The decade-long wait for a new solo album from two-time Grammy winning artiste, Damian ‘Jr. Gong;’ Marley will soon be over as his fourth studio album, Stony Hill is set for release on October 28.
This marks Marley’s first solo release since 2006 when he dropped the critically acclaimed Welcome To Jamrock, which garnered him one of his two Best Reggae Album Grammy awards. The other was for his prior project, Half Way Tree in 2002, the album which first put Marley on the international map.
On Thursday, Marley released his first single off Stony Hill entitled, Nail Pon Cross an can exclusively be heard on Tidal. The cover of the song sees Marley nailed to a crucifix a la Jesus Christ, with the concept detailing unfair condemnation against people because of their flaws, beliefs or even the colour of their skin.
The video for Nail Pon Cross was shot in mid-July and will be released via Tidal on August 9; drawing inspiration from friend and collaborator Nas and his classic video, Hate Me Now which depicted a similar scenario. In an interview with Billboard Magazine, Marley insists he is not trying to re-enact Jesus’ crucifixion in the video as the idea behind the song takes on a wider meaning.
“We are not reenacting the crucifixion of Christ but showing the crucifixion of many,” he told the magazine. “Whether people like it or not, the most important thing is to raise conversations about the judgments made against people.”
“I haven’t seen Kanye’s Rolling Stone cover and Madonna’s energy and message is a whole lot different than mine; they thrive on controversy and I am not doing this to be controversial, this is to represent the judgments that people make so if someone has a problem with the video, that is exactly what the song is talking about,” he added.
Since the release of Welcome To Jamrock, Marley has done two collaborative albums, the highly acclaimed Distant Relatives in 2010 alongside Nas and Super Heavy the following year, an album recorded by a super group of the same name which featured Marley, Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart and A.R. Rahman. He has also released his Set Up Shop mixtape series and occasional hits such as the chart-topping Affairs of the Heart and Gunman World to keep his fans happy while also embarking on several production ventures.