dog!," Freddie jokingly snaps at his childhood friend, hardly bothered. "Can you just roll the weed? I know it got seeds but don't complain right now." Instead of fussing over the problem, he's looking at a solution he can easily provide. "Don't nobody grow no weed like us, n***a. I'm about to put you onto that Freddie Kane strain." ESGN Records' head honcho is referring to one of his moneymakers besides his gift of gab. Gibbs made a name for himself spitting firsthand street narratives of dope sales, robbery and violence, but the budding businessman doesn't intend on gangster rap being the end-all be-all of his legacy.

"I grew up a drug dealer. So now I can deal drugs legally," the Gary, Ind. native says of going the legit route with his strain of indica weed. Originally, Gibbs partnered with Northern Cali's Loompa Farms to grow his product, but business is expanding fast. "We're about to open up a new dispensary. And I'm paying taxes on it. In 2012, the IRS tried to get at me and take a n***a to jail. But f**k them. Now I got sh** in order."

Those who've already sampled the green can vouch for its potency. One Nugs.com toker wrote that Freddie Kane OG could either "[put] your day on smooth cruise control" or "result in skipping a day of the week" depending on how much is consumed. Although Gibbs hasn't specified just how many customers are lining up at the door, his biggest co-sign is telling of his business' success. Gibbs insists that when herbal enthusiast (and his number one favorite rapper of all time) Snoop Dogg tried the strain, he was seeing double. "If I impressed Snoop, f**k everybody else," Gibbs says with a satisfied shrug. "Snoop told me I got good weed and that n***a told me I could rap. I don't give a f**k about what another n***a says.”

SEE ALSO: Snoop Dogg On Taking A Dab And The Nate Dogg Record That Almost Made ‘BUSH’

The same nonchalant attitude he exhibits towards his seedy weed spills over to his way of banking off a finicky music industry. Eyeing a future as an A&R or major music exec a la L.A. Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, he knows how to pimp the system in more ways than one. First of all, the music streaming giants, namely Spotify, Pandora, TIDAL and SoundCloud, that have a bad rap for gypping artists are his friends, not his foes. There’s no one he likes over the other. When we question whether or not he makes substantial funds from Spotify & Co., he bursts into laughter. “F**k you mean? Gangsta Gibbs gets a check,” he says. “These motherf**kers don’t want you to know you get money off of this.”

In an era where record sales are dwindling and performances are primary streams of revenue, Gibbs has found a cozy spot in the festival circuit and touring for his niche audience. “These n***as’ whole careers are predicated on if they can make a radio record or not,” he says of mainstream rappers. “I don't gotta be the n***a at the tippy top. I'm gonna get money like this for the next 20 years. I'll be at these festivals and Europe and American tours for the next 20 years of my life.”

SEE ALSO: First-Time Dad Freddie Gibbs On The Toughest Lesson He’ll Teach His Daughter

After making self-investment his top priority, the new dad—his fiancée Erica Dickerson (formerly of Fuse’s scripted series, The Hustle) recently gave birth to Irie Jane—will always be able to spoil his daughter the way he wants. Even more so than building a loyal fan base from the ground up over the past seven years, Gibbs takes pride in doing it all independently with no machine behind him. “I did that all on my own, so when my check comes back… [It's mine],” he says. “We're getting money. I always got a check. My daughter always has a check because I did that sh** myself. I'm gonna make money off this sh** I made with [Madlib] for the rest of my life. A millionaire off one record.”

Here, the booming entrepreneur details his plans for longevity, the root of his business acumen, how he can breathe new life into dying record labels and why Freddie Gibbs is doing much better than the world thinks he is. —Stacy-Ann Ellis

VIBE: Your Freddie Kane OG supply is taking off during a pivotal time for marijuana in America. Any words of advice for people trying to come up in the legal weed business?
Freddie Gibbs: Hell nah, because I want to get all the money. It's just like the dope game, try to move in on me and you gotta get up. I ain't telling you n***as how to do nothing. I'm gonna keep bringing the n***a fish. You bring a n***a fish, he's gonna eat good. I'm gonna keep letting you n***as eat good, but I'm never gonna take you to the motherf**king water and show you how to fish yourself. My granddaddy taught me that. Never show another n***a where you fish. I'll never show another n***a my fishing hole because he's going to try to get my fish.

