It is a pity that the biggest success Bob Marley got happened after he died. Legend, a best of compilation album, was published in 1984, three years after its namesake died of cancer. I think the cover is known to almost everyone reading this. So I’m not going to write about this.
Bob Marley was the most famous rastafari ever. But what is rastafari? According to scholars of religion, it is a new religious movement, according to its adepts it is a way of life, or a spiritual guide. It has a lot of resemblance with Judeo-Christian religion, including its adherence to one central god. It recognises the bible, but says the scripture has been changed and one has to look deeper to find its true meaning.
Rastafari developed in the 1930s in Jamaica, in an attempt to find African roots. It sees the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie (1930-1974) as the second coming of Christ, and derives its name from him: Ras Tafari Makonnen. Ras is a noble title in Ethiopian: a duke or a prince. Tafari Makonnen is the name of Haile Selassie before he became emperor.
Rasta can also be viewed as a political movement, fighting for pan-Africanism. And that is something that found its way in the lyrics of Bob Marley.