Friday, December 11th, 2015

Global branding of a Rasta

Narada Desk | December 11, 2015 8:34 am Print

bob_marley_by_jsaurer“Money doesn’t matter. Only music matters. When people think first about money and then about the music the music won’t be worth the money they were thinking about. You find that most people when they get money, they get withdrawn and foolish. Money is not my richness. My richness is to live and to walk on the earth barefoot”-Bob Marley

More than two decades after his death, the Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley is more popular now than at any point during his life time. The dreadlocked rasta is one of the world’s most recognizable icons, and his name and images are used to market a broad range of products from footwear and fashion industries

On November18,2014  Privateer Holdings announced the creation of Marley Natural, the world’s first global cannabis brand. Privateer Holdings is the world’s first private equity firm investing exclusively in the legal cannabis industry. The family of reggae legend have teamed up with Washington-based investors to raise more than $50 million for the launch of Marley Natural.

Marley is one of the top earning dead celebrities. Marley was ranked fifth by the Forbes magazine in their listing of “Top-Earning Dead Celebrities-2014”.He is on the list with $ 20 million annual earnings, behind Michael Jackson (ranked first at $140 million),Elvis Presley(ranked second at $55 million),but ahead of John Lennon (ranked seventh at $12 million)Untitled Infographic

Marley lead a Babylonian way of life. He died without leaving a will, because of extensive litigation over ownership of his recordings, publishing etc the commercial exploitation of his image and music did not begin in earnest until the 90s,when the Bob Marley foundation was incorporated and filed trademark registration for his name and picture.

The “branding” of Bob Marley has involved considerable refashioning of Bob’s image            (easy, now that he is not around to complain). The social revolutionary who once sang that he felt like bombing a church (“Talking Blues”), and advocated the “total destruction” of western capitalism (“Real Situation”), has been replaced by the natural mystic singing sweet love songs (“Three Little Birds”) and making energetic party music (“Jammin’”).

Rastas are commonly against drug use. They will not use cocaine or heroin,they also frequently avoid alcohol and even tobacco. These substances are seen as poisons that affect the body that Jah(God) gave them. They see Ganja as a gateway to understanding. It opens up the mind and helps to realize the connection between oneself and Jah. It’s a meditative tool. But now Marley is marketed as ambassador of drug. He is portrayed by our media as a man whom our children should be afraid off. There is also discussion to ban Marley and his symbols. If we fail to realise Marley and his Idea probably we will lose  him.Beware!

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