Artist: Stephen Marley
Label: Tuff Gong
Reviewer: M. Patton. "General MP"
Stephen Marley’s debut album, “Mind Control” is quickly rising to the top of new releases of 2007. Bob would be proud of Stephen’s achievement of continuing the “Top Ranking” Marley tradition. Stephen has also been integral in the successes of his brothers music careers as well. Earning more Grammys than any other Marley, or reggae artist, totaling five in all. He has been well known in the reggae community has the humble, supporting brother that has produced many hit tunes for the Tuff Gong label.
The second son of Robert Nesta Marley, Stephen had his destiny laid out before him since when he was a youth playing on stage and recording with Ziggy, Sharon, and Cedella, as the “Melody Makers”. Jah had set his plan in motion, so that when brother Bob Marley left our physical world and ascended unto Zion, his message would live on through his sons and daughters. His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie I, Jah Rastafari lives and reigns. Jah works continue to manifest through Bob’s offspring.
“Mind Control” speaks to the times we livin’ in. Why do you think the U.S. is at War with Iraq? Why are we allowing politicians to cheat, lie and deceive the people they are elected to protect and care for. Babylon Mind Control, Media Mind Control, Devil Mind Control, it’s all the same. Judgement time is near mankind, look at all the signs, if you aren’t seeing it, than your mind is being corrupted by the system. “High tech slavery in these days, it’s Mind Control” “They Make it attractive to get man distracted”
Stephen continues this timeless message, the message is hope, good over evil, promoting his Rasta heritage, and One Love and Inity for the whole of mankind. The track titled “Chase Dem” channels the same message, same vibes and energy of his father’s songs about dem politricksters. “Chase dem, run dem politicians, when I see them I get cold” Stephen explains, “ it’s like me post a bill saying, “just say no to politics”
“The Traffic Jam” is one song that acknowledges Babylon’s ceaseless war on the hola ganja herb. A war which dem will forever lose. Fire pon dem corrupt pol-ice-man. Any man who war against the high grade sensi, war against Jah creation. “Police pull me over, talkin’ how him smell chron’, from mi look in a him face I know this boy had a plan”
The fourth track, “Iron Bars” tells a true story of Stephen and Julian’s short time spent in a Tallahassee, Florida prison, for marijuana possession. The song features his brother Julian, Mr. Cheeks, and Spragga Benz. Other tracks featuring guest artists include “Hey Baby” with deeply flowing, and consciously gifted Mos Def, and Inna di Red, with Ben Harper on slide guitar. The magic created in the studio is clearly felt through these collaborations. I love to see when musicians of other genres come together in one Inity, blessed love.
“Lonely avenue” a version of the Ray Charles classic, has a bluesy-roots sound, that speaks to the listener about the pain, and heartache of of love lost. Stephen’s suggestion on this matter is simply “stand in love, don’t fall in love” Another song with guest singers, “Let Her Dance” features Maya Azucena and Illestr8. “Fed Up” is another song for di lovers dem.
“Mind Control” also contains “The Traffic Jam” music video directed by Ras Kassa. I know I don’t need to tell you that this is an essential album for your collection. Good things come to those who wait. We have all been waiting for the day when Stephen Marley would put out such a solid collection of new music. Stephen Marley just kicked off his North American Tour earlier this week, tonight he is playing at the House of Blues, Hollywood, CA. For more information about the tour go to www.stephenmarleymusic.com
Give Thanks and Praise to the Creator,