If you noticed the distinctive odor of ganja smoke and burning illusions in the air this morning, that’s because today February 6th would have been Bob Marley‘s 68th birthday–or is his 68th earthstrong if you believe, as some do, that “Rasta cyaan dead.” In remembering the legacy of the honorable Nesta Robert Marley, O.M.–a legend in his own time and indisputably one of the most important popular musicians of the 20th century–LargeUp runs down the 10 best tributes and cover versions of the Tuff Gong that have been recorded over the years, or as they put it:
As we celebrate Bob Marley’s 68th birthday today, here’s a look at some of the best cover versions of Bob’s songs. Many have tried, and few have succeeded but here’s a few that stand above the fray.
The LargeUp crew also saw fit to include an honorebel mention for The Roots’ cover/posthumous collaboration with Bob, the “Burnin’ and Lootin'” from 1999’s Chant Down Babylon project. Raise a lighter–or molotov cocktail–as you stream it below and hit the link for full Toppa Top 10 list from The Fugees to Eric Clapton.
The 1999 tribute LP Chant Down Babylon wasn’t a covers album so much as a compilation of MCs (Rakim, Busta Rhymes, Krayzie Bone) and Neo-soul folks (Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill) rapping and singing along with Bob’s original masters. Among the participants was none other than the Roots, who contributed a version of “Burnin’ and Lootin.’” If nothing else, this track is notable for being the only Roots track that starts out with “Jah! Rastafari!”