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May 19, 2014 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Stephen “Ragga” Marley – KXCI Presents!
Stephen “Ragga” Marley with Jo Mersa, Wayne Marshall
Few people were surprised when Stephen Marley’s long awaited debut solo album “Mind Control” (Tuff Gong/Ghetto Youths/Universal Republic) premiered at No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae Album chart in March 2007; after all, the singing, songwriting and production excellence Stephen had brought to other Marley family projects over the years, including younger brother Damian’s two Grammy Award winning albums, practically guaranteed “Mind Control” would be a remarkable effort. And indeed it is: “Mind Control” is that rare self-produced set featuring a cohesive range of diversified styles, each delivered with equal proficiency. Whether Stephen is the revolutionary roots rocker decrying mental slavery on the album’s title cut, an outraged prisoner protesting his jail term for marijuana possession on the bluesy “Iron Bars”, a forlorn romantic mourning a break-up on “You’re Gonna Leave” or an irresistible retro-dancehall toaster flaunting his mic skills on “The Traffic Jam”, each track on “Mind Control” reconfirms Stephen’s expansive capabilities as an affecting vocalist, a versatile lyricist and an accomplished instrumentalist while furthering his renown as an ingenious producer.
While Stephen has built a formidable reputation handily navigating between genres, his second (as of yet untitled) album, due for release in 2011, marks a return to roots reggae, because “that is just the way the songs came out of me,” he explained. “Having to tour and having been out there for the past three years, I have been writing a lot of new material and to me and to the people around me, this album is very strong, with some very strong political songs. I wasn’t as excited about “Mind Control” as I am about this album,” Stephen enthused. “We didn’t plan it, it just came together naturally and sometimes things just work out better that way.”