Reggae music, Jamaica's best-known export, is a popular but unique genre of music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s and quickly emerged as the country’s dominant music. By the 1970s it had become an international style that was particularly popular in Britain, the United States, and Africa. The genre grew out of several other musical styles, including both traditional and contemporary Jamaican music, like ska, rocksteady and mento, as well as American R&B. Backed by Reggae mammoth Bob Marley, the music was widely perceived as a voice of the oppressed using politicized lyrics that addressed social, economic injustice & Rastafarian ideas & lifestyle. Reggae lyrics are sometimes borderline incomprehensible to others, as they are usually in an English-based but distinctly Jamaican patois. Many exclusively Jamaican slang terms and alternate verb forms are used, as are frequent references to Rastafarian terms, such as "Jah" (God).
Another interesting aspect of the Rasta’s language is the concept of I and I. The letter “I” is in almost every part of their language. It is in the name of their Religion “Rastafari”, and it is part of their gods title Selassie I. The Rasta use the word to connect themselves to god, to show that God is always part of them. A Rasta will never “I am going there” instead it would be “I and I am going there”. The Rasta does this to show that god is part of Him, and that he is not separate from any other person. “I” is also used to replace letters of powerful words. This too is reflected in the word “you” not being part of the Rasta language. The Rasta believes that first there was just “I” and then the devil came and created “you”.
During the period of reggae’s development, a connection grew between the music and the Rastafarian movement, which encourages the relocation of the African diaspora to Africa, deitify the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I (whose precoronation name was Ras [Prince] Tafari), and endorses the sacramental use of ganja (marijuana). Rastafari (Rastafarianism) advocates equal rights and justice and draws on the mystical consciousness of kumina, an earlier Jamaican religious tradition that ritualized communication with ancestors. Many of the world's most famous reggae musicians practice this religion, and therefore many reggae lyrics reflect the beliefs and traditions of Rastafarianism. In Rastafarian practices, marijuana is used as a sacrament; the belief is that it brings a person closer to God and makes the mind more open to receiving His testimony. Rastafari is more than just a religion. It is a movement and a way of life. The Rasta life style is one of peace, or at least it seeks to be one of peace.
Dreadlocks are another well-known part of Rastafari. The origin of the dreadlock traces back to ancient Africa, originating in eastern Africa. The name dreadlock comes from the locks of hair deemed dreadful in the early years. The Rasta has a very interesting belief in their thoughts about dead beings. The Rasta’s do not like being around any animal that is dead. This idea stems into their diet. The Rasta believes that it is wrong to eat animals that have died because then you are turning your body into a cemetery. This does not mean that a Rasta will not eat dairy products. Most Rasta’s have no problem with the consumption of milk because it does not come from a dead animal. Although most Rasta’s will not eat animal meat, many Rasta’s will eat fish. However the Rasta will not eat shellfish. This stems from more readings in the Bible. Some but not all Rasta will go as far as to not t eat fruit that has been altered from its original form. This means they would not eat fruit that has been pealed, cut, or smashed.
Reggae was a precursor not just to the modern Jamaican style of Dub, but to American Ska (think No Doubt, Sublime, Reel Big Fish), Jambands (Donna the Buffalo, The String Cheese Incident) and British reggae-based bands (UB40). Also often ignored is that reggae is the predecessor to Hip-Hop and Rap music, and a very clear line can be drawn between the two. Every man love dem reggae vibes!
  1. I Chase The Devil Max Romeo 3:23
  2. No Woman, No Cry Bob Marley & The Wailers 3:46
  3. The Harder They Come Jimmy Cliff 3:07
  4. Beach In Hawaii Ziggy Marley 3:44
  5. Israelites Desmond Dekker 2:49
  6. Them Belly Full (But We Hungry) Bob Marley & The Wailers 3:13
  7. King Without a Crown Matisyahu 3:40
  8. Baby I Love You Carl Dawkins 2:46
  9. Jamming Bob Marley & The Wailers 3:31
  10. True Love SOJA 4:18
  11. Intoxication Gentleman 3:29
  12. I Know You Don't Care Damian & Ziggy Marley & Buju Banton 5:50
  13. The Tide Is High The Paragons 2:42
  14. 007 (Shanty Town) Desmond Dekker 2:42
  15. Santeria Sublime 3:03
  16. I Shot The Sheriff Bob Marley & The Wailers 4:41
  17. Satisfaction Carl Dawkins 1:46
  18. Redemption Song Bob Marley & The Wailers 3:54
  19. Happy Go Lucky Girl The Paragons 3:06
  20. Rastafari Anthem Alborosie 3:27
  21. Sleepless Night Zenzile 4:13
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