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Ragan Henderson

Interview: Hit-Boy Talks Producing Benny the Butcher, Big Sean & Nas, Plus Nipsey Hussle and Juice WRLD Connections

The BET Hip-Hop Awards 2020 Producer of the Year is taking 2020 by storm.

When you're audacious and cocksure enough to assume the tag Hit-Boy, in a game and industry where you're only as good as your next big single or album release, chances are you have a glaring lack of self-awareness or you're operating at a level of excellence that's unique. That said, Chauncey Alexander Hollis has proven himself to be closer to the latter, as he's spent the past decade crafting some of the biggest anthems for the biggest artists in the game, including Beyoncé, Drake, JAY-Z, Kanye West, and Kendrick Lamar, just to name a few.

With credits on many of the biggest rap releases during that time, Hit-Boy is considered an elite boardman by most measures. However, somewhere along the line, he felt the need to stamp himself as more than a hit-maker for hire, but a producer with the ability to oversee, compose and help craft a body of work that touches the hearts of the people and can stand the test of time. And if 2020 were any indication, the Los Angeles-based producer is well on his way to putting his name alongside other greats who've built a reputation as sonic architects.

With his work on acclaimed releases by Nas (King's Disease), Big Sean (Detroit 2), and Benny the Butcher (Burden of Proof), all released within a two-month span, Hit-Boy has put the rap world on notice [even with his own duo Half-A-Mil with Dom Kennedy] that he's got the Midas touch and is the current frontrunner for the title of hottest producer in the game.

VIBE linked with Hit-Boy to talk about connecting with Benny the Butcher for Burden of Proof, working with Big Sean and Nas, getting music advice from JAY-Z, his relationships with Nipsey Hussle and Juice WRLD, and much more.

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VIBE: Rap star Benny the Butcher's Burden of Proof, which you executive produced, was one of the more anticipated albums of the year. In addition to overseeing the album, you've also been promoting it heavily on social media and interacting with the fans. What has the feedback been like?

Hit-Boy: Man, the crazy thing is we put this thing out independent. We were supposed to go through a major, but whatever behind the scenes stuff transpired that didn't allow for it to happen so we still put it out indie. It feels like a major release, so that's the good thing about it. I've just been getting a lot of love, like a lot of people tapping in, telling me how much they respect this shit, it just sounds authentic, you know?

Being that Benny comes out of the Griselda camp, which works closely with their own production team, how did you and Benny first cross paths and what was the catalyst for you to go beyond producing individual records and working on the album in its entirety?

We stuck to them guys, for sure. Obviously, I'm my own type of producer and got my own flavor with this shit, but the first song we made, the very first song we made was "Legend." It's the outro on the album. That should tell you a lot right there. We set the bar up real high with that first song and from there, it just was like the energy was just crazy and we just kept it going. It was song by song, beat by beat, by the time we got to, like, four or five songs, he was like 'Man, you might as well do the whole joint.' His team started pulling up and it just became a real thing.

You earned the name Hit-Boy as a result of your ability to make records that dominate the charts and become anthems. Being that Benny’s production on previous projects was more boom-bap inspired, did you feel any desire or pressure to bridge that gap?

Only a select few people really study me and understand what's going on. Like if you listen to "One Train" on A$AP Rocky's first album, that had all type of heavy-hitting ass rapping niggas on it, so I do this, man.

I did shit on G-Unit projects, I did shit on Game projects. Real gutter, gangster-ass, dark sounding shit, so I'm just a music motherfucker. That's why for me to even be able to have this bag, half of this shit, niggas think that you only got "Niggas In Paris" shit, that's the battle I've been fighting. It's an even bigger thing because I'm like, 'Y'all niggas thinking that this is all I do.

The Burden of Proof intro, I started that in 2007. I added a couple of flavors up to date, but the gist of that beat was done in '07. Fucking "Timeless" was done in 2011, like, I do this, for real, bro. I been doing this shit, but for me to catch the joints I have and they be so simple, it was such a mindfuck for me, man, 'cause it's like I got all of these bags, but niggas don't get it.

The album's first single, "Timeless," features Big Sean and Lil Wayne. What's the origin of that collaboration and what hand did you play in its creation?

So "Timeless," we just started our part, me and Benny and next thing I know, he texted me early in the morning with the Wayne verse. I ain't know what it was, he just texted me the file, I listened, he had a Wayne verse. I'm like, 'Damn.' That shit had me so hype, I'm like, 'This shit sounds like Carter II Wayne all over again, it sounds like he went in a time chamber or some shit.' From there, I obviously got my relationship with [Big] Sean, I put him on the Nas album and I also put him on this album just by being the homie and pulling up. I really just work with motherfuckers who pull up on me and really wanna work, it really ain't too much more magic than that.