Can't be too mad at you for that. Have you tested Freddie Kane on other rappers?
I just tested it with the number one rapper of all time, Snoop Doggy Dog. He smoked that Freddie Kane and he said I thought Freddie Kane was another n***a. Shout out to Snoop. He's the Godfather. The Doggfather. Much love always and respect. Once Snoop Dogg gave me the plug, the stamp, it's all love.

Me and my uncle smokin that #FreddieKane @loompafarms all we smoke #ESGN

A video posted by Frederico Soprano (@freddiegibbs) on

Getting a thumbs up from Uncle Snoop is huge.
I got much love for Snoop. He brought me on GGN and it was an honor and a pleasure. I grew up on that sh**, man. I was a little n***a, maybe second or third grade, I don't know, bumping that "Lodi Dodi." I used to be on some gangsta sh** walking to school with that. And that Chronic.

Were you rocking with N.W.A., too? Because Straight Outta Compton is about to come out.
I grew up on N.W.A, Geto Boys. My dad was listening to that. My mom had me at a young age, like 20, and she was the oldest child. All her brothers were seven and 10, so I was like a younger brother more so than the oldest child. I was the younger brother to all my uncles, so they were going through their childhood and their teenage years and I was right there. Everything that they were loving, I was loving. I wanted to be a gangsta from birth, not because of the music but moreso what I was seeing. What my uncles were doing. I was just fascinated with the street lifestyle from a young age. Of course I wanted to do other sh**. I wanted to be in the NBA. I wanted to be in the NFL. I went to college to play sports, but I got kicked out because that street sh** is just always a part of me. Looking back in hindsight, I used to go through a period in my life where I used to regret it. I used to be mad at myself for not doing the right thing, but I don't feel that way anymore.

Because you still became successful.
Yeah, I became successful and because all of that. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be where I'm at right now. When I got over that and feeling bad about all of that sh**, I became a new me.

And you can't dwell on ill thoughts.
If you've seen the sh** that I've seen, it's a lot of sh** to dwell on. F**k it though, I'm here. You're interviewing me. I'm an interesting ass n***a.

True. Switching gears, given all that's going on in society right now, what would your State of the World address be right now?
You know what, I could say a lot of my thoughts about society right now, but it might f**k me up with my money. There's a lot that I want to say about sh** but I can't say it because I don't want to f**k up my paper. I think a lot of motherf**kers are going to hell in a hand basket with gasoline drawls on their ass. But I ain't gonna call them out. It is what it is. If you turn the mic off, I'll tell you exactly what I'm talking about. The world is some bullsh**. They're gonna try to fool you with money. They're gonna try to f**k you up with religion. They use religion to f**k your whole world up. They'll use religion to have you give you all your money and have you doing some sh** that you don't even want to do. It ain't just Christianity, it ain't just Islam. It's all that religion stuff. I believe in God. I'm not no atheist. I believe in God all day, from all types and kinds of different perspectives. I read the Quran word for word, front to back. I read the Bible like twice. I like to read.

What's one of the latest books you've read?
Scarface's book. That's one of the best books I've ever read. And that's my homie too. So as I'm reading the book, I'm calling him. He had to tell me like, man, just finish the book. So when I got done, I called him and we were on the phone for like an hour. It's a lot of layers to Scarface. That's probably why he's one of my favorite artists. When you peel all those layers back you really get Brad [Jordan]. He's a close friend of mine, so to be able to get that knowledge from him is priceless and helped me get through the last five years of my life and career.

What's the best piece of advice he's given you?
To just always be my own boss. You see the trials and tribulations of what he went through with his career and when you read the book, you see the timelines during the course of the book, when he was happy and the times when he was sad. It seems he was happiest when he got that Dej Jam job. But then that peaked and went down when they wouldn't really sign nothing that he brought. Then Ludacris brought him back up and that made him happy. You can tell his emotions from the book. When I write my book, y'all ain't ready. The sh** that [Scarface] was talking about with crack houses and bleeding n***as blocks out and moving them. I was listening to his sh** as I was doing it. There's probably another n***a out there listening to my sh** as they're doing this sh**. When Jeezy came out, he was telling it to a T. The stove, bricks, these are the measurements. He was breaking it down. That's what made Jeezy so special. He was giving you a clear cut vision of the kitchen and that dope boy lifestyle. Then 'Face talked about it too. He was talking about it in the early '90s. The way Jeezy did it, he made it like… damn. And then Ross compounded upon that and so on. From that you got a whole genre of trapping rap. Me and dude ain't on the same page but I definitely can respect that.

