It was inevitable that Bob Marley’s revolutionary mantra “Get Up, Stand Up” would receive new breath. The song has long been used by those who fight oppression in corners around the globe. Now that black inequality has once again been highlighted as oppression continues in a cycle of negativity, the rallying call for freedom fighters has once again been issued and Nakkia Gold has chosen Marley’s powerful track to connect with those who stand for equal rights and justice.
She’s even received the blessing of the Marley family as the patriarch’s daughter Cedella Marley has admitted to not just loving the beautiful vocals behind the track but the message of ‘Justice (Get Up, Stand Up)’ as well. She said that the track captures the feelings that her father wanted to share with the world.
Marley wrote the song while touring Haiti, as he was deeply moved by the poverty he saw. That was in 1973. The song would soon become a permanent part of his set and he often used it to close his shows. The song has been given a fresh take by American singer-songwriter Nakkia Gold.
Gold released the track, which features Wiz Khalifa, in early May, and it has already raised many eyebrows as some of the American media has described it as: “a rebirth of the militant anthem that played an integral role in the fight for equality and human rights.” The song has already easily surpassed three million views on YouTube.
The endorsement of the reborn track was given by Cedella Marley during a recent interview with the American morning talk show Good Morning America. She revealed that it was an easy track for her to give her blessing because it kept so much of her father’s legacy intact. “When you hear her (Nakkia), what’s not to love. Nakkia has a beautiful voice, and she has a very strong message, so it was easy,” she said.
She also said that what she found impressive was that the singer was able to take the message and incorporate it into the current climate that many Americans and other black people around the world are facing.
“What I appreciate is that Nakkia didn’t just remake the song. Her lyrics are inspired by dad’s original words, but she brings us into the current social climate,” she continued.
Gold, who also appeared on the show, shared that she wanted to highlight the struggle that black people continue to face, which in recent times has been highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement. The artist, who is signed to Saban Music Group, also said that the message that Marley delivered some 53 years ago is still pertinent today.
“The world is going through so much right now, and I feel like it’s important to spread the message of justice because that’s what we need right now. We’ve been going through this for so long now, and everything is being shown right in front of our faces, so I feel like if I don’t say nothing, I am not even being true to myself,” she said.
Gold also performed the song during the show, and her performance was streamed on screens in Times Square, New York. Before taking to the stage, she paid homage to the legendary artist as she said: “legend whose music will continue to speak unity, peace, and love.” She added: “it’s better to die fighting for freedom than to be a prisoner all [your] life.”
In a previous interview, when the song had just been released, Gold said that her rendition of the track was meant to help end social injustice. “The struggle has made us strong. This is the moment to break through the chains of social injustice. This song is a call to action in a time when it’s needed the most,” she said.
The track which originally appeared on The Wailers’ 1973 album Burnin’ has been used to highlight the perennial issues of injustice. In 1988, the song was performed live at an Amnesty International Concert for Human Rights by Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, and Youssou N’Dour. Gold made sure to keep Bob Marley‘s message clear as his vocals are featured prominently in the chorus.
Gold is a community activist who continues to try and help youth by volunteering at an organization that empowers young students through hip-hop dance classes. According to her website, she’s currently working on an EP.