The Bob Marley estate, Simon Fuller, and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell globally released a new video on Tuesday for the celebrity-backed "I'm Gunna Be Your Friend" campaign that documents the East Africa Crisis.
The new video, edited by "Last King of Scotland" director Kevin Macdonald, is set to the tune of late reggae star Bob Marley's single "High Tide or Low Tide." When you download the song on iTunes, all proceeds go to the East Africa food crisis.
The video documents the crisis that is affecting over 9 million people dying of starvation. It includes footage of expressionless mothers caring from their children and dangerously thin toddlers playing against the harsh surroundings of a skeletal landscape.
The lyrics, from Bob Marley & The Wailer's debut album, are as poignant as they were upon release 40 years ago.
"High Tide or Low Tide," was one of the many tunes Marley used to encourage social change. In the song, Marley sings about one of his mother's prayers:
"A child is born in this world, he needs protection," Marley sings, quoting his mother. "In high seas or-a low seas, I'm gunna be your friend."
The Marley family penned a letter to ask for support:
We are reaching out to you today to ask a favor. We believe that you can help us stop children dying [in] the most devastating food crisis happening today in East Africa.
Not one child should be denied food nor water. Not one child should suffer from the conflict caused by grown men. Over three million woman and children are suffering. They are innocent. They are not political. They are starving. Bob Marley, then and now, stands for an Africa united, for one love, for the protection of children worldwide. Please join us as we, along with Save The Children, stand up together as friends to put a stop to this needless waste of life, to feed our children and to save their lives.
We are asking you to please post our video message to your Facebook page. This generous act will help us reach through your friends and ours over two hundred million people worldwide.
The Marley family
The new video is a collaboration with Save The Children, and Universal Music Global will donate all profits from the video to the campaign.
The group has an impeccable collection of A-list celebrity supporters including Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Kanye West, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, and the Rolling Stones. The celebrities have pledged to help promote the video and charity song trough their networks.
Tech giants are also onboard. Yahoo, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, MSN, and AOL UK have all pledged their support.
Facebook is facilitating an advertising campaign and Yahoo will feature the campaign on each of its global homepages on August 9.
Below is a partial list of celebrity supporters:
The Rolling Stones
Gwen Stefani and No Doubt
Visit http://www.imgonnabeyourfriend.org/ to make a donation and find out more about the campaign.