Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley’s Welcome To Jamrock, the single from his 2005 album of the same name, is now certified Gold in the United Kingdom.
According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), Welcome To Jamrock was issued a BRIT Certified Gold award today (December 16), after it sold over 400,000 copies in the UK, as measured by The Official Charts Company.
Jr. Gong, the youngest son of Reggae legend Bob Marley, had won two of his four Grammy Awards in 2006—the first being Best Reggae Album for the album, and Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the song Welcome To Jamrock.
Produced by Jr. Gong and his brother Stephen Marley, the song had sampled the riddim and the hook from Ini Kamoze’s 1984 track World-A-Music, which was produced by Sly and Robbie.
Welcome To Jamrock peaked at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 13 on the UK Singles chart. The song’s official music video has over 203 million views on YouTube.
The song touches on issues such as crime, poverty, and political corruption as it showcases what it’s like to live in Jamaica, as opposed to what is often advertised as a popular tourist destination.
“Welcome to Jamrock’s inspiration was really to highlight a side of Jamaica that the world doesn’t see, and the media doesn’t really show: the day to day attitudes of Jamaicans and our life living there,” Jr. Gong told IndependentPhilly.
“There had been a song that came out in hip-hop called, ‘Welcome to Atlanta’, that was kind of talking about the streets of Atlanta to a certain degree. I kind of wanted to showcase a little bit of what it’s like in a third world country. Of course, there are ghettos everywhere, and rough spaces everywhere, and people going through a hard time everywhere, but it’s a little bit different in the nature of a third world country than a first world country.”
The song has been featured in the video game soundtracks of FIFA 06, Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix, and The Sims 2: Bon Voyage.
In filmmaking, it has made appearances in Mythic Quest (2021), The Perfect Guy (2015), and Illegal Tender (2007).
The Welcome To Jamrock album, released under Ghetto Youths Intl/Tuff Gong and Universal Records, had also featured the songs, The Master Has Come Back, Road To Zion with Nas, and Khaki Suit with Bounty Killer and Eek-A-Mouse.
The album peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 chart and at No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. It is certified Gold in the United States, for sales exceeding 500,000 units, Gold in the UK, for sales exceeding 100,000 units, and Gold in the Canada, for sales exceeding 50,000 units.
Marley later won another Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with his 2017 album, Stony Hill. He also has a Grammy Award for Album Of The Year, following his contribution to Bruno Mars’ 2010 album Doo-Wops & Hooligans.
His Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise, named after the album and song, recently embarked on its 7th annual voyage from Florida and Jamaica with performances from Shabba Ranks, Burning Spear, Sizzla, Bounty Killer, and more.