On social media, you revealed that only two artists have cried in the studio while making a record with you, Nipsey Hussle when he recorded the second verse on “Racks in the Middle” and Benny the Butcher on “Thank God I Made It.” Touch on what it was like to witness that emotion come out of Benny and what those moments mean to you as a producer.

I mean, it's just crazy that I done worked with so many, so many artists and just, like, the two most thorough, solid two A-1, gangsta type niggas was in this shit, like, really connecting with the music. That was really the point I was trying to get across, it's not like I'm just clout-chasing, trying to tell that them niggas was crying. That's some stupid shit. I'm trying to tell y'all this is not just a nigga fucking making a beat and doing a song, this shit is like peoples lives on the line everyday. I'm putting my life, my energy [on the line]. Benny was doing the same thing...Nipsey was doing the same thing. It's just deeper than rap, this is deeper than the surface.

Another revelation you made involved JAY-Z's post-production assistance on “One Way Flight” featuring Freddie Gibbs, which you say he helped arrange. How would you describe your creative connection to JAY-Z and what made you send that particular song to him?

Obviously, I've got joints with him, but also, me and Benny are managed by JAY-Z, so it's like I just took a chance. I was like, 'Check this shit out if you get a minute, what do you think of this arrangement?' He hit me back and he was like, 'This shit is amazing you should do this, you should try [that],' you know what I'm saying? 'Cause I had sent him the song, so he just helped me overall arrange the song, so it was parts of the beat and parts of the song, he was like, ‘Move that, do this.' And then I sent it back to him and he was like, 'Okay, this shit's crazy, but if you do this one more thing, it'll just take it over the top,' which was giving Gibbs that spacing and letting the verse kinda be a surprise and come in. I felt like that made all of the difference. Obviously that's JAY-Z, man, he done made some of the greatest songs he ever heard, so for him to give me his opinion and help me dive into that bag, that shit was unreal.

Aside from the songs that were already mentioned, what are your favorite songs on Burden of Proof and why?

I'ma say "Sly Green," that beat is just prime-time, what I grew up on. First album I ever bought with my own money, my own bread I made was The Blueprint, so I feel like it's just a fusion of that shit with elements of that with, like, some older Hov shit. A little bit of "Hola Hovito," shout-out to Timbaland, like I just put all my influences into this shit and tried to bring the sound up to date without going and doing some corny shit. Like, 'Oh, I'ma sample "Ain't No Love in The Heart of the City,"' that's some basic shit. I made some shit to where it sounds like, but they know it's original, it's fresh, like I ain't do no basic, surface-ass shit.

Two other albums you worked on that made a big splash this year was Nas' King's Disease album and Big Sean's Detroit 2, both of which got an overwhelming amount of praise. What would you say you learned from working on each album and how would you say their creative styles differ?

I mean, they're all their own artists, they all needed different things, so I pride myself on my versatility and just always trying to make sounds to where it's like, 'Damn, we don't know who did this for real.' I mean, I just learned personally, that I'm able to do this shit, that I'm able to see multiple projects through damn near at the same time. And just, I guess, learning to have patience with everything. Everybody in their own pocket, everybody does different things everyday when they wake up, so you gotta be patient with people. You gotta understand it's two worlds, it's your world, but it's also their world. So you gotta have that perfect meeting place in the middle and have that match-up and be perfect.

For King's Disease, how important was it to pair Nas with younger artists like Lil Durk, Fivio Foreign, and ASAP Ferg and bridge that gap between both generations?

Honestly, I wasn't even thinking like, 'I gotta get him with some young dudes.' It was more so these are certain artists I rock with that I'm already working with, I might as well do it. I texted to Durk, he hit back immediately, like I don't really gas this shit. It was simple, the whole process was real organic, so I like how it all shaped up knowing that people kinda put it in it's frame to where it's like, 'This is a really fresh Nas.' That's a beautiful thing.

2020 has been a landmark year for you and has seen you become more of a maestro and conductor that delivers bodies of work than a quote-unquote hit-maker. Has that evolution been a calculated one or was it organic?

