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YG Marley: Rising Reggae Star
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13 days ago
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YG Marley, the grandson of reggae legend Bob Marley, has taken the music world by storm with his breakout hit "Praise Jah in the Moonlight." The son of rapper Lauryn Hill and football player Rohan Marley, YG's meteoric rise showcases his unique blend of reggae, hip-hop, and soul influences.

Early Life and Career

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Joshua Nesta "YG" Marley was born on December 5, 2001 in Beverly Hills, California to singer/rapper Lauryn Hill and football player Rohan Marley. He was raised in South Orange, New Jersey and often joined his mother on stage at her concerts during his childhood. In his teens, Marley began modeling and was featured in Teen Vogue alongside his sister Selah Marley. He started working on original music and told Billboard in 2020 that he had a project in the works featuring his mother.
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Viral Debut Single Success

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In late 2023, YG Marley began performing his original song "Praise Jah in the Moonlight" during his mother Lauryn Hill's concert tour commemorating the 25th anniversary of her iconic album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Video clips from these performances quickly went viral on social media platforms, particularly on TikTok. On December 27, 2023, Marley officially released "Praise Jah in the Moonlight" as his debut single. The song, which samples his grandfather Bob Marley's 1978 track "Crisis" and was co-written by YG and Lauryn Hill, rapidly became a streaming sensation. It reached number one on both the United States and Global Spotify Viral 50 charts. The popularity of "Praise Jah in the Moonlight" was further amplified by the release of the Bob Marley biopic One Love in February 2024, as well as viral TikTok videos featuring the song, including one by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's daughter North that garnered over 30 million views. Internet celebrity Leah Halton also posted a viral lip sync video to the song on TikTok that earned 650 million views and 45.1 million likes as of April 2024. In February 2024, "Praise Jah in the Moonlight" peaked at number one on the New Zealand charts and entered the top 10 in several other countries, including the UK and Norway. The song debuted at #74 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making YG Marley the sixth member of the Marley family to chart on the Hot 100, following in the footsteps of his legendary grandfather and other relatives. It eventually peaked at #34 on the Hot 100 in March 2024.
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"Praise Jah in the Moonlight"

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Global Chart Success

YG Marley's debut single "Praise Jah in the Moonlight" has achieved impressive chart success in various countries. Here is a brief overview of its peak positions:
Country/ChartPeak Position
UK Singles Chart#20
Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 (US)#8
Billboard Canadian Hot 100#55
Billboard New Zealand Songs#2
The song reached #20 on the Official UK Singles Chart, spending 3 weeks on the chart. In the United States, it debuted at #8 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart. "Praise Jah in the Moonlight" also climbed to #55 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 in its second week, a significant jump from its #95 position the previous week. Additionally, the track claimed the #2 spot on the Billboard New Zealand Songs chart. The song's growing popularity is evident from its over 18 million Spotify plays since its December 2023 release.
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Rumors of New Collaboration

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Recent hints from both YG Marley and his mother Lauryn Hill have fueled speculation about potential new music collaborations between the two. Following their performance on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" in May 2023, YG Marley cryptically confirmed to TMZ that "new music is on the way." When Lauryn Hill herself was asked about an upcoming album, she remained tight-lipped but offered a positive response regarding new music. If these rumors prove true, a collaboration album or new music from Lauryn Hill, who has not released a studio album since her groundbreaking 1998 debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, would be a monumental moment in hip-hop and reggae history. With YG Marley's rising star power and Hill's status as one of the most influential artists of her generation, their combined talents could usher in a new era of socially conscious, boundary-pushing music that carries on the activist spirit of their family's legacy. The prospect of new music from Lauryn Hill is particularly exciting given the enduring impact and acclaim of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which has been hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time and was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2021, making Hill the first female hip hop artist to achieve this milestone. By collaborating with her son YG Marley, who has already showcased his unique blend of reggae, hip-hop, and soul influences with his viral hit "Praise Jah in the Moonlight," Hill could introduce her music to a new generation while cementing her legacy as a pioneering force in the industry.
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Is YG Marley related to Bob Marley?

Yes, YG Marley is directly related to reggae legend Bob Marley. YG Marley is Bob Marley's grandson. YG's father, Rohan Marley, is one of Bob Marley's sons. So Bob Marley is YG's paternal grandfather.
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Influence of Bob Marley on YG's Music

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YG Marley's music is deeply influenced by the legacy of his grandfather, Bob Marley. His latest single, "Survival," samples Bob Marley and The Wailers' classic track "Ambush In The Night" from the album Survival, paying homage to the reggae icon's enduring message of resilience and empowerment. YG Marley's reverence for his grandfather's profound musical catalog fuels his artistic journey, as he continues to honor the timeless spirit of reggae while infusing it with contemporary flair.
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Upholding the Family's Activist Spirit

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YG Marley's music carries on the legacy of activism and social justice championed by his grandfather Bob Marley and mother Lauryn Hill. In his debut single "Praise Jah in the Moonlight," YG Marley urges listeners to choose the path of freedom, singing "Tell them not to sell it; it's worth more than gold, and guiltiness will catch up to them in the end," referencing the importance of resisting oppression. He also alludes to the financial component of exploitation, warning "They'll try to manipulate you through your pockets, now you're caught up in a funk with the optic, with the vision." By using his platform to spread messages of love, understanding, and opposition to injustice, YG Marley upholds the Marley family tradition of creating music that uplifts and empowers. His mother's non-profit "Refugee Project," dedicated to helping underprivileged youth, has undoubtedly influenced YG's socially conscious artistry as well. As he continues his promising career, YG Marley seems poised to have a positive impact by addressing important issues through his music, just as his activist forebears have done.
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