This is a name which needs very little introduction. Damien Marley is the three time Grammy, MOBO and Vibe award winning prodigal son of the ultimate musical father, Bob Marley. Marley’s life has always possessed such a rich vein of musical talent thanks to his accomplished and proficient heritage. The young Marley, also known as Jr Gong, was born in Kingston Jamaica back in 1978. He was born in a time where his father was beginning to reach all corners of the earth; however, it was only the connections on his mother island of Jamaica that were needed for his musical success. Damian, along with an array of children from other star-studded reggae artists, started his own musical group called the Shepherds at the tender age of thirteen. It was from this that his individual talent was spotted and inevitably flourished. Jr Gong went on to become the most successful and decorated Marley child of the bunch, releasing an impressive four solo studio albums and collaborating on a further five. Marley’s success peaked back in 2005 when he released his third album ‘Welcome To Jamrock’; the album single handedly won two Grammys and earned a level of recognition like no other as the album went on to be described as arguably the best reggae album of the twenty first century.
Now fans of Damian Marley will agree that his style of reggae stands out from most. Some would even say that there is no way that it could even be considered as reggae. The album has been described as Marley’s way of “Unleashing a towering, bulletproof torrent of abuse at the inequalities of his home country of Jamaica” and, through his lyrical aggression, it is clear to see. The album, like Jr Gong’s style, is renowned for its thundering bass lines and fiery lyricism. ‘The Master Has Come Back’ is one of the finer examples. Sampling Bunny Wailer’s 1976 hit ‘Bide Up’, the explosive and powerful party anthem delivers on every level. The song has it all. Enchanting bass lines meet sweet reggae melodies; whilst hardcore lyricism is met with triumphant vocals. This mighty single was written by Damian himself whilst it was produced by his also multi talented brother, Stephen. The song peaked at a not-so-impressive #74 in the UK charts but who needs charts when you’ve got ears, even the dullest people cant help but recognise Jr Gong as the legend he is.
With the sun creeping back out, it’s no wonder that albums like this are starting to reappear. ‘The Master Has Come Back’ carries a perfect blend of hip-hop and reggae that infuses like no other. The combination of hard kicks and feel-good sprinkles cements Damian Marley position as the ultimate prodigal son.
Listen & enjoy here –