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Republik Festival Brings International Reggae Acts

By Vanessa Wolf

Top row from L to R is Julian Marley, Black-Am-I, Wayne Marshall and Christopher Ellis. Front row from L to R is Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Stephen "Ragga" Marley and Jo Mersa.

Top row from L to R is Julian Marley, Black-Am-I, Wayne Marshall and Christopher Ellis. Front row from L to R is Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Stephen “Ragga” Marley and Jo Mersa.

This Friday, “BAMP” presents the Republik Music Festival Jamrock Edition.

This is the third year of the festival and features artists from the Ghetto Youths International label along with Santigold.

Ghetto Youths International is the family-owned record label incorporated in 2002 by Bob Marley’s sons Julian, Stephen and Damian.

Ghetto Youths Crew members Wayne Marshall, Jo Mersa, Black-Am-I and Christopher Ellis – along with Damian “Jr Gong” Marley – will be kicking off a two-week ‘Set Up Shop Tour’ beginning this Friday, June 14 on Maui.

Damian Robert Nesta “Junior Gong” Marley also known more recently as “Gong Zilla” is the youngest son of Bob Marley (a father 10 times over).

The self-proclaimed spiritual revolutionary is also a three-time Grammy Award-winning reggae artist known for experimenting with such styles as reggae-dubstep.

His hit single “Welcome to Jamrock” was listed as one of the Top 100 Songs of the Decade by Rolling Stone, and at the 2006 Grammy Awards, he won Best Reggae Album and Best Urban/Alternative Performance.

Damien Marley. We're sure he didn't inhale.

Damien Marley. We’re sure he didn’t inhale.

In a “you cannot make that kind of thing up” twist, Wikipedia reports that “after seeing the movie Damien: Omen II, which is about the coming of the Antichrist, one of Bob’s last requests in Germany was to have Damian’s name changed. ‘Damien being a devil… It was inappropriate for him as a Rastafarian to have a child with that name,’ Bob said and Damian’s name was later changed” although it is not clear as to what.

At any rate, Santigold is Santi White, an artist who apparently “summons pop culture zombies back to life.” Wow!

The Set Up Shop Tour will support the recent compilation album Ghetto Youths International Presents Set Up Shop Vol. 1, which was released in February on the Ghetto Youths imprint.

The 14-track compilation features Ghetto Youths International artists such as Jo Mersa, Wayne Marshall, Black-Am-I, Christopher Ellis, Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Julian Marley, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and many more.

The album peaked at #1 on the US Billboard Reggae Album chart and the US and Japan iTunes Reggae Album chart.

After debuting here on Friday, the show will continue on to Honolulu, Kauai, California and Las Vegas and almost all California dates are already sold out.

The Republik Music Festival will be held this Friday in the Yokouchi Pavilion A&B Amphitheater at the MACC. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the all-ages show starts at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $42.50 for general admission and $90 for VIP with a $5 increase on the day of the show.

Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (@mauinow.com)

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