Stephen Marley: Reggae, Guitars and His Father’s Legacy

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“There’s a simple explanation,” says Stephen Marley, with a laugh. “It’s called DNA.”

Just about everyone agrees: of all the children of Bob Marley, Stephen received the lion’s share of his father’s musical genes. As the family’s “go-to” producer, the 36-year-old has earned a slew of Grammys for his work through the years. More than that, however, Marley simply sounds like his father. As evidenced on Mind Control, his 2007 debut album, his voice bears an uncanny resemblance to that of reggae’s greatest practitioner.

All that said, however, Marley has proved adept at pushing the boundaries of traditional reggae. On the pioneering 1999 reggae/hip-hop fusion album Chant Down Babylon, and on his brother Damian’s Grammy-winning Welcome to Jamrock, the producer-songwriter wove a mix of contemporary styles into reggae’s solid foundation. And even on Mind Control, on trip-hop flavored tracks like “Hey Baby” and “Traffic Jam,” he sometimes sounds like a modern-day equivalent of madman reggae pioneer Lee Perry.

Just as important, Marley seems to have inherited his father’s formidable work ethic. In the midst of a mini-tour, and with several projects in progress, he spoke with us about his music, his guitars, and why he likes country-western songs.

How did you become the go-to guy for most of the family’s projects? Does it have more to do with your personality, or with your musical versatility?

It’s more about my personality. I’m the member of the family who was born in April. In the Bible, April is from the tribe of Reubin. Reubin was the first son of Jacob. That type of personality — being a leader, a big brother — is part of me.

Which do you enjoy more working on a project of your own, or working on someone else’s project, where you’re sort of behind the curtain?

It’s hard to say. Everything we do is done the same way. Obviously there are small differences, but with the Mind Control project, for example, Damian and Julian were there with me. Nothing changes, really, in our approach.

Is it different working with members of your family, as opposed to working with people with whom you aren’t related?

It is different. There’s more of a bond in the conception, with family. Everyone kind of thinks on the same wavelength. Working with people outside the family involves communication that has to be sort of broken down.

Looking back, the Chant Down Babylon album, where you incorporated hip-hop into your father’s songs, seems especially significant. Did you have reservations about doing that?

Yes. We were very cautious, but the relevance of that record was very important. The way it came together, it was clear it was meant to be. For example, we were in the studio talking about Erykah Badu (http://www.erykahbadu.com/), and she just happened to come to tour the Bob Marley Museum at the same time. I said, “You know, we were just talking about you.” I told her about the project and she came on-board. It was effortless.

Do you think your father would have been a fan of hip-hop?

Yes, mon. He was a big fan of dancehall music. He liked Big Youth and Dillinger — those types of artists.

People might be surprised to learn that you’re a big fan of country-western music.

Yeah, very much. Country music reminds me a lot of Jamaican folks who live in the country. Music with just an acoustic guitar, or a banjo, has that folk style, where most of the songs tell stories. A lot of Jamaicans love country music. Back in the ’70s and early ’80s there was a lot of country music there — Kenny Rogers and so forth.

When you begin work on a song, which of your guitars do you usually pick up?

It’s usually an acoustic guitar, usually an Ovation. But on-stage I play a Gibson, a Les Paul Custom. And now I have my first Gibson acoustic. It’s a beautiful guitar. I’ve been playing it a lot while I’ve been out on the road — getting to know her, so to speak. I’ve been writing on the Gibson acoustic a bit as well.

Your father also played Les Pauls. Do you still have his guitars?
Yes, the family has them. He used to call his main Les Paul “Old Faithful.” He would tell us children, “Go and bring ‘Old Faithful’ to me.”

Do you ever use his guitars in the studio?

Sometimes.

Your father had an incredibly strong work ethic, which is something you seem to have inherited.

We inherited the lessons from that, in the sense of knowing what a strong work ethic brings. After that, it’s up to you, whether you want to work hard or not. Seeing the results of my father’s hard work — what that hard work brought — is the best lesson we learned. If we want similar results, then we too have to work hard too.

His legacy has never seemed burdensome to you. Instead, you’ve always seemed to cherish the responsibility that goes along with that.

That’s true. That responsibility makes you a better person. It keeps you in line, and helps you in life. It helps you in life because his example is so positive.

