According to an 18 Karat Reggae poll, almost 90% of Reggae fans thought that Chronixx with his album Chronology should have won the 2018 Grammy award for best reggae album. Instead the Grammy went to Damian “Junior Gong” Marley for his album Stony Hill.
Needless to say, a lot of reggae fans are not too happy about the award going to Junior Gong. This has caused others to ask the question, why is there a resentment against Junior Gong.
The truth is there is actually no resentment against Damian Marley. A lot of people are just tired and fed up of the constant white washing and destruction of great Black accomplishments that is happening right before their eyes. The fact that Damian has released only 4 studio albums and won 3 best album Grammy awards while an artist like Sizzla with numerous classic albums has never won a Grammy, is a travesty.
Giving the Marleys undeserved credit and award is nothing new, it actually stated with the father. How and why did Bob Marley become the face of Rasta?
When Rasta was already rooted and grounded and had already been through many tribulations fighting against the Babylon system, Bob Marley was just an aspiring R&B singer. In fact, when the emperor of Ethiopia, H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie, visited Jamaica on April 21, 1966, Bob Marley was a bald head living in Wilmington, Delaware in the United States.
It was after his return from the United States to Jamaica that Bob converted to Rasta. It is alleged that Bob denied Rasta before his death, the same way Peter denied Jesus Christ. Yet, even today, Bob remains the face of Rasta.
So Marcus Garvey and Leonard Howell, who are the founders of Rasta, are not the face of Rasta but a man, who supposedly switched back to Christianity before his death, is the face? Why is that? It is because of the same reason why even though we know Jesus Christ is not white, he is depicted as white on pictures that are posted in many living rooms across the world. For Jesus Christ to be widely accepted, even by Blacks, he had to be white. It is no different in Reggae and with Rasta. Chris Blackwell, the man main responsible for Bob Marley’s meteoric rise, believed that in order to gain maximum exposure for reggae, he needed a white face. Because there were not many whites in reggae at that time, a half white one would have to suffice and sadly the madness continues even today.
So it is not Damian Marley or any of the Marley’s that people are showing resentment to. The resentment is toward a system that is hell bent on stifling and suppressing Black accomplishments. Unfortunately, the Marleys, starting with Bob have been one of the favorite tools used by the system.