If Bob Marley was reggae’s Martin Luther King, Peter Tosh was its Malcolm X. They were bandmates in the Wailers, of course, with Tosh penning many of the trio’s best-loved tunes. But after the band broke up, the self-styled “Steppin’ Razor” turned his melodic baritone, 400 years deep, to channeling the righteous rage of the urban ghetto — delivered on a cloud of ganja smoke (Legalize It had been his solo debut), over the lackadaisical bass and rhythm structure of classic roots reggae. While Bob was preaching love and unity, Peter was having none of it: “Everybody’s crying out for peace,” he intones on this iconic classic from 1977, “but none is crying out for justice.” His message: “I don’t want no peace/ I need equal rights and justice!” He lived to see neither: Tosh was shot dead by gunmen trying to rob him at his Jamaica home in 1987.
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