How Reggae Beats have become a global world sound

Reggae Beats

How Reggae Beats have become a global world sound


The elements and sounds of reggae beats, dub and roots music is becoming globally relevant on a wide scale. People from all walks of life have seemed to adopt the vibrations that reggae music is delivering to the people. In this article we will discuss, how Reggae has become a global world sound and the interception of the genre.

Reggae was developed and founded by Rastafarians in Jamaica going as far back as the 1930’s and reggae beats were the driving point of worship within the Rastafarian religion. During the emergence of the Rastafari community in Jamaica, Reggae was exclusive to them. The sound of reggae was used as means of worship among the Rastafarian men, women and children and at one point was used to spread the gospel. Rastafari, is a Afrocentric religion giving Jamaicans a concept of Afrocentric ideology, after centuries of slavery, persecution and colonialism.

Reggae music developed through a particular style of music called Mento. The oldest form of music from Jamaica. If it was not for Mento it would be safe to say that Reggae would not have come into existence. Other forms of Jamaican music that Reggae derived from is Ska and Rock steady. All of these Jamaican music subgenres are Reggae music styles, with different forms and variations. These sounds have been now introduced on to the world stage.

Since the emergence of global Jamaican Reggae super stars in the 70’s, 80’s and 90s, such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, Barrington Levy, Jimmy Cliff and Shaggy to name a few. The sounds of reggae beats have been popularized globally. Reggae has spread to many countries around the world, South American nations as well as Central American nations have fused Spanish dialect creating Reggae en Espaonol, often incorporating local instruments and fusing with other genres. Reggae has reached the United Kingdom giving birth to groups such as UB40 and Steel Pulse.  Reggae began its run for global recognition since the late 60’s in Jamaica and has evolved into various subgenres. Many reggae artists began their careers in the UK, and there have been several European artists and bands drawing their inspiration directly from Jamaica and the culture of Rastafari.

Reggae in Africa was boosted by the visit of Bob Marley to Zimbabwe in 1980. Now Africa has home grown Reggae acts that have yet to be discovered. European artist such as Gentleman and Alborosie, have made themselves a viable brand within the fans of Reggae’s eyes. Let’s not forget the newly emerging American Reggae bands, like Rebolution, Solja and J Boog. The elements of Reggae beats and sounds are in fact becoming more popular, as California is one of the largest states in America with a growing Reggae fan base. With the legalization of Marijuana in the US and Europe in the near future, that will surely open an even bigger market for Reggae as the genre has always had its connection to weed.

With these facts stated, there is one thing that no one seems to pay attention to. As Reggae is closely related to Rastafari and is an Afrocentric ideology. The people that founded this sound are slowly becoming forgotten and left out of the financial loop. Since the emergence of Reggae, European businessmen have attempted to claim and capitalize on the word Reggae by attempting to claim copyright ownership. African nations such as Nigeria and Ghana have begun to claim the sound of reggae as being originally from that region. Young American Reggae bands posing as Rasta men singing the music of roots and culture, but not featuring notable Reggae acts on their tours. California, now claiming Reggae has it’s own sound in the American state, hosting concerts not featuring any of the artist that are in fact certified within the Reggae genre.

The problem with this is that Reggae is originally a Jamaican genre of music and will always be a part of Jamaican history. It would seem however, that those who participate in the creation of this music globally who are not Jamaican have just created avenues for themself leaving extremely talented Jamaican Reggae artist out of the equation. There are reggae events that are held around the world that do not feature one Jamaican Reggae artist or band. Whether one is to agree or disagree, authentic reggae is Jamaican Reggae and reggae has no race of music sub-genre. Reggae should not be classified as Pacific Island Reggae, White Band Reggae, African Reggae or Reggae En Espana. Whether it is Dub, Ska, Lovers Rock, Rock Steady, Roots Reggae or from another part of the globe, Reggae is just Reggae if it is played with an authentic feel. There is no one in France taking Hip Hop or Rap and calling it French Rap. It is indeed Rap done with authenticity and categorized as Rap.

In conclusion, Reggae has grown to become a global world music and people of all walks of life love Reggae music, but do they love it for the sound, the history behind it, the new faces and cultures that have taken on to branding it as their own or the potential profit gains involved. Reggae is and will always be the creation of the Rasta foundation and a part of Jamaican culture. There is no in between nor other truth, therefor the people that have brought forward this music to the world, should be apart of the financial possibilities as well.