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Rohan Marley Says Lauryn Hill Is The Female Version Of His Father Bob Marley

February 26th, 2024

Athlete-turned-businessman Rohan Marley is likening his father, late reggae icon Bob Marley, to his ex-partner Ms. Lauryn Hill.

The comparison came as he commended the Doo Wop (That Thing) hitmaker for being an instrumental figure in their son YG Marley’s successful music debut.

“Commend Ms. Lauryn Hill…” he said in the latest episode of Drink Champs.

“Obviously, it’s my son, but she’s his mother and you know what her craft is… It’s one of the reasons why when I was young, I always made it my point to never interfere with Ms. Hill’s music. I take a backseat to her music because she’s super great…”

He later added, “It’s so beautiful to see her create her art and teach Joshua (YG Marley) the way, and bring Joshua on stage to open for her…to give him away and give him a spotlight, and that has guided him and helped him to orchestrate his music. She’s the G, a real G… She’s like, topnotch. Let’s take a shot for Ms. Lauryn Hill.” 

Artists Lauryn Hill (left) and Bob Marley

The pair met in the 1990s and went on to have five children together in a “spiritual marriage.” Their on-and-off relationship ended in 2011.

When asked about the pressure YG Marley faces in excelling because of his musical lineage, Rohan said the foundation has already been set to alleviate such angst. 

“He don’t have no pressure,” the Marley Coffee founder said. “His mother paved the way, I did what I had to do, his father-grandfather legacy – he ain’t got no pressure. Can’t you see how cool he is? But it ain’t because of that. It’s because of his own life, his own experiences… Remember Lauryn Hill is his mother. Listen to all the stuff in the media about your mother, whatever they say about your father, but listen to how they try to hurt your mother because she don’t confine to the system, and listening to that and going to school and you still have to be the lion that you are.”

As his praise for L. Boogie continued, Rohan recalled Chuck D (of Public Enemy) declaring Ms. Hill the modern-day Bob Marley following the release of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album in 1998. 

“I remember when Chuck D said Lauryn is like the female Bob Marley – he’s right about that,” he said. “He’s truly right because she’s really that person and when you talk about someone that stands on principle, like I said, at some point in life, you gotta own yourself…”

Ms. Hill collaborated with Marley on the posthumous hit Turn Your Lights Down Low in 1999, and has paid tribute to him on many stages.

Marley launched his music career in the rocksteady era of the 1960s with The Wailers, a group with childhood friends Neville Livingstone (Bunny Wailer) and Peter McIntosh (Peter Tosh). He soon converted to Rastafari, a religious movement that coincided with the shift to reggae, a slower, one-drop sonic that narrated the realities of the oppressed through Nyabinghi drumming. It is through this new genre that Marley expressed his Rastafarian beliefs of equality and love, and denounced the repressive culture of the Western system (“Babylon”) on albums like Natty Dread, his solo debut with his backing group The I-Threes.

Marley’s chant for a corrupt-free society prevails on classics like Redemption Song, Get Up, Stand Up and War. His most commercially successful album is Legend (1984), the best-selling reggae album of all time, with an estimated 33 million copies sold worldwide. It peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, making it Marley’s highest-charting album in The States. Overall, he’s sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making him one of music history’s best-selling acts. 

His mission was often threatened, from a failed assassination attempt in 1976 to his London ban two years later. He died in 1981 from a rare form of skin cancer, and a portion of his life story is chronicled in the new One Love film.

Bob Marley in 1973 PHOTO: FIFTY-SIX HOPE ROAD MUSIC LTD.

Ms. Hill also got her big break in a group, The Fugees, alongside Pras Michel and Haitian immigrant Wyclef Jean. Together, they, too advocated for equality, peace and unity across hip hop tracks like Fu-Gee-La and Nappy Heads, but were also sharp-witted intellects who could dance rap circles around the toughest MCs with songs like Zealots and How Many Mics.

Ms. Hill’s journey as a soloist began when the group disbanded in 1997, paving the way for her monumental debut and last album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Partly recorded at Marley’s Tuff Gong Studio, the project is a diary of her lessons in love and relationships, but also continues her role as a voice for matters affecting vulnerable communities. 

The album has sold over 20 million copies globally, making it the highest-selling album by a female rapper and the best-selling neo-soul album of all time. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and copped five Grammys including Album of the Year, the first for a rap artist.

Following the feat, Ms. Hill took a sabbatical, becoming a recluse to fame and celebrity. Her public appearances decreased until 2010 when she resumed live performances, even reuniting with The Fugees.

As was his father’s case, Rohan says efforts were made to thwart the Ex-Factor singer’s career. 

Singer Lauryn Hill

“They tried to destroy Ms. Hill’s work and legacy because she didn’t want to do another ‘Miseducation’ the way they wanted her to do it,” he said. “She wanted to make music as her evolution… You know she ain’t gonna bow to that, so she’s a real queen in that industry…”

Over the years, negative publicity about Ms. Hill has surrounded her love life, a tax evasion conviction and her habitual lateness to concerts. Rohan defended the latter by chalking it up to the cost of her enlightenment journey. 

“Sometimes you go through stages and then it so happens that you still have to do this (perform), but you’re still going through your own mind and solidifying your consciousness in regards to walking this way that you see as your way, and no one believes in your way because it’s not your way, so you have to kinda own your way, and it’s new to you because it’s a vision that you have for yourself…

“Then again. you’re in your mind and then you gotta perform, so sometimes there’s a delay because of all the accolades, all the attributes that go along with that. The attire…the timing. Maybe you get up at 1, but you gotta be on stage at 8, but you take five hours to do this. She knows, timing wise.”

Watch Rohan Marley’s full Drink Champs sit-down below.

This content was originally sourced and posted at DancehallMag »
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