Bob Marley

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Bob Marley Clemson University There are hundreds of thousands of people screaming for you on stage. The Prime Minister and leader of the opposition sit in the arena. Many thought this was a sight that would never be seen, but it was just the sight Bob Marley had in front of him at the One Love Peace Concert in Kingston Jamaica (April, 1978). This was his first appearance back in Jamaica in 14 years, an amazing show culminating with Bob joining the hands of opposing political figures onstage, and holding them firmly together. A hero and an icon while living, Bob Marley continues to influence people 25 years after his death (African Service News). His music and lyrics worked as the rhetoric of the Rastafarian movement against oppression, exploitation and racism in Jamaica. Using metaphors to describe the hardships of the political fights of Jamaicans and Africans Marley established himself as the spokesman of a race and culture. The Rastafari religion, the heart of Bob’s music, based itself in belief of ‘Jah,’ which was a metaphor for a god of goodness and love. Jah was the force fighting against the oppression from ‘Babylon,’ the destructive force. Metaphors of oppression and freedom, such as chains and birds, depict social problems and ways of liberation (Jensen). Many of Marley’s lyrics included these references and therefore fell into the latitude of acceptance, explained in Muzafer Sherif’s studies on Social Judgment Theory (Griffin), of his Rastafari listeners. When Marley spoke of things that were in the latitude of acceptance of his audience, his words impacted them listeners incredibly. “If you get down and quarrel everyday/You're saying prayers to the devil, I say/ Why not help one another on the way/ Make it much easier/ Jah love, Jah love, protect us” Positive Vibrations. Marley strived to increase awareness among the people of Jamaica, but his popularity didn’t end there. His music spread through the hearts of Europeans, Africans, and Americans. Lyrics and music work together to offer messages comprised of both theoretical and emotional content through the constructs of virtual experience (lyrics) and virtual time (music). Both virtual experience and virtual time must exist for music to function rhetorically (Sellnow). However it can sometimes work out otherwise. In fact, it was the bass heavy style of Bob Marley’s new age r... ... middle of paper ... ... when it hits you feel no pain. So hit me with music, hit me with music now, brutalize me with music” Bob Marley Feb. 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981 Bibliography Bob Marley Continues to Touch People's Hearts 20 Years After. (August 7, 2002) Africa News Service, p1008219u1157 Griffin, E. (2003). A first look at communication theory. 4th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw Hill. Hakanen, E.A., Wells, A., Ying, L.L.S., (1999). Music choice for emotional use and management by Hong Kong adolescents. Asian Journal of Communication. 9 (1), 72-85. King, Stephen, Jensen, Richard (1995). Bob Marley's "Redemption Song": the rhetoric of reggae and Rastafari. Journal of Popular Culture, v29 n3 p17(20) Napier, Kristine. (Nov-Dec 1997) Antidotes to pop culture poison. Policy Review, n86 p12(3) Sellnow, Deanna D. (1999). Music as persuasion: Refuting hegemonic Masculinity in "He Thinks He'll Keep Her". Women's Studies in Communication. 22 (1, Spring), 66-84. Sellnow, Deanna, and Sellnow, Timothy. (2001). The "illusion of life" rhetorical perspective: An integrated approach to the study of music as communication. Critical Studies in Media Communication. 18 (4, December), 395-415.

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