Source: Gibson.com

 

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Update on Marc Stewart Funeral and Memorial Service

Please join us in celebrating his life at the Wake and Memorial Service which will be held Wednesday, February 25, at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Marc’s funeral will be held on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 11:30am at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, located at 6400 Woodrow Road Lithonia, GA 30038. His burial will follow at Hillandale Memorial Gardens & Mausoleum, 6201 Hillandale Dr, Lithonia, GA 30058. Please where white for the funeral

More information go to

www.marcstewartmemorial.com

Marc Stewart
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Reggae Vault Classics 9 – 80s and 90s Freestyle Mix

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Shabba Ranks & Friends album cover
Image via Wikipedia

Reggae Vault Classics 9 is another Kahlil Wonda 80s and 90s freestyle mix consisting of hardcore dancehall and commercial hits from singers such as Pinchers, Sanchez and Wayne Wonder.  Anthem tunes from Junior Reid, Jesse Gender, Buju Banton, Shabba Ranks, Papa San, Supercat, Ninja Man, and Papa San and featured along with other essentials from the 80s and 90s.  This is a must listen, guaranteed to take you back in time if you are familiar with the reggae music from this era, and a great resource, along with the other Reggae Vault Classics podcast episodes if you have recently been introduced to or are less familiar with this great music.

We sincerely hope you enjoy the selections and mixing.  Please send your comments, feedback, and requests to kahlil.wonda@gmail.com or feel free to comment at here.  If you like what you hear please subscribe to get automatic updates when new shows are added.

Reggae Vault Classics 9

1  Ra Pa Pam Pam – Junior Reid
2  Rudebwoy Remember – Jesse Gender
3  Borderline – Pinchers
4  Dolly My Baby (Groove Me) – Supercat
5  Boom Shack Attack (Remix) – Born Jamericans
6  Champion Lover – Deborah Glasgowe & Shabba Ranks (noisy)
7  Strange – Papa San
8  Cover Me – Tinga Stewart & Ninja Man
9  Gal A Watch You – Alton Black
10 Wicked In A Bed – Shabba Ranks
11 No Mama Man – Shabba Ranks
12 I’ll Be Loving You – Wayne Wonder
13 That Girl – Sanchez
14 That Sound – Sanchez
15 When I’m With You – Wayne Wonder
17 The Grudge – Buju Banton
18 Peanie Peanie – Shabba Ranks
19 Cellular Phone – Bounty Killer
20 Gun Fool – Terror Fabulous
21 Today Was A Good Day – Spragga Benz
22 Lazy Body – Echo Minott
23 Black Scorpio – Johnny Clark
24 Boops – Supercat

Media files
Reggae_Vault_Classics_9.mp3 (MP3 Format Sound, 59.7 MB)

Dancehall Now Episode 17 – The ‘I Wish I Was In Trinidad’ Edition

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Soca singer Machel Montano performing at the 2...
Image via Wikipedia

Make sure to download this show for the exclusive combinations within such as the remix of ‘Brooklyn Go Hard’ which features Wayne Wonder, Foxxy Brown, M.I.A, and Jay-Z, & ‘Automatic’ by Marcia Griffiths and Busy Signal.

Since Trinidad Carnival (aka the greatest show on Earth) is currently taking place, this episode of Dancehall Now features Jamaica’s Dancehall King Beenie Man doing the Soca thing alongside Trinidad’s lyrical giant, Bunji Garlin on the remix of ‘Plenty Gal,’ a bonafied 2009 mega hit. Also in the mix is Beenie Man featuring Trini Jacobs with the Soca version of rapper T.I.’s ‘Live Your Life’ entitled ‘Superstar.’ Other carnival themed highlights featured are ‘Tonight’ by Reggae songstress Alaine featuring Machel Montano, and ‘Fly Away’ sung by Machel Montano and Collie Budz out of Bermuda.

Dancehall Now Episode 17 also includes new music from Daville, Vybz Kartel and Spice, Tarrus Riley, Laden, and Ms. Triniti featuring Beenie Man by request.

Right Click the file and select “Save As…” to download the entire mp3 file or just click to listen to the audio stream now. We sincerely hope you enjoy the selections and mixing. Please send your comments, feedback, and requests to podcast@highlanda.net or feel free to comment at http://www.highlanda.net/html/contact.php. If you like what you hear please subscribe to get automatic updates when new shows are added.

Dancehall Now Episode 17

Playlist:

1 Automatic – Marcia Griffiths/Busy Signal
2 Brooklyn We Go Hard (Remix) – Wayne Wonder/Foxy Brown/Jay-Z/M.I.A
3 You Have It – Beenie Man
4 Fly Away – Machel Montano HD feat. Collie Budz
5 Burnin Burnin – Ms. Triniti feat. Beenie Man
6 Human Nature – Tarrus Riley
7 U A De Boss – Sizzla
8 Baby Mother Drama – Kiprich
9 Time To Shine – Laden
10 Ramping Shop – Vybz Kartel feat. Spice
11 No Games (Remix) – Serani feat. Raekwon
12 Sleepless Nights – Buju Banton
13 Jah Live – Luciano
14 Tonight – Alaine feat. Machel Montano
15 Superstar – Beenie Man feat. Trini Jacobs
16 Plenty Gal (Remix) – Bunji Garlin feat. Beenie Man
17 Start A New – Tarrus Riley
18 The Best In Life – Sizzla
19 Missing You Right Now – Daville
20 Know How Fi Love Dem Up – Assassin feat. Josey Wales

http://stuff.highlanda.net/rss/podcast/s2/Dancehall_Now_Episode_17.mp3

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Mavado live interview with Babi Katt in the studio at 103.9 WKDX in Rochester, NY

