In this week's Scene
, Dan LeRoy
interviews Ziggy Marley, the onetime Melody Maker and son of reggae icon Bob Marley. The two discuss Marley's famous family and the innovative record deal for his inspired new album, Love Is My Religion
Following is an excerpt from LeRoy's conversation with Marley that does not appear in the print edition:
Discerning what effect Marley's new religion has had on the faith he grew up in is tricky. He is careful to differentiate Rastafari -- which developed in Jamaica around the belief that the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I was God incarnate -- from major religions like Christianity and Islam. He insists, in fact, that Rastafari "was never a religion. It was always open to people -- they choose it. It was never this kind of prison. That was the beauty, the freedom of it." And for those reasons, it's clear that he hasn't abandoned Rastafari either.
But does he believe Rastas, too, have sometimes "hijacked God" for their own purposes -- as he argues certain Christians and Muslims have done? Some Rastas, he acknowledges, might disagree with the concept of Rastafari being about love, first and foremost. "But the concept of love," Marley adds, "is undeniable."