Reggae isn’t all about winding and gun shots. VIBE caught up with Jamaica’s finest Stephen Marley to chat it up about his third album Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life, his reaction to longtime friend Buju Banton’s sentencing and he stays dedicated to humanity.
VIBE: Just by the title alone, you can tell this album is going to be though-provoking.
Stephen Marley: Yes. Original reggae music in its original form, not commercialized or anything like that – that was really the inspiration behind the name. I was reading an article about the state of reggae music, and it was saying that reggae music was on the decline and I was inspired to defend reggae music and do my part. Revelation Part 1: The Roots of Life is really in homage of the roots of reggae music and preserving that sound of the music and to let everyone know that this music is still being made today. It’s still around.
Definitely. Any idea what Revelation Part 2 is going to be like?
It’s called The Fruit of Life. It’s basically the evolution of the music and the offspring of the roots which all these different branches and colorful leaves and such would fall. Part 2 will be a more eclectic album infused with hip-hop, African music and all different kinds of vibes, whereasPart 1 is mainly roots.
What topics are you touching on?
Well, the first song on the album is called “Made in Africa,” which really enlightens one about civilization as a whole–not just the black man. It started in Africa. Everything in mankind was started in Africa. That song is an enlightenment to everyone, no racial boundaries. Every mankind. We have songs like those, love songs on the album, spiritual songs on the album, we speak about slavery on the album. Various topics.
Do you want more collaborations on the second round?
Yeah. So far I have Rakim, Dead Prez, Black Tah, my brothers. I’m still finishing. I have a few more surprises.
Who would be your ultimate American artist to collaborate with?