Eddie Murphy (Willie Toledo)

Did Eddie Murphy just cut a reggae track? Yes! Listen to “Oh Jah Jah” here

This is the kind of press release that catches our eye here at The Cannabist: “EDDIE MURPHY RELEASES BRAND NEW REGGAE SINGLE.”

(VPAL Music)
(VPAL Music)

Sure enough, it’s true. The song is called “Oh Jah Jah.” But Murphy isn’t working on a full-length — at least not yet. As Murphy told Rolling Stone:

If people respond to [“Oh Jah Jah”], then I might. If people don’t, that shit will just stay on the shelf where it’s at. And I’m cool with that. I’m cool with all my shit being on the shelf until 100 years from now. Everything comes out 100 years from now. Any artist that did anything, once you’re gone, they go looking through all your shit. Like this scrap of paper that you drew on. If I’m doing a movie or if I’m going onstage, that’s me being funny. But music, I do that all the time, for free. And if you do something for years and years and years and years, eventually you gonna get a little better at it. I got some stuff now.

Murphy wrote and co-produced “Oh Jah Jah” and recorded it in Soul Mountain Studios in Beverly Hills. Give it a listen:

The song isn’t a statement of faith, Murphy told Rolling Stone.

I’m not a Rasta. I’m doing a reggae track, reggae artists they say Jah, so I said Jah. I can call God Jah and not be a Rasta. The lyrics lent itself to this whole reggae feel. The first lyric in that song goes, “The devil’s on the move.” Originally it was “Ebola’s on the move,” but I was like “Ebola’s gonna be over, and the song will be dated.” I wrote that track the first week that Ebola jumped off, and Ferguson was going on – it was pulled out of the headlines. To say this stuff, it has to be reggae. You can’t touch on none of this with an R&B track, because people will shut down to it. But do a roots reggae song that feels like Bob Marley type of stuff, you can say it.

Murphy is also quick to point out his 2013 reggae collaboration with Snoop Lion (the rapper’s reggae alter-ego) called “Red Light.” Give that track a spin here: