Bob Marley: “From I Reach 18 I Never Stop Run From Police Till I a 32…Nuh Police Nuh Wicked Like Jamaica Police”

While modern Rastafarians are not free of prejudice and the many clichés that the community has faced for years, the public attitude towards rastas today is a far cry from the discrimination and struggles faced by Bob Marley and other Rastafarians decades ago.

Inspired by Ethiopianism and Pan-Africanism and with a revolutionary approach to the fight against racism and oppression, Rastafarianism was created in Jamaica in the 1930s. The religion was developed in the conservative Christian era in Jamaica, which was heavily influenced by British colonialism.

Bob Marley

Marley converted to Rastafarianism from Catholicism, and his music was heavily influenced by the religion. Rastafarians were often shunned for their religious beliefs as well as their use of marijuana.

Marley, who was arrested for marijuana while living in London, was not free of the discrimination faced by his fellow Rastafarians. Prominent Rastafarian poet and radio talk show host Mutabaruka highlighted the plight faced by his community in a new episode of his show, The Stepping Razor.

During the show, the dub poet shared his own stories of religious persecution as well as those of other Rastafarians, including Marley. Mutabaruka shared what was seemingly a snippet from an old interview with Marley discussing his experience with the authorities.


During the interview, Marley expressed that from his early adulthood, he had been running from the police and did not stop until he was in his thirties.

“In my time growing up in Jamaica [ … ] from I reach 18 I never stop run from police till I a 32, yuh hear mi? I neva stop run from police from I was 18 till I become 32. Neva stop. Keep running from police every day,” Marley stated.

Bob Marley

It should be noted that Marley was in the midst of international success when he was 32, during which time he released his highly successful album Exodus and subsequently went on tour. During the interview, Marley went on to describe the local Jamaican authorities as the worst there is.

“Nuh police nuh wicked like Jamaica police. Because when yuh look pon dem, you an dem black same way, you an dem live pon di likkle island, dem know seh the queen deh way a England, but dem wah kill yuh fi di queen. Caw all dem do is just a defend di queen,” Marley said.

Listen to Marley’s excerpt from the interview below.

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