Mavado
Mavado (via last.fm)

Mavado discusses past successes and upcoming projects including the new album to be released in March entitled Mr. Brooks… A Better Tomorrow.


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DEATH OF MARC STEWART, PRESIDENT & CEO OF ISLAND COAST ENTERTAINMENT

For more information about funeral arrangements and the Marc Stewart Memorial

Fund, please contact Natasha Huggins at 404.408.5888,
Mike Dobson at 770.367.9677 or Mother Hazel 678.923.6642

DEATH OF MARC STEWART,  PRESIDENT  & CEO OF ISLAND COAST ENTERTAINMENT

Atlanta, GA, February 16, 2009 – On Sunday, February 15, 2009, Gwinnett County police reported that they found the body of Island Coast President and CEO Marc Stewart. The 36-year old was found in his Ford Explorer in a parking lot in Gwinnett County, where he was pronounced dead. The Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s office is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Fraudulent activity on Mr. Stewart’s check card and use of his cell phone has not yet been confirmed.

Stewart is credited with producing some of the most successful, soca, hip-hop and R&B events in Atlanta, the Caribbean, and Europe through his marketing and promotions firm. He was instrumental in hosting such acts as Elephant Man, Beenie Man, Beres Hammond, Eddie Griffin and comedian Earthquake.

The family of Marc Stewart released the following statement on Monday, “It is with great sadness that we learned of Marc’s death. He was a beloved son, father, friend and businessman who was known throughout the Atlanta community as hardworking, trustworthy and dedicated. His charm and professionalism captured the attention of many supporters, and the firm footprint he left behind will not easily fade away.”

Marc Stewart was born August 28, 1972 in Bronx, NY. He attended Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx and graduated from Morehouse College in 1996 with a B.S. in Psychology. He is survived by his parents, Glen and Patricia Stewart and a 2-year daughter, Kennedy Amoré Stewart.

There has been a fund established for Marc’s Daughter, Kennedy. To Donate go to any Bank of America and give what you can. (Account name: Glen Stewart in Care of Kennedy Stewart #334021520432)

A celebration of the life of Marc Stewart will be held in Atlanta, GA. Funeral service will be at New Birth Baptist Church, Thursday February 26th, 2009. Please wear All White Attire.

Email any & all pictures you have with Marc to
print@extremeatlanta.com to be added to his website.

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Social Networking Spotlight: CaribLifeCentral.Com

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Visit our friends over at CaribLifeCentral.Com, for a fun alternative to Myspace© & FaceBook© for those interested in the Caribbean.  The site is all about connecting you with the Caribbean.  Here is a listing of some of their current features.  Please visit , sign up and share with your friends.
carib
—News, Sports & Opinion Editorials ——————
West Indies victory over England
http://www.cariblifecentral.com/en/west-indies-victorious-over-england

Two 2009 Grammy winners from the Caribbean Diaspora
http://www.cariblifecentral.com/en/two-2009-grammy-winners-caribbean-diaspora

St. Lucia Embraces Diaspora over Independence
http://www.cariblifecentral.com/en/st-lucia-embraces-diaspora-over-independence-0

Bajan artists selected for T&T Competition Semis
http://www.cariblifecentral.com/en/bajan-artists-selected-tt-competition-semis

Marley boys celebrate for Bob in New Zealand
http://www.cariblifecentral.com/en/marley-boys-celebrate-bob-new-zealand

Respect due to Tourism Reporters
http://www.cariblifecentral.com/en/respect-due-tourism-reporters

ST. Lucia’s 30th Independence Anniversary Activities
http://www.cariblifecentral.com/en/st-lucias-30th-independence-anniversary-activities

— Things To Do ————————–——
http://www.cariblifecentral.com/event

— Featured Videos ————————–
“Save a Life” – By Shaggy & Friends
http://social.cariblifecentral.com/video/safe-a-life-shaggy

“Fyah (Fire in Your Waistline)” – Kevin Lyttle
http://social.cariblifecentral.com/video/fyah-fire-in-your-waistline

“Winners Make Love” – Onaje
http://social.cariblifecentral.com/video/winners-make-love-onaje

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LIL JON CREATES ‘DIRTY SOCA’

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LIl Jon Image
- Lil Jon -

Lil Jon is known to the hip-hop world as the “King of Crunk,” a superstar rapper and producer. What they probably don’t know is he started out as a dancehall selecta or deejay, as a member of the Four Seasons Sound System during the ’90s, in his hometown of Atlanta. Now the entertainer, formally known as Jonathan Smith, is coming full circle, flirting with his love of Caribbean music by injecting his unique crunk flavor into this year’s Carnival festivities in Trinidad.

