LYRICAL STORY: With his international Distant Relatives tour with rapper Nas now winding down, reggae superstar Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley is currently enjoying heavy playlist rotation for another hit collaboration – this time with rising pop-soul crooner Bruno Mars, who teams with Marley for “Liquor Store Blues,” the second single to be released from Mars’ newly-released debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans. The melodious, reggae-tinged track, which arrives, ironically, amidst Bruno Mars’ current drug-related legal woes, is definitely one to keep for the iPods, thanks in large part to Marley’s clever lyrical contribution.
WORDS PERFECT: Jamaican author Marlon James has picked up another prestigious award in the United States – for his second novel, The Book of Night Women. James was recently announced as the winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction for the widely praised novel, which chronicles the experiences of a slave during an 18th century uprising in Jamaica. James will collect his prize (US$10,000) at a ceremony set for November 7 at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Centre in Dayton, Ohio. James’ first novel, John Crow’s Devil, won the Minnesota Book Award.