“JuJu Royal” aka Julian Marley will soon release his third and best album to date, Awake. Besides referencing his father’s classic “Wake Up And Live” the album’s title also serves as a wake-up call those who may have slept on this laid-back Lion. But they won’t be sleeping for long.

Born in London in 1975, Julian has found his place by sticking to a simple credo: “Be myself.” You can hear he’s reached a new comfort zone on this record, laying down his vocals in a strong, straight-ahead, almost conversational style. The first single from Awake is a wicked herb tune called “Boom Draw,” but I can’t seem to stop playing “Violence In The Street.” Loving the way JuJu and his bredda attack King Tubby’s “Chim Cherry Dub.” Run the track…

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THAT TUNE WITH YOU AND JR. GONG IS TUFF. HOW’D THAT COME TOGETHER?

“Yeah man, I wan’ tell you say we did that one deh inna England yunno? And you know it’s a King Tubby’s lick, so we kinda remix it, and add a little bit of our modern spice to it. And true the riddim hard, when I listen to the riddim, is like, That riddim yah tuff. At that time, every likkle news flash weh me hear is a 15-year-old killing a 15-year-old, or you hear say this man get shot there, or you hear say… I mean daily. So much violence in the street, we must call the tune “Violence In The Street.” And then we reach back to Jamaica now—and them ting yah, it’s not a prejudice thing. This struggle is all over, in every country. But we get to Jamaica now and we see the youths killing off them one another. A lie? So tell me, How the jobs stay? How the income stay? How is this man gonna eat some food? True he doesn’t have any money he’s not supposed to have nothing to eat? Nah. And just through lack of money you can’t send your youth to school. And there’s not no free school, and nobody saying this is mashing our country. Yeah man, so this song is really geared up for all them kinda ting deh. Basically, it’s geared to those who set it like that. What do you expect? You know I mean? What do you expect way over in some other country when the people them hungry? What’s gonna happen when they need their meal the next day?”

MORE AND MORE PEOPLE IN AMERICA ARE ASKING THAT SAME QUESTION.

“Me don’t really wan’ see the outcome of that destruction deh.  If people get hungry in some sophisticated country, it’s gonna be dread.”
Awake (Tuff Gong/Ghetto Youths/Universal Republic) goes on sale May 26, 2009.