Words by Billy Ocean
Really and truly I must say it’s got to be because of Bob Marley that I’m Rasta now. Although Rasta wasn’t something that was intentional, it just happened because I used to Jeri curl my hair and then one day I just stopped and it went locks. But Bob Marley’s influence was clearly in there.
For me Bob Marley was very instrumental in a lot of my acceptance of certain things—acceptance of the understanding of who His Imperial Majesty is. Bob Marley for me, he came like John the Baptist, before Jesus Christ. John the Baptist came to warn us of the coming of the Lord, basically of who Jesus Christ was. To me Bob Marley, it was pretty much the same way, that he sort of told us about somebody who we never even understand or recognized or even thought about—His Imperial Majesty. Maybe some of the other generations don’t know that, but us in my time our generation, we never knew who this person was. I mean don’t forget that we came from Colonial places where the King and Queen of England, and King George and Sir Walter Raleigh were the people that figured in our life. That’s why as far as historical culture was concerned we should be looking at people like His Imperial Majesty, who as it appears to us, is more beneficial than the colonial masters.
“For me, his contribution to my understanding of life is limitless.”
Bob Marley came along, he spread the message, he did what he had to do, and left. To me, he has to be honestly one of the most important men of any culture that walked this earth. Because his understanding of life and the message he was trying to get across, a lot of people regard it as something racial, it was not racial, if you really look and understand, he was for everybody. You know, you can’t say that the world at present, regardless of color, is a lovely place. The world is lovely, but the things we do in it, the rules and the concept of life and the whole total confusion, is not really what it’s meant to be. So when somebody like Bob Marley comes along and really puts in to words, thoughts of millions of people in the world, that’s basically to me what he did—he sort of projected the thoughts of millions of people around the world. That generations after generations are living in the same conditions, black and white and green and pink, all over the world. So for me, his contribution to my understanding of life is limitless. I still listen to his records and music and still get inspiration from it.