Out in the street, they call it merther*
Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley is bringing his unique blend of reggae, dub, dance hall, and hip hop to a sold-out O2 Ritz later this month, promising to be one of the unmissable city centre gigs of the summer.
The singer is set to entertain his adoring fan base when he takes to the stage Thursday, June 28 in Manchester.
Marley’s 2017 release, Stony Hill, took the Grammy for best Reggae Album in January this year, a full decade after Welcome to Jamrock catapulted him into stardom.
That album made Marley the first and only Jamaican artist to win two Grammy Awards on the same night, as he snapped up both Best Reggae Album and Best Urban/Alternative Performance.
His sound has drawn endless praise from critics and fans alike, giving Marley a richly deserved reputation and respect entirely of his own – and that’s no mean feat given that the reputation of his father, Bob Marley, will forever eclipse the reputation of all others in the genre in the mind of the masses.
Damian recently told the Press Association of his admiration for Kendrick Lamar, saying: “I appreciate that he will be a leader of a new school of hip-hop.”
But he was more sceptical about Kanye West, revealing: “Some of his sounds in the past, I was a fan. But he’s not someone I put importance on in terms of following up on what he says.”
In addition to his glittering solo career, Marley has also collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, from Nas to Mick Jagger to Jay-Z.
With a whole new album confirmed to be in the making with Jay-Z, this UK tour will be the opportunity to see one of our generation’s musical greats at the peak of his creative prowess.
*Yes, that’s right, the line sampled in the chorus of Welcome to Jamrock is: “Out in the street they call it merther,” not ‘murder’. The sample is from Ini Kamoze’s 1984 track, World a Music. ‘Merther’, according to the hard-working etymologists at Urban Dictionary, “denotes the sensations produced by smoking marijuana while listening to dub reggae.”
*Image courtesy of Damian Marley’s YouTube channel, with thanks.