You mention Jeezy, who's well-established and widely known in the music game. What are your thoughts when people refer to you as underrated?
I like it because when you're underrated you always got room to grow. If I'm overrated then I can fall down, but when I'm underrated then I always have room to grow. [Pun: He makes more money than n***as that's overrated though.]

How so?
A n***a can have a hit on the radio and he doesn't make as much money as me. Name a person with a song on the radio and we can run the bank accounts. We can run the checks. I guarantee I get more for a show than most of them n***as on the radio.

And festivals like Bonnaroo are major. It means middle America knows and loves you.
Because it's an organic growth. It was never fake. Ain't no label come behind me with no $100,000 behind a single and put it to the radio. Every place that I've gotten in my career, I've gotten on my own from real growth. I didn't go pay DJs for radio. I was like, I'm just going to grow a fan base. I think everything that happened for me happened organically. That's why I say I'll last longer than the next n***a. I'll be around longer than them because I have classics under my belt thanks to [Madlib].

It sounds like you know exactly what you're doing.
These record labels need to hire me. There are a couple big record labels that want to hire me as an A&R. I'm about to do that. That's going to be the transition of my career. I mean, come on, man, I kept Freddie Gibbs relevant for the last seven years with no label. So imagine if I apply those tactics to another artist with a label's money? I can do that. I kept Freddie Gibbs relevant with dope money. My own money. I ain't never take a check from a label. I ain't never take a dollar from Young Jeezy, contrary to popular belief and contrary to what that n***a said on Hot 97. I never took a dollar from him. That's our discrepancy. But back to that label head sh**, that's definitely in the works right now. I definitely have tactics that a label doesn't have. I took a meeting with a couple labels and they were asking me questions. They don't know what the f**k to do. Major labels are about to be obsolete. They hire young Gibbs in there and they can last another 20 years. They put me in the office and they can do it. But they gotta pay, because we've been doing it on an independent level so smoothly. Now the labels are asking the successful artists questions.

If I'm overrated then I can fall down, but when I'm underrated then I always have room to grow.

So with your business acumen being what it is, what would you tell Lil Wayne with the Cash Money situation he's going through?
Sign with ESGN, let's make this a partnership. Tell him YMESGN. [Laughs] You know what, Lil Wayne is still one of the best rappers of all time. I definitely want to do a record with that man. I definitely respect his pen game and respect his records. I'm not in on their whole business shit, I don't know how that shit is and how it goes.

What are your thoughts on TIDAL and its battle between the rest of the streaming world?
We getting checks off that streaming.

That’s crazy, because several artists have said they don’t make much money from Spotify.
They’re lying.

<So all of them are giving you checks? And do you prefer any over the other?
I don’t discriminate. I got all them apps on my phone. SoundCloud, y’all give a n***a a check now. SoundCloud just monetized. These n***s don’t know. They let the media perpetuate some sh**, ‘Oh, you don’t get money off of this.’ They don’t want you to get your money. They want you to be stupid so they can go get your money. F**k that. I sold dope. You think I’m gonna let a n***a get my money for me? I was in all their faces.

Is it because you’re independent?
Yup. Shout out to the labels. 360 deal killers. We don’t get 360s. Freddie Gibbs doesn’t do record deals with a label. We’re gonna do a partnership if we do some sh**. We’re gonna be partners. You’re gonna have to make me L.A. Reid.

That’s the new way?
That’s my way. That’s the only way. [Pun: If a n***a isn’t independent, he’s lazy.]

Really?
He’s lazy, scared to get out there and scared to use his own motherf**king money. If you ain’t gonna use your own money, how are you gonna get another guy to use their money? Go to radio with your own money. Do this sh** with your own money. Quit depending on a n***a. Quit being a b*tch.

Photo Credit: VIBE/Stacy-Ann Ellis

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Interview: Suave House Founder Tony Draper Links With Celebs Like 2 Chainz, G Herbo and Nick Cannon To Feed Their Cities

The harrowing COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately disrupted Black communities across the United States with cities like Chicago being among the hardest hit. Throughout the year, artists from the city have stepped up and held socially distanced food drives and PPE donations across the city’s South and West sides. With his deep ties to Chicago since the early 90s, Suave House Records founder/entrepreneur Tony Draper, alongside NBA veteran Ricky Davis, made the Chi’ their next stop as part of the nationwide Feed Your City Challenge this past October 17th at the Pullman Park Community Center.

