Artsweek: At what age did you start to become interested in music?
Damian Marley: From as young as I can remember; from birth.
What got you interested in more of a hip hop style?
I just like hip hop music. It is the music of our generation, outside of dancehall.
Do you feel like your Rastafarian roots come through in your music?
Eh, definitely. It comes through every aspect of my life. It’s a common thing; it affects how I live, it affects how I think – which, in turn, affects how I write lyrics.
I know your music has a lot of social commentary. What are some of the issues that you are concerned with?
I am concerned with all aspects of life. I can’t single out one issue because there are lots of issues. There are many issues of today, our generation, from sexual issues to political issues, issues of violence, guns, drugs, what have you. Just the moral standards of sticking up for them.
Are you working on any new material right now?
Yeah, we’re almost done with our third album. It should hopefully be out by the end of summer.
I know your father’s [Bob Marley] music stays alive through several of your songs on Halfway Tree. What inspired you to combine your music with your father’s music?
We’re fans of my father. I think hip hop is a substantive music. He is one of our favorite musicians. The topics of his songs are very relevant today and relevant to us in terms of what we want to talk about. And then, of course, he is our father and so we look up to our father.