The purist passion in music that connects me to the most positive vibes of life is for certain reggae. Without any hesitation for that matter. If I am in a funk or any sort of emotion other than an upbeat connection,  I lean in the direction of Caribbean beats. Bob Marley is synonymous with reggae.  When anyone talks or is in thought of reggae they more so than often think of Marley. Make no mistake Bob’s lyrics were not meant to be bright and cheery. They were often about the trials and tribulations of growing up and living in Kingston,  Jamaica.

However,  the nature of reggae beat could give you a disconnect of the lyrical aspect and make you focus on the up tempo side of it all. Bob had many hits along with many songs that casual followers would know but to listen to Bob is to receive an education in many aspects of life. You can hear pain, distress, sorrow, celebration, love, unity and reality. You can feel it in every emotional sense. It truly encompasses everything. For me to suggest a singular song of his and claim it as the most premiere would be strictly opinion based and it would fall short of correct. However to listen to “Redemption Song” is to listen to the most prolific reggae song ever written. It plays that emotional instrument inside all of us. It is the most beautiful yet saddest songs that I could ever listen to and be entirely captured by.

If you have the opportunity I suggest reading a Marley book or catching a documentary, like the one posted in this article. It certainly sheds light on a man that meant so much not only to the music industry but to the industry of ultimate humanity. Robert Nesta Marley’s legend reigns supreme years after his death. Now in life many of his children have carried that torch that was passed to them. It’s difficult to fathom that he passed on May 11th 1981, but much of his music remains a mainstay in the industry. He is an icon to many and a legend to all. He has so many quotes that have been used in society and celebrated by people of humanity all over. I recommend reading “Catch a Fire” and absorbing any other book, articles, programs, and documentary that could be enjoyed in the present day. Listen and learn about him. Explore all the avenues that take you on the journey of Jamaica’s favorite son.

Here is his last concert.

I would now like to take this opportunity to shift my thoughts over to  Steppin’ Razor Mr. Peter Tosh. Peter in his own right was an incredible artist to say the least. Bob and Peter were the 2 most key components of the reggae movement. At the very least they prompted rock steady, dub-step, and reggae to hit the mainstream hard. Peter was initially part of the Wailers. He was often overshadowed by Bob and appeared to be more of a backing vocalist rather than an equal part of The Wailers.

In 1976,  Peter released “Legalize it”. His solo career would  flourish but not without trials and tribulations. He had a different approach than Bob did. He often spoke and sang of harsh injustice. To rise up and fight the powers that held so many Jamaicans down. Bob’s philosophy was centered in peace. He too knew of the lack of justice but he used peace to springboard the movement. Often Bob would reach for others whereas Peter would turn away or use sharp wit to get his point across. Bottom line is that both men had a purpose that far exceeded music. Peter was far too often victim of random beatings of the police and criticism of the Jamaican parliament.

In 1987,  Peter released “No Nuclear War”. It had won a Grammy. Peter was on his way. All of the hard work and countless hours in the studio along with non-stop concerts. Concerts that often resulted in Peter receiving less than desirable results from Jamaica’s upper echelon. Never the less,  Peter strived and released countless music from 1976 to his final days in 1987. Unfortunately Peter’s life too had been extinguished way too early. He was a victim of a home invasion of 3 individuals that wanted money which he claimed he didn’t have. This resulted in endless torture. The main person attempted to extort him and used violent tactics to forge ahead. According to reports Peter for the first time in his life was scared. He knew death was starring him in the face. The irony in this situation is that Peter befriended this individual. He had hoped to improve his life with assistance and support.

For myself,  Bob and Peter have taught me a great deal musically. As a human it has  created a quest for rights. Currently I am listening to Marley and Tosh on a shuffle play thanks to Spotify. It has that grip onto my emotions. Thought provoking to say the least. I have been given the opportunity to spend a total of 6 weeks in Jamaica. I often refer to it as a privilege. I have fostered amazing relationships coupled with great dialogue. I often think of Jamaicans as the most practical yet incredibly life oriented citizens. If you dig deep with the culture you can feel for the greater part that they love and accept all. In that sense,  Tuff Gong and Steppin’ Razor  would absolutely be proud. Irie!

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About The Author

Richie J. Kretschmer
Collaborator - RREVERB
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Richie (Richard) has resided in Canarsie situated in the borough of Brooklyn followed by the trendy rural area of The beautiful Catskill mountains for close to 40 years. His undying love and dedication of NYC and Montréal Quebec is unparalleled. His passion for music are eclectic genres from rock to hip-hop to reggae to dance to funk to new-wave to pop to ska and onto Motown to name just a few. He is an avid traveler and absorbs the cultural sense of people and their heritage. He absolutely values his family and friends. Richie is a father to an incredible 16 year old daughter Bailey Rose and a has wonderful girlfriend Christina (Christi) who also shares his passion of music, culture, and travel.