2019s Top Reggae Artists and Best Reggae Songs
Although reggae is much loved in America, it originated from Jamaica. Thus, in sharing the full story of reggae music, we will be starting off with the root of reggae music in Jamaica. Reggae is associated with the term rege-rege. Rege-rege means rags. When reggae music originated in the 1960s in Jamaica, it was a style of music that was meant to address sufferings and other negative issues in society while focusing on love, both romantic and platonic.
When reggae music was borne, it was quite indistinguishable from other types of music even with its slow tempo. Reggae music was confused with other forms of music such as Jamaican Mento which was popular at that time. Jamaican Ska music was also quite popular at that period, and reggae music was also confused with Jamaican Ska music when the genre originated. The distinction between these styles of music became obvious with the reggae band. Reggae music is, however, still described as being influenced by Jamaican Mento as well as Jamaican Ska music.
The earliest reggae songs were known to focus on romantic love. As the genre of music evolved and developed a specific style, the themes of songs broadened to include love between romantic partners as well as love of spiritual beings. As the reggae music style also broadened and gained grounds, reggae musicians started singing more about oppression, poverty and other negative forces against the natural flow of life and love.
By the 1970s, reggae music became heavily influenced by the Rastafarianism. Rastafarianism is a religion that was particularly popular in Jamaica at the time and was based on worshipping the God of Abraham, just like the Israelites did. Rastafarians described their faith as the faith of Abraham and followed practices adopted by the Israelites as the pattern of their worship.
Because of the influence of Rastafarianism on reggae music, references were constantly made to God referred to as “Jah” in a lot of reggae music lyrics. Although from the origin till date, reggae music has been heavily influenced by Rastafarianism, not all reggae musicians practice the religion.
The reference to cannabis that is regularly made in reggae music is because of the significance of cannabis in connecting with God according to Rastafarianism.
Reggae music spread really fast to the US after its origin because of several factors. These factors included the fact that, at that time, radios in the US could pick up signals from Jamaica. These radios picked up the new style of music as its popularity grew.
Jimmy Cliff played a major role in sharing reggae with America and the rest of the world. The movie, “The Harder They Come” by Jimmy Cliff had strong reggae music themes as well as a strong reggae music soundtrack that spread the style of music around the world and encouraged the world accept Bob Marley as an international reggae artist. Bob Marley embodied the message of reggae music as a political activist and Rastafarian. His songs sent strong messages on strong reggae themes addressing societal issues as well as promoting love and oneness. Today, Reggae music has found a home not just in America but a lot of places around the world.
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