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Rap Kids in the Biz – Damian Marley

Jr Gong

While Damian Marley may not be the son of a rapper, Bob Marley and his music are very influential and have had a tremendous impact on hip-hop culture as a singer and freedom fighter. Jr. Gong is his stage name and it’s a reference to the elder Marley’s nickname of “Tuff Gong” which is the name of his Jamaican record label as well. Bob Marley tragically passed away in 1981, when Damian was two.

The youngest veteran as he’s known, Jr. Gong has worked with everyone from Nas and Jay-Z to Swizz Beatz and B-Real of Cypress Hill. He is more of a dancehall DJ than a crooner, although he can carry a tune well.

He debuted in 1996 with Mr. Marley and really broke through almost a decade later with 2005’s Welcome to Jamrock. He did a joint collaboration album with Nas called Distant Relatives in 2010, which featured K’Naan and Stephen Marley as well.

While the grammy-winning Damian Marley has stayed true as a Jamaican DJ, his mingling with the rap world has put him on records with Common, Black Thought, Mr. Cheeks, as well as Snoop Lion, Snoop Dogg’s rasta alter ego, Wiz Khalifa, and others.