The chilly, yet bright and sunny Saturday saw hundreds of people drive through the parking lot of the complex, receiving groceries from the many volunteers, gathered from across the city. Masked up with PPE in the trenches with the civilians were local natives and celebrity supporters like Chitown’s Grammy winning producer/music executive No ID, rap star G-Herbo, new rapper Queen Key, NBA star Jabari Parker to media/music entertainer Nick Cannon. Draper and Davis were handing off items and loading boxes of farm-fresh produce and meats in the trunk of cars, and offloading the 95,000 pounds of food to feed 7,000 residents. While they were not in attendance, Common with Jhene Aiko and Social Justice Collective donated funds for the free groceries.

“You can’t lead the people until you feed the people. We’re out here in the community in a real way. People always talk about what’s going on in Chicago and these are the things going on in Chicago. Positive things for the community during a time like this. People coming together and it’s a wonderful event,” said Cannon.

For Draper, bringing the Feed Your City Challenge to Chicago and being able to pull it off successfully was crucial because October 17th, marks the 24th anniversary of the death of one of Chi’s most influential DJs, Rapmaster Pinkhouse, who passed away in 1996. “It feels like myself and my partner [Ricky] Davis coming to Chicago and partnering with Common, No ID, Jhene Aiko, Nick Cannon, G-Herbo, Jay Allen, [local FM radio] Power 92 and Pat Edwards was a sign from God that it’s meant to happen on this day. Even though Pinkhouse is gone, he’s still influencing the south side of Chicago and he’s still sending us blessings. We had to pull it off, we had to,” Draper said with conviction. 

Meanwhile, Power 92.3’s DJ Pharris, DJ Nehpets, DJ Commando, DJ Amaris and Hot Rod were on the 1s and 2s while Parker, Hot Rod, G-Herbo, and community activists Joey G and Nico Naismith played basketball with the kids. A nonprofit Hoop Bus was set up with a small hoop with Black Lives Matter symbols and the names of victims who were killed by police officers. 

G-Herbo, who has been volunteering his time to the kids of Chicago throughout 2020 says that events like this are important to build and strengthen Black unity across the city. “It’s beyond just being able to feed and provide, it’s allowing people to feel unity in the city. This is the city coming together and a lot of important and powerful people coming from the city, all walks of life coming together for a positive reason and that’s what it’s all about.” When asked if this event defied the stigma of Chicagoans not being unified, Herbo exclaimed, “Absolutely! We unified right now and it’s only gon’ get better, so we’re just trying to lead by example and make this normal. This is not just an event, this gotta be the normal for guys like myself and for the city.”

And the people who showed up to receive their free groceries were more than appreciative. Takara, a mother from the Southside of Chicago says that while she found out about the food drive at the last minute,“It’s a lot of food out here, a lot of good people out here and it’s something that we need. Events like this are very necessary and it’s filling the need for families who can’t feed their children during these times. I wish I could have volunteered and done something more, but we need this.”

In a one-on-one with VIBE, the legendary Tony Draper talks about his connections to Chicago, the importance and impact of the Feed Your City Challenge, the role celebrities play in activism, and more. 

VIBE: Earlier you shared that Oct. 17th was also the day that Rapmaster Pinkhouse passed away. For the younger readers who might not know who Rapmaster Pinkhouse is, could you share who he was and why he was so important to Chicago?

Draper: For young people that don't understand how music was heard back then, there was no social media [in the early 90s], there was no Instagram, so you had to get your record to the hottest person in the city. That person had to make a decision about whether it was good or not. And if that person touched your record in Chicago, that person would spread, it was automatic. That’s what happened to a young Tony Draper with 8Ball & MJG’s first albums. He put his hands around it and he exposed it to the Chicago market. Every time I think about Chicago, I always think about Pinkhouse. Pinkhouse was the main reason why I even came to Chicago.

Talk about that. What was Chicago like for you when you first came here?

