Originating in the 1960s, reggae is a fusion subgenre that combines African and Caribbean influences, such as mento, calypso, and dub. In Jamaica, this genre is often referred to as “Rudie” or “Raggamuffin”. In Hawai’i, the term “Blue Beat” is commonly used to describe reggae.
Definition of the Genre
Reggae is a musical style based on ska, characterized by a heavy four-beat rhythm driven by drums, bass guitar, and electric guitar. Its distinctive sound came from the drum and bass combination, which laid the foundation for a new instrumental music genre known as dub.
It is difficult to identify the exact originator of reggae culture, but several individuals claim credit for the genre’s invention. King Tubby influenced a generation of record producers and innovators who shaped the genre, including self-proclaimed MC, Prince Jammy.
History and Origins
Reggae quickly gained popularity in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean as a genre.
The sound soon spread to Britain, Africa, and the United States, where it was regarded as a protest against social injustice and oppression, gaining worldwide popularity. Today, reggae has influenced many forms of rock and pop music.
Some lyrics criticize materialism or inform listeners about controversial issues. Some songs advocate marijuana use, considered a sacrament in the Rastafari religion. Followers of this religion often incorporate religious themes into their reggae songs.
Overall, this genre holds a broad appeal. It is frequently most appreciated when individuals feel overwhelmed by adversity or find themselves in challenging situations. Reggae can be incredibly motivating and inspirational when one needs an extra boost.
The best aspect of reggae is that it does not overly focus on negative aspects, allowing people to escape their sadness. Instead, it inspires hope and helps individuals recognize their potential, motivating them to overcome unfavorable circumstances.