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A Look At The Real Bob Marley

By Marcus Samuelsson | April 23, 2012

Photo: Monosnaps

As many of you know, the long awaited documentary on the life of Bob Marley, Marley, premiered last Friday. It’s the first in-depth look into Bob’s life from his early days to his rise to international stardom, with actual interviews and stories from his family and others who were closest to him. Thanks to director Kevin MacDonald, Bob Marley’s fans get to encounter him in a way other than through speakers and headphones, for an insight to his life that no other filmmaker has done before.

What’s most admiring about this innovative man’s music was its ability to transcend every racial and economic barrier so that no matter your age, background, or lifestyle there’s some way you can relate to his lyrics and groove to them. Not only did he infuse his songs with messages of love, peace, and happiness but those messages were apparent to all who encountered him, meaning he truly lived by them as well.

What’s even most interesting about Bob Marley was his effortless style. When I think of my style icons, I think of Marvin Gaye and David Bowie too, but out of all of them it’s Bob that seemed the most effortless, exuding his distinct style without even trying. Whether it was his cool denim shirts (which remind me of my chef jackets) or his worn-in jewelry that you can’t determine whether he wore them every day or put on just before stepping on stage, everything about him evoked a sense of originality.

His music even seems effortless at times; most songs are just three chords and his lyrics, though insightful, seems to just flow naturally. What the documentary does point out is that while it may appear effortless, Marley spent most of his time working hard to perfect his music. Sometimes only sleeping four hours a night and spending countless hours in jam sessions and the studio, he worked very hard to produce excellence. Which goes to show that passion and hard work is definitely needed to produce greatness in the future.

The documentary, Marley, is available on demand, through iTunes, and even on Facebook. If you don’t get a chance to see it online, you can also catch it at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem next month for a whole week’s run. Meanwhile, check out the trailer below…

What’s your favorite Bob Marley song?

[vsw id="NOhDBe-pmUs" source="youtube" width="490" height="344" autoplay="no"]

Photo: Monosnaps 

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