Coming to Chicago was a very interesting moment for me because when I came, I had my hat cocked a certain type of way and I didn’t know the rules and regulations. And he told me, “Tony, man you gotta keep that hat straight (laughs). And I kept it straight ever since. So, for me, doing my journey as a young Black man from the inner city, raised by a single parent, establishing Suave House at 16 years old, seeing what I went through to establish [the company], and make it a force to be reckoned with. That was an accomplishment, but also I wanted to touch people I knew understood the music and understood where I was coming from and the importance of a young Black man that was a true, independent CEO and giving me the avenue to get my music heard. I’m from Memphis, raised in Houston, but Chicago is Suave House’s biggest market to this date. They supported everything Suave House did and I wanted to bless them [with the Feed Your City Challenge], the same way they blessed me.

With the conversation within the music business revolving around Black Lives Matter and supporting Black communities, what do you think it’ll take to get many of these CEO and executives from the major labels to support these communities like what you and many of the artists have been doing across the country?

I think they have to be involved with people they’re not comfortable with. Stop giving money to these organizations you think is giving the money to Black people, because they’re not. Nobody is holding these organizations accountable. Do business with somebody that has their finger on the pulse. A person that you know is in the music business that has been very successful in the business. Like right now, the Feed Your City Challenge, we’re in our ninth city. We’ve had eight of the top music artists host these cities without funding from the parent companies. [The artists] are giving the money themselves. Jhene Aiko gave money herself. Nick Cannon, himself. Rick Ross, 2 Chainz…Pee from Quality Control. 

Pee was on vacation in Mexico and he took a private jet back to Atlanta just to attend Feed Your City in Atlanta. He didn’t have to do that, but he did because he cares about where he’s from. He cares about the area. He wants to take [talent] from the area, but he also wants to give back to that community. See, white people want to come and exploit your community, but don’t want to build a library over there, never build a basketball court, never build anything. When an artist is dead, they say ahhh aahh ummm. If you wanted to demonstrate good character, you would have said, ‘I made a lot of money off that artist. Let me do something for that community as a token of appreciation for birthing that particular artist.’

I don’t think we’ve ever seen that before.

And you’ll never see it unless I do it and I am going to do it. That’s why I’m in Chicago. I’m going to every city that has blessed me and fed my family because every time I feed myself, I feed my family, my loved ones, it comes from my fans. My fans gave me the opportunity by buying my records. I had a dream, I had a drive, but without the opportunity, you might not have heard of Tony Draper. So, I’m always appreciative of people that have helped me, that’s why I want to help them. I’m in the best place I could ever be in my life. I’m 49 years old, I’m successful, I’m good. Bro, you want to know what makes me happy? Giving to somebody else. There’s another star out there that’s hoping and praying that they could get an opportunity and if I could give them that opportunity, I’ll give it to them. I don’t relish in the attention; I relish in the accomplishment. Let me help somebody. And if I help them and they become successful, they don’t owe me a quarter. I won’t sign them to a management deal or nothing. I just want you to acknowledge it and pass it on. See, we got to learn how to pass it on.

With the timing of this event brought on by the pandemic, how do you feel about it all?

I think it was God’s mission. With COVID that’s really unfortunate, a lot of people lost their lives during this pandemic. A lot of people have lost their jobs, their homes, their properties. My heart goes out to them. But if me and Ricky Davis can put a smile on a mother’s face, a father’s face and feed their children, that’s all I need. I remember me and my mother going to churches and food banks, walking with free government cheese, powdered eggs and we was happy. We were so happy, smiling and grateful. I think without that, I don’t think we would have made it to the following week. So, I’m always thankful for everything God blessed me with. I don’t think I’m special. I think that I had a plan and I stuck to my plan and made it happen.

Suave House has had a lot of artists who have always been outspoken about social and political issues, [similar to like an] Ice Cube recently. Considering that, and what you’re doing with these artists for the Feed Your City Challenge, do you think that the role of the celebrity today is to get in front of these issues or to fall back and support the people who're already doing the work?

I think it’s a choice. For me, I’m not a city official, I’m not a politician. I’m more comfortable with doing and getting my hands dirty on the ground. If I was in Chicago building houses for people, I would actually be there. I wouldn’t [just] send no money or send a crew there. I would be there. That’s how I feel blessed. I feel blessed by actually talking to the people and them seeing me out there distributing groceries. I feel good when a person drives up in their car and they pop their trunk and say ‘Draper?! You putting groceries in my car?!’ And they may be happy about ‘Space Age Pimpin’’ or ‘I’m So Tired of Ballin’’ or whatever, but just the mere fact that they were happy about me putting groceries in their car meant more to me than anything else. I think it’s a choice you make as an individual.

