By Michael Asiffo
Reggae superstar Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley has finally released the tidal exclusive documentary Stony Hill to Addis to the world on YouTube.
The documentary, produced by B+, follows the artist’s very first tour in Africa following the release of his comeback album Stony Hill. The documentary filming dates all the way back to the summer of 2017 and shows the culture in the rural and metropolitan centres of Africa. In addition to that, Marley uses the documentary to share his personal experiences in Africa, stressing the importance of coming to the continent once again and explaining the influence Africa has had on his music. In an interview with OkayAfrica, Marley explained “Africa plays a big part in my life and my upbringing in Jamaica, in reggae music and as a Rasta"
© Damian Marley / YouTube
Marley is known for his reclamation projects pertaining to Africa, notably his 2010 Distant Relatives joint album with hip-hop legend and multiple music award winner Nas . However, for Jr. Gong, this album and documentary represents a lot of firsts in his long and storied career. This is his first solo album in over 11 years, and his first time touring many African nations at once. Marley explained his reasoning for having a documentary highlighting the African tour in an interview.
“Most of the time when we go to Africa, we go to one country or two. And I kept on saying, 'Well, why can't we tour Africa the way that we tour Europe?' So, it really took a while for us to be able to get a string of dates together that worked out, you know?”
The love that Marley has given to Africa has arguably been received back in 10 fold by many Africans in the region. The documentary shares the love that many Africans have for the artist despite the differences in culture, nation, and tribe.
As Reggaeville explains, “Dinka Basuki of Kenya notes that although there is a lot of conflict between the many tribes, everyone will put their differences aside and dance to Damian’s music.”
By proxy, Marley was welcomed to see a lot of sights during the filming of the documentary. Perhaps none of those sights was more sentimental than his Father’s statue located in Ethiopia.
The documentary itself has been released to tidal users since July. However, it is now being released on YouTube for all to see Marley’s Journey. Despite the Marleys being Jamaican Royalty, the family is also held in high regard throughout the world.Check out the documentary here.