In the large constellation of Bob Marley offspring, it can be hard to distinguish among the various musical sons, all of whom are sharply talented in their own right. So if Ziggy is the eldest and the most rootsy, Julian is the young genre-bender, and Damian and Ky-Mani are the even younger, hip-hop-loving types, then second-oldest Stephen is somewhere in between all that.
Though he showed a precociously sweet voice in childhood, for much of the '90s and early '00s, Stephen preferred to stay behind the boards. In fact, he produced brother Damian's chart-topping Welcome to Jamrock as well as Awake for Julian. It wasn't until 2007, though, that he released his own debut solo album, Mind Control. It was a little roots, a little dancehall, a little hip-hop, and a little rock, a varied sensibility reflected by the cast of guest stars, Mos Def, Mr. Cheeks, and Ben Harper among them.
It's been almost four years since then, though, during which Marley has released none of his own solo work, instead continuing his engineering work or guest-starring on other records. But then, late last year came a new single with Damian, "Jah Army." A slab of dubby roots reggae updated with Auto-tune and thumping low end, it hinted at the direction of Stephen's announced forthcoming sophomore disc, Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life.