For a lot of people, some celebrities end up causing harm because their celebrity and actions might overshadow the actual issue.

You know what though? Without you being a celebrity, you might not be heard. So why not use that platform to be heard? I think LeBron James is phenomenal. I think Ice Cube is phenomenal. You don’t have to agree with him, but you have to respect him for speaking his mind and trying to get something for Black people. Nobody else did it! Nobody else took the initiative to write a Black America contract and present it to both [Biden and Trump] camps. So, I think that was a phenomenal move, whether I agree with it or not, it was still a phenomenal move. We got to stop with all this goddamn talking and do some action.

Draper and Davis’s Feed Your City Challenge will be arriving in Compton, California as their next stop on November 21.

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T.I.

Interview: T.I. Talks Activism, Verzuz Battle, And His Desire To Produce A Biopic On His Life Before Fame

Although Tip "T.I." Harris has earned some very respectable stripes as an emcee for his successful rap career, the self-proclaimed “King of the South” moniker really began to take true form once he stepped into his community activism calling. He’s acted in blockbuster films opposite Denzel Washington, Paul Rudd and Kevin Hart, but his willingness to speak truth to power has shown an unwavering commitment to being on the good side of history, as opposed to choosing silence to secure a spot on the good side of Hollywood.

During this recent conversation, Tip talks about his upcoming Verzuz battle with Jeezy, politics, the Trap Music Museum, and his desire to make his TV/film directorial debut.

Be sure to check out his newest album, L.I.B.R.A available on all streaming platforms.

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Ziggy Marley's First Time Voting In America

No more long talking from politicians. Today, the people have their say at the ballot box. Judging by the number of voters who showed up early this year, the 2020 election is going to smash all records for voter participation. With a deadly pandemic, wildfires, floods, economic pressure, and a struggle for survival playing out from the tweets to the streets, the stakes have never been higher.

If you're reading this right now and you haven't voted yet, it's not too late. Get up get out and let your voice be heard. As Samantha Smith recently discussed on her IG Live, this year's election is too important to sit out.

Snoop Dogg will be voting for the first time this year—and he's not the only one. Ziggy Marley voted for the first time this year also and documented the process on social media. "I decided to vote and I wondered to myself why," Ziggy wrote on his IG. "Then I thought about those who came before, the price they paid. In part, I am voting in honor of them and to honor them, to not belittle their many sacrifices and struggles with my high jaded righteousness and indifference. Many brothers and sisters from numerous backgrounds and origins marched, bled, and died to give people like me basic rights in 🇺🇸 , the right to be treated like a human being, the right to vote."

As the eldest son of the Robert Nesta Marley aka the King of Reggae, Ziggy is part of a mighty musical legacy, but his father is more than a musical legend.  The new film Freedom Fighter—part of the 75th anniversary series "Bob Marley Legacy"—examines Marley as a symbol of human rights with a voice more powerful than any politician.

Ziggy has continued his father's musical mission as a solo artist and part of the Grammy-winning family group Melody Makers. His 2018 album, Rebellion Rises opens with a song entitled "See Them Fake Leaders," leaving no doubt about his views on the institutions of government. Still, Ziggy remains engaged in the political process, doing his part and encouraging others to do the same.

"Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr, John Lewis, and others thought, 'Voting rights? Civil rights? Who cares? What difference will it make?'" Ziggy wrote on IG. "Just imagine what the world would have looked like now if not for their sacrifices. Go ahead, imagine it. Can you see it? Well, what do you think?"

"To be clear voting is not the end-all," Ziggy Marley added. "It is a small piece of a puzzle and just one of the tools in our toolbox that we must use as part of a larger effort to bring positive beneficial changes for all people. The work must continue at maximum effort after elections regardless of the outcome." Ziggy emphasized that he was not voting for a party or a person for an idea. "Even though we have differences we can be better human beings, more united human beings, more loving human beings, equal human beings, just human beings. The politics will come and go left right and center but still through it all the humanity that we must show to each other is not negotiable."

Ziggy voted by mail this year, but for those of you standing in line today to exercise your right and let your voices be heard, Ziggy curated a special playlist for Tidal's "Hold The Line" campaign. Music to vote by—from Ziggy and Bob to Fela and James Brown, not to mention Public Enemy and Rage Against The Machine.

Ziggy Marley’s new album, More Family Time, is out now on all music streaming platforms.

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