This week on the music beat

By Laura Morgan
November 19, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Jamaican a Comeback Reggae legend Bob Marley died 18 years ago, but his Rastaman vibrations are still buzzing. Not only does he have a charting dance single in the ”Sun Is Shining” remix, but this week, Island Records is releasing a tribute album, Bob Marley: Chant Down Babylon, as well as a repackaged Songs of Freedom boxed set. The love doesn’t end there: TNT will air its One Love: The Bob Marley All-Star Tribute concert on Dec. 19, and Warner Bros. is developing a film about his life. ”Our father always wanted to break into the urban market, and we knew one day we would have to make that work,” says Stephen Marley, the artist’s son and exec producer of Chant, which finds Lauryn Hill, Chuck D, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, and others ”virtually” jammin’ with his dad. Producer Don Was and Stephen, who are musically directing the TNT special — featuring Hill, Rhymes, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, and Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers — agree that Marley mania knows no bounds. Says Was: ”He tapped into the collective unconscious. An Eskimo or an aborigine can relate to him as a hero.”

Jingle Hell Christmas is a time for swearing—at least in South Park. The show’s holiday album, Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics, due Nov. 23, brims with such twisted tunes as ”Merry F — -ing Christmas” (by Mr. Garrison), ”The Lonely Jew on Christmas” (Kyle), and ”O Tannenbaum” (Adolph Hitler). Who’s most likely to use the CD as a stocking stuffer? ”A f — -ed-up family with a dead tree,” says the show’s cocreator Matt Stone. If the lyrics (”There goes Jeffrey Dahmer/With a festive Christmas ham/After he has sex with it/He’ll eat up all he can”) aren’t bad enough, there’s the cover—parodying Mel Torme’s ’92 Christmas album, with the poo known as Mr. Hankey in Torme’s place. ”He’s sitting just like that in front of a little fire, roasting chestnuts,” Stone says. Comedy Central will re-air last year’s South Park Xmas episode—including some of the music