I was in Jamaica a few weeks ago and got to know a couple of locals pretty well, enough so to call them my friends. One of them was kind enough to share his mixed CD with me, a collaboration of both local and big reggae artists straight out of Jamrock – the first track being one of none other than Jr. Gong himself, Damian Marley.
This is not you typical slow-moving reggae jam you might be used to. In his 2012 release titled “Affairs of the Heart,” not only do we hear about a softer side of the self-proclaimed “Gong Zilla,” but we get a better taste of his genius as he gets reggae and R&B to flirt with one another.
The track starts with a sharp, high-pitched melody before the hard-hitting based swings in, but it’s not until the second verse when Marley imposes his token, Jamrock-rhyme into the rhythm. And to prove how good it is, the track was just dubbed Song of the Year, 2012 by the Jamaica Star.
While he professes love for someone we may never know, Marley also sheds light on the superficialities of relationships, as we so often see:
“There’s people just like you and me
We pass them in the traffic
That never fall in love and so me have it say me lucky
‘nuff a dem nuh fortunate enough to have somebody
Some just cannot see beyond the flesh and its so funny
Never get too caught up in yourself to feel the magic
True love come and pass you by in life that is so tragic
Opportunity is scarce so take it while you have it
Nuh wait ‘til you a panic.”
Listen to his advice, you might learn something. Yeah mon, irie.