King Cruff, whose real name is Solomon Marley-Spence, is focused on his rap career as he signs a major record label deal and has released his first song.
Solomon, who is the grandson of reggae legend Bob Marley recently signed a major label deal with Universal Music Canada. The UK rapper, whose stage name is King Cruff, has also released his first single under Universal called “Samurai Chop.”
King Cruff is one of Bob Marley’s little-known grandsons. He was born in London to his mother, Stephanie Marley, and they both later emigrated to Jamaica, where his mother was tasked with managing the Bob Marley Museum to preserve her father’s legacy.
Speaking about his childhood being surrounded by the rest of the Marley family and growing up learning about his grandfather’s life and music, he said he was inspired by Marley, who died when he was just 36 years old when he died.
“I learned a lot because I was in that space a lot,” he said in an interview on CBC.
“I went there probably every day after school, so it was very inspiring to see his image and to learn over and over and over again what he did.”
As for his name- the rapper explained the backstory for why he chose King Cruff- cruff being an adjective in Patois for someone who lacks ambition and structure or someone who even carries themself without care or being unkempt.
Jeffrey Remedios, Cedella Marley, and King Cruff
“I feel like, in a way, we kind of live in a world that’s very optics-focused,” he said. “I feel like people focus on how you dress and how you move instead of actually asking you questions about what you think and what kind of music you listen to and what kind of person you are. So in adopting that, I kind of wanted to challenge people to be able to be like, ‘You have this name, but let me try and figure out more about you before I make that judgment call.’”
Although King Cruff’s career is relatively young, he has shown promise and talent, and we named Hip Hop Artist of the Year earlier this year by the Forest City London Music Awards.
He credits his grandfather’s life as an inspiration for his musical ambitions.
“I feel like when you look up on Marley’s career, he didn’t really waver on any of his beliefs, whether they were religious, spiritual, political,” said Cruff. “He always knew what he was talking about, and he didn’t care if people went for him for that. So I kind of feel like he influences me that way the most.”
Although most of his family members, including uncles like Damian’ Junior Gong”, Ziggy and even cousin Skip and others, have chosen reggae music, following in Bob’s footsteps, King Cruff is chasing his own ambitions.
“I grew up on a lot of hip hop, so I’m a big fan of Kendrick Lamar and Andre 3000. I kind of like hip-hop storytellers,” the rapper said. “I grew up on a lot of reggae, too. Obviously, you know the Marley brothers, I love a lot of that. For the new school of reggae, it would be Chronixx, or Runkus or Protoje, that type of energy.”
Cruff’s label deal with Universal is in collaboration with the Marley family ownedTuff Gong Collective.
“I feel like it came at that time where I was on an upward incline, but we weren’t sure exactly where to take the King Cruff status to next,” he said.
“When the deal came through, and the signing happened, it was like a very clear vision, a kind of epiphany of a sort, and I’m very excited to see where it goes from here.”
The artist’s latest track Samurai Chop also showcases his versatility with some background in dancehall music. The song is now available on all digital platforms.