Jon will not only be performing, but he has actually produced a beat for a collaboration between him, Latin hip-hop star Pitbull, and soca artist Machel Montano, called “Floor On Fire.” The success of the production has evolved the track into a full-fledged riddim, with numerous Caribbean stars voicing on it, including  Kevin Lyttle and Mr. Vegas.  As a result, a new breed of soca is being introduced and will see its debut on soca’s most prolific stage – Trinidad Carnival.

This is not the first major stage on which Jon has displayed his flair for island beats. He first appeared alongside Pitbull and Machel Montano at soca’s other big festival, Crop Over in Barbados, last August. He was also in Trinidad recently to kick off Carnival, performing with Montano at the annual WASA Fete on January 31.

Lil Jon Trio
- Pitbull, Machel Montano & Lil Jon
at Crop Over in Barbados, August 2008 -

“At Crop Over, we decided we would do another collaboration – but something fresh and from scratch. I went home, did the beat, sent it to Pitbull and Machel, and this time we also got into the studio together and the rest is history. Now with ‘Floor On Fire,’ dirty soca is born.”

Jon’s vision is to not merely spread the new flavas from fete to fete, but his goals are to bring international and mainstream attention to Caribbean music, in all its forms.  His blueprint for this dynamic undertaking plots collaborations with soca, dancehall, reggae and Latin entertainers, and sees him trekking throughout the islands and also working the international circuit that celebrates Caribbean music.

As for his love for Caribbean music, Jon is drawn to the energy found within. “I like how it takes the party to another level,” says Jon, of his first taste as a deejay. “The energy of the music would have all the girls partying and getting crazy – it’s always a fun experience.”

Buddha Image

- DJ Buddha -

Longtime industry playmaker DJ Buddha, music consultant to Jon and A&R to Pitbull, introduced the trio and is responsible for the fusion of sounds. “My interest falls in bringing good music to the masses and being able to expose our culture and brand to the world,” reveals DJ Buddha. ” I want people to understand that a lot of the music they know and love originated in the Caribbean, such as reggae, soca, calypso, hip-hop, reggaeton, merengue, salsa, and are fused from these small countries and rich cultures.”

A virgin to TNT Carnival, Jon is excited to be included in this year’s history. “I hear it’s the biggest, best and wildest carnival in the world.” He is also using the trip as an opportunity to shoot the video for the hit single, “Floor On Fire.” “I want to capture the true essence of the culture, and therefore shoot the video at AC7, and on Carnival Monday and Tuesday,” states the star. “I want to visually bring to the worldwide audience the energy of Carnival!” The single will be featured on his upcoming album, Crunk Rock, due out this summer from Universal Republic Records.

To stay updated on all things Lil Jon, visit his artist profile at at http://www.myspace.com/liljonworld.

For all Caribbean media inquiries regarding Lil Jon, including
details on the casting call and video shoot in Trinidad, please contact
RHONA FOX, INC. at 1-212-300-3813 or e-mail: media@rhonafox.com.


LIL JON TV
Lil Jon Video


Lil Jon performs “Floor On Fire” with Machel Montano at the
WASA Fete in Trinidad, on January 31, 2009.

Lil Jon - Floor On Fire

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Jamaica’s Ban on ‘daggering songs’

The Broadcasting Commission has banned all radio, television and cable services from airing songs or videos which it deems explicitly sexual and violent.

According to the Commission, these songs are in violation of sections of the Television and Sound Broadcasting Regulations.

It also says there should be no transmission through radio, television or cable services, of any audio recording, song or music video, which employs editing techniques of ‘bleeping‘ or ‘beeping’ of its original lyrical content.

The Commission says it has examined a number of songs, popularly referred to as ‘daggering songs’. It says ‘daggering’ is a colloquial term or phrase used in the dancehall culture as a reference to hard core sex, or the activities of persons engaged in the public simulation of various sexual acts and positions. The country’s electronic media watch dog group says programme managers, station owners and operators must immediately stop airing any recording of these ‘daggering’ songs.

The Commission has been lobbying the Government for changes to be made to the law governing broadcasting and a report is to be tabled in Parliament soon.

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