Bob Marley’s 1974 hit Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) has found new life in the soulful voices of his grandson Skip Marley and Afrobeats superstar Rema. The song forms part of the just-released Africa Unite, a posthumous album featuring 10 of Marley’s greatest hits reimagined in a grand celebration of the fusion of Afrobeats and Reggae.
The track is a distinctive yet mesmerizing offering that perfectly captures the spirit of the album, which debuted yesterday, Friday, August 4.
While clinging tightly to the themes driven home in the original – which appeared on Marley’s 1974 Natty Dread album – Rema and Skip still make the GA-produced track their own. The duo accomplishes that while conveying a sentiment that the reimagined tunes are in no way meant to replace the originals but to pay homage to them and, more importantly, Marley’s impact on The Motherland.
Sonically, Rema and Skip’s reimagining of the classic noticeably kicks up the tempo and leaves room for some soothing sax play. That combination, coupled with masterfully-delivered and thoughtful lyrics that honor Marley’s penchant for activism, positions the track as one of the standouts among a collection with no bad songs.
Skip Marley seems to be aware of this, as well as the bigger picture concerning the aptly-named Africa Unite.
According to the 27-year-old: “When I first heard the final version of Them Belly Full featuring Rema, I was ecstatic! Working alongside any African artist is ecstatic for me, because that’s what it’s really about: Africa. I was very grateful for the opportunity.”
Skip also paused to give his overall thoughts on the album, which he described in glowing terms. “The three words I’d use to describe this Africa Unite project are: pivotal, moving and ancestral.”
Cedella Marley, Bob Marley’s daughter, also chimed in on the project, explaining that: ““Africa Unite is an album that showcases the importance of Bob Marley in modern day Africa. The artists that feature on this album have reimagined Bob Marley’s classics in a way we know he would have loved and been proud of.”
Africa Unite, which invites listeners on a riveting musical journey, is expected again to capture the hearts of fans of the Reggae legend, while whetting the appetites of new listeners. The project’s official track list includes:
- So Much Trouble – Nutty O & Winky O
- Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) – Rema & Skip Marley
- Redemption Song – Ami Faku
- Waiting in Vain – Tiwa Savage
- Turn Your Lights Down Low – Afro B
- Three Little Birds – Teni and Oxlade
- Buffalo Soldier – Stonebwoy
- Stir It Up – Sarkodie
- Jamming – Ayra Starr
- 10. One Love – Patoranking