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Bob Marley's Weapon - Essay Example

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Robert Bob Nesta Marley (1945 -1981), one of the most important spokesmen of the Jamaican people, is considered to be the single most influential musician of the last century. His musical and political concerns won him world recognition and these were the results of his strong determination to do great deeds for the world he lived in…
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Bob Marley's Weapon Robert Bob Nesta Marley (1945 -1981), one of the most important spokesmen of the Jamaican people, is considered to be the single most influential musician of the last century. His musical and political concerns won him world recognition and these were the results of his strong determination to do great deeds for the world he lived in. Marley attained the strength for his momentous deeds from the influence of his music and it is the single influence on him to move forward in the great path he had chosen for him. According to Rita Anderson, music was his only weapon and he often regarded his guitar to be his true weapon. Miller provides a very apt interpretation of this real 'weapon' of Marley which also indicates his political and revolutionary concerns. "Bob Marley often used to say, 'My guitar is my weapon.' What he meant, of course, was that he could make more of a statement about the futility of oppression and violence with his revolutionary reggae music than he ever could by fighting or organizing physical uprisings." (Miller) Through the strength of his music, Marley was able to influence the political and cultural transformation of his land and he was aware from his childhood that race was culture.
The great political and revolutionary concerns of the musician were enlarged by the power of his music and through the medium of his guitar he achieved international acclaim for the same concerns. The most influencing elements in the musical and political ideologies of this renowned musician were race and culture. Race and culture, which were part of his life from the early childhood, taught him the ways of music as well as politics and Grant Farred rightly comments on the nature of his music and politics: "Race and culture were lived indistinguishably in the yards of Trenchtown, where Marley learned about music, history, politics, and religion Dreadlocked and speaking unapologetically in a uniquely black Jamaican patois, Bob Marley introduced the world to reggae, a completely new brand of music." (Farred, 215) His racial and cultural background provided the exact framework for the development of his musical and political concerns and he never, in his political and ideological fight, sought a stronger weapon than the power of his music and guitar. He was able to create the thunderous applause through the music he and his brand produced, and this gave him the exact tool for his political fight.
It is an indubitable fact that Bob Marley's true weapon has been his music and, in particular, his guitar. This is a verity that has been emphasized by critics over a period of time and the documentary "The Bob Marley Story: Caribbean Nights" exactly summarizes and illustrates this claim. It is a work worth watching just for the beauty and strength of this music alone, and this illustrates how music turned out to be his chief weapon. However, it has greater relevance as the documentary incorporates comments and observations by people who realized him in close contact. Their remarks prove to be the most useful amplification of the true worthiness of his music, and the comments by Rita Marley suggest what determined his political concerns. According to her, music was his weapon or M 16 and the guitar provided him the right tool for his revolution. In conclusion, the international community has already recognized this powerful weapon by Marley, and he is truly the spokesman of Jamaica.
Works Cited
Farred, Grant. What's My Name Black Vernacular Intellectuals. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. 2003. P 215.
Miller, Doug. Concert Series: 'Trenchtown Rock'. BobMarley.com. July 12, 2007. 14 Nov. 2008. Read More
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