August 6 marks the 55th anniversary of Jamaica breaking free from the United Kingdom’s colonial rule. To honor the occasion, we are proud to bring you MERRY JANE Presents Jamaica Week. All week leading up to Jamaican Independence Day, MERRY JANE is celebrating the Jamaican people and the many great things that the island has given to the world — from music, dance, and food, to the Rastafarian religion, cannabis culture, and good vibes.
Freddie McGregor is a legendary contributor to Jamaica’s influential music scene dating back to the 1960s. The 61-year-old singer, musician, and producer from Clarendon joined the movement at Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s famous Studio One — home to such reggae luminaries as The Skatalites, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Burning Spear, and Toots & the Maytals — as part of the The Clarendonians in 1963 at age 7.
After soaking up the amazing scene at Jamaica’s version of Motown and converting to Rastafarianism in 1975, McGregor launched his decades-strong solo career in 1979 with his album and song “Bobby Bobylon,” which addressed policing of cannabis in the UK.
As part of Jamaica Week, MERRY JANE sat down with McGregor, who discusses what it was like growing up in Jamaica’s influential 1960s reggae scene, his musical message of decriminalization and legalization, and how ganja has changed over the years. Given how much he says he smokes daily, the musical and marijuana legend would certainly know!