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Damian Marley Takes NYC To JamRock with Hot 97 Friends & Family 2018

Ebro In The Morning Presents Friends and Family 2018

New York City’s staple in the hip hop community has always been Hot 97. The 97.1 station is known for bringing the best parties and events to the Tri-state, and Thursday night’s show at Playstation Theater was no exception! The stations show Ebro In The Morning featuring Ebro, Laura Stylez & Peter Rosenberg took over one of NYC’s best venues to bring their Friends & Family 2018 to the heart of Time Square. The show which featured performances by Hood Celebrityy, Cyhi the Prince, Stefflon Don, and the one and only Damian “Jr Gong” Marley.


Hood Celebrityy is a hip hop/dancehall artist known for her spit fire lyrics and ability to merge her hustler persona with her Jamaican background. She spent her early years in Jamaica before moving the the Bronx boro of New York as a teenager, where she chose to focus on dancing and her love for music. She was discovered in 2015 once Cardi B shared her video on social media and the rest was history!


Her video for the song “Wine Pon It” went viral and it was non-stop from there. Hood Celebrityy’s album Trap vs. Reggae was released in August 2017 and you can check it out for yourself right HERE!

stefflon don3

Stefflon Don is a dance-hall/rap artist who switches it up between grimey verses and honeyed vocals with confidence. The artist, whose real name is Stephanie Allen, moved to East London when she was 14 years old. Stefflon Don quickly knew she wanted to pursue music and started first like many others by covering her favorite artist. In 2016 she released her debut mixtape Real Ting,. She also appeared on BBC’s Sound of 2017 list. In 2017 she inked her first record deal with Universal Music and became the first signee of their subsidiary 54 London.


Damian “Jr Gong” Marley really needs no introduction, but if you’re unfamiliar with him, his work or his family legacy, keep reading. Damian is the youngest son of the legendary Bob Marley, born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1978. Damian, like his father, is a man for the people; in 1995 he was on a compilation released by Sony Music called Positively Reggae. His song titled “School Controversy” was featured and would see all proceeds from sales going towards Jamaica’s Leaf for Life Foundation, which assists HIV positive children.


Fast forward to 2017 and Damian is still as prominent as ever. His latest album Stony Hill which was released on July 21st, 2017 sees him reclaiming his reign over the music of his homeland. The album finds Damian teaming up with his brother Stephen Marley on the album’s single “Medication”. On tracks like “Grown and Sexy” he downshifts to his version of dancehall pop. Damian has done an amazing job of keeping his father’s legacy alive, and Stony Hill being his first solo album in a decade delivers an inspiring collection of 18 songs, showing his authority throughout the album no matter if it’s a dancehall banger or a roots jam. You can pick up Damian’s newest album right HERE.

Damian Marley – Medication featuring Stephen Marley


As I arrived to New York City’s Playstation Theater, the scene outside was quiet. Inside however saw Hot 97’s morning show party in full affect! The performances were set up much how you would see them during nightclub performances: short and sweet! Hood celebrityy took the stage around 9:10pm and came out blazing. The crowd was bouncing their heads in approval to the Bronx boro rapper. Hood proclaimed to the crowd “New York you’re alive tonight” and later said it was one of the “craziest” crowds she’s performed for.

The next performance of the night would be Stefflon Don. As she walked on stage to a ton of screams from the crowd, she screamed “New York! I came all the way from London to be here tonight. Let’s do this!”

Stefflon would then bring out dancers with her and even invite fans from the crowd to come up on stage and dance with her! The crowd was really vibing with the performance and the entire venue was moving.


The last set of the night would come from the one and only Damian “Jr Gong” Marley. The screen below the DJ switched over to read Marley’s name and his DJ Rassarella took to the stage. The shows host Ebro, Laura Stylez. and Peter Rosenberg would head on stage to announce Marley to the stage.

Ebro host 2

As the sound of Marley’s voice can be heard over the PA, fans screamed with excitement. Damian Marley took to the stage along with the Jamaican flag flying high throughout the performance.


Songs from Marley’s set included “”R.O.A.R”, “Medication” and “Road To Zion” in which Marley requested the lights be turned off and that the crowd pull out their lighters and cell phones to light up the room. Mid way through the song Marley let the crowd sing the lyrics “I got to keep on walking, on the road to Zion.” To end the night’s performance Marley turned to his DJ and said “We gotta do it” as the beat dropped and vocals sang “Out in the streets they call it murder.”

The packed NYC crowd went crazy for Damien’s breakthrough hit “Welcome to Jamrock” and sang along with Marley to every word. Marley finished the performance and before walking off proclaimed “New York, thank you and I love you.”


Marley played for a total of about half an hour and as fans shuffled out of the show, many wished the performance was longer. Overall it was a great performance, and how often do you get to see a legend like Damian Marley in an intimate setting?!

Hot 97 will announce their annual Summer Jam concert in a few months and maybe (hopefully!) Marley will be part of that show as well. As of now Damian Marley has a few shows lined up, including another chance for New York City fans to catch him as he is a performer for the annual Governors Ball Festival  June 1st – 3rd at Randall’s Island. Check out all of Damian Marley’s currently scheduled 2018 shows below!


See the full gallery of night.

Mar 16 – Mar 1828,783 guests
Saint Petersburg, FL
Tour eventSat 12 PM1,325 guests
Saint Petersburg, FL
Manchester, United Kingdom
Leeds, United Kingdom
Birmingham, United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom
Jul 12 – Jul 147,399 guests
Barcelona, Spain
Wed 3 PM UTC+0323,897 guests
Electric Castle


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