It's kinda both, but it definitely was calculated. Like I just kinda got to a point where I'm like, 'Man, doing one or two songs on peoples' project ain't really getting me to where I wanna be.' Like I'm looking at stuff online, I do big joints and people will still be hitting me, like, 'Where's Hit-Boy at, what's he doing?' I got "Sicko Mode" out, I got "Racks in the Middle" out, I got all these huge songs and niggas are still questioning the level that I'm on and what I'm doing. So I just said, 'Man, let me really dial in, tap in and just take a whole different route with this shit.' I'm not trying to do anything. I'm just doing this shit. I'm just rocking with the artists who rock with me and just trying to make the most quality music, everyday.

With Burden of Proof, King's Disease, and Detroit 2 all under your belt, you've put together one of the strongest year's for a producer we've seen in quite some time. Would you say that you've proved yourself to be the MVP of 2020 so far, in terms of producers?

Nah, man, you can't call it, somebody may be looking at it, like, a whole different way. I do see a lot of people, I haven't said that shit one time, I'll let the people decide. That's the type of person I am. A lot of people I respect doing fly shit and I'm just doing mine, so however it lands it's gonna land, period.

2019 was a bittersweet year for you, in the sense that you won your second Grammy Award for your work on Nipsey Hussle's "Racks in the Middle," but also had to mourn his death. [The same with] rap star Juice WRLD, whom you worked with closely on his album, Death Race For Love. What was your professional and personal relationship with those two like?

Man, crazy. Like I was working on Juice and Nip at the same time, at two different studios. I would have Nip at my studio working, he'd be writing a verse, he'd take his time. Juice, on the other hand, young kid, twenty years old or however old he was, we were working on an album, he's doing songs in 20-25 minutes, tops. Crazy melodies, never run out of words. And they both needed two different things, but just going from each session. And losing both of them, that shit was mind-blowing 'cause I specifically just remember those moments where I would see Juice for an hour-and-a-half, do three or four songs and then come back and Nip still be here vibing or he done laid the verse or whatever the case is.

But me and Nip, we started working way back, we did a song called "Thuggin'" with him and Boosie, it was on, I think, Bullets Ain't Got No Name Vol. 2 or something like that. And then we did stuff on Mailbox Money, different projects of his. But "Racks in the Middle," that was just a moment where we connected. He was pulling up nonstop, just rocking with me. And then Juice, he was so energetic anytime we linked up, he would damn near wanna record to every single beat I played. They both respected me creatively and I respected them, so we got a lot of work done.

 

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Both students of the game my brother nipsey and I weren’t afraid to be our most humble selves when we were in each other’s presence. I remember him as a man who was Always eager to share information to help me think of things in different ways and ultimately grow to be a better musician and overall person. Before I even got confirmation of his passing I felt for nip . I felt for the person who was always positive and always had the energy to light up a room without being extra or even saying too much. I felt for the man who was doing things that were bigger than him in his community. Things that brought people together and ultimately advanced the “naybahood” (NIP voice) I told you that you were a legend while you were here and I will continue to push that on and say your name with pride and love anytime I speak of you brother. Tears running down my face as I type this i sincerely miss and love you bro. Even up there I know you got a smile on your face 💔

A post shared by HIT-BOY AKA Tony Fontana (@hitboy) on

Did those losses make your professional wins this year even sweeter?

Oh, for sure, but it's crazy 'cause they both did work at my studio and I feel like they both left a piece of [themselves.] They were really giving their all when they was in here, so when I come in, I feed off of that. I feed off of the energy and I can still feel their presence so that just makes me go harder everyday.

You've worked with a number of legendary artists over the years, which ones would you say that you've learned from the most?

Man, I learn everyday, bro. I learn from every artist so I can't even say, but you know what, when I was having my run with Kanye. Just learning that this shit moves fast and it's at a high level if you wanna really succeed, like, you gotta really focus and you gotta be on your shit times ten so that era, I learned a lot. And still being managed by JAY-Z, anytime I get to interact with him or talk to him in any capacity, I just try to soak up whatever game I can. So I would say those top two, but anybody I'm around I try to learn, whether it's a producer, writer, artist, whatever it is, I'm trying to just soak up gems.

What's next for Hit-Boy for the rest of 2020 and in the new year?

Freddie Gibbs' first single dropping, [4 Thangs] produced by me featuring Big Sean. That shit's coming real real soon, sooner than y'all probably think [laughs]. Man, I got a bunch of shit, I can't get too deep into it, but I got some high level stuff coming.

 

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4 Thangs featuring @bigsean & @hitboy. Friday. Drop a 🏆 if you’re ready.

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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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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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