As the world prepares to mark the 73rd anniversary of Bob Marley’s birth tomorrow, many persons can’t help but wonder what the Gong would be singing about today, had his life not been cut short by cancer 37 years ago. Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, Bob’s last-born son and recipient of the 2018 Best Reggae Album Grammy Award, supposes his father would be incensed with the international immigration crisis.
In light of the tumultuous state of mass immigration issues, Jr Gong referred to one of his father’s iconic interviews in which he said to broadcaster Neville Willoughby, “Jah a earth rightful ruler and him nuh run no wire fence.”
“I believe he was referring to man-made borders. He thought people must be free to travel. He wouldn’t be supportive of having any form of immigration in the first place,” the young Marley said.
Dub music pioneer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry believes the immigration crisis was inevitable. “All of the thing would have to happen, because it was programmed … by His Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie, the black magic king, and Marcus Garvey , the lion, the jungle king. It should happen. It is happening now because the time has come. The African has come and the Chinese must go and the Japanese has come … and the Chinese shall bend,” Perry said.
Jr Gong believes the Gong would perhaps be pleased with the decriminalisation/legalisation of cannabis. “[My father] would like the herb – I think he would share some of the same concerns I have, but I can’t speak on behalf of him. I’m only speculating, but I think he would be proud of marijuana,” Jr Gong told The Gleaner.
Jr Gong has already invested in the cannabis industry, having recently opened a medicinal cannabis farm in California and opening dispensaries in Colorado. “I’m proud to be at the front of it. It’s on it’s way there. I wish I was able to do the same thing in Jamaica. It wasn’t smart of us to be behind the race, as one of the cultural leaders in marijuana,” he said.
The Duppy Conqueror producer Perry agrees with Jr Gong and his opinion on Bob’s presumed positive reaction to cannabis culture. “I think Bob would say ‘my dream come true and I’m enjoying it and having a good time – and thanks to Jah Rastafari’. And Bob would say, ‘Thanks to Scratch, the Upsetter, who keep me flying in the air forever ever ever,'” Scratch said.
While Jr Gong hopes his father would have remained in the studio or on stage in his older years, Scratch is convinced that it would have been so. “No, he wouldn’t retire. [Bob] can’t retire. He would not. Always be making music, making hits,” Scratch told The Gleaner.