Rita Marley

Who Feels it, Knows it

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Fueled by the controversial single "One Draw," Who Feels It Knows It was the album that truly put Rita Marley on the map as a solo artist. "One Draw," a hilarious ode to sinsemilla, was a big seller in England and Jamaica despite its problems at radio -- like Peter Tosh's "Legalize It" several years earlier, "One Draw" was banned from airplay on British radio by the BBC. The most controversial part of the song comes when a Rastawoman school teacher educates her class of students on the "proper" way to smoke sinsemilla. It's hysterically funny and disturbing at the same time -- the very thought of a school teacher doing such a thing is appalling. Meanwhile, the other gems on the album are also quite soulful. Lovers of pre-urban contemporary R&B can't miss the parallels between Rastafarian oriented tunes like "Jah Jah Don't Want," "Good Morning, Jah" and "Thank You," and the great soul music of the '60s and '70s. Of course, there were some reggae lovers who bought the album simply because Rita Marley was the wife of Bob Marley, who had died in 1981. But the fact is that she would have been a talented singer if she hadn't been married to the King of Reggae. Who Feels It Knows It made it clear that Rita Marley was a fine singer in her own right.

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