Are you Jamaican, do you live in Jamaica?
I’m a Jamaican, born and raised there. I came to the U.S to attend university and I go home every chance I get. Now, while your article feigns accuracy, it’s scandalous and misinformed. You see Reggae is not dead, it never will be dead. It’s a part of a culture OUR culture that we never have forsaken. It was our secret until Bob and others popularized it. Bob was relevant to the times, without the trepidations of the world his music would go unheard. A hush, in the peaceful world, no one would care. Now that those issues aren’t as pervasive Reggae has lost it’s place internationally, but not with Jamaicans.
Now it’s our secret again. Reggae no longer strives for international acceptance, it no longer needs to top charts and revolutionize the world. It’s hidden in the hills of Jamaica with true Rastafarians. It’s ours. The new reggae only talks about our issues! And I don’t think we care whether the world accepts it or not. Hence, its silent travel through the times. Oh the part about live bands have you ever seen Christopher Martin perform without one? (he’s a reggae artiste) How about Romain Virgo? How about Sizzla? How about Keznamdi? How about Jah Cure? Let me guess your scope of Reggae rarely goes beyond the last name Marley.
Now what’s also happened is that dancehall has captured the international attention. With artiste like Drake, Skrillex, Major Lazor, and Rihanna championing the sound, it’s gained traction. I can tell you Jamaicans don’t mind at all. So what does this mean for Reggae? The dancehall artistes have become ambassadors for Reggae as well. To them there is no great demarcation. While the tones are different, the culture is the same, the root of both tap on hardcore Jamaican values. There is not one without the other. And if this is just a phase then okay because isn’t music an ever changing, ever evolving entity?
You know on iTunes or Spotify you see Reggae/Dancehall. The two are fusing together. Dancehall artistes are singing Reggae! It might not be the Reggae you want to hear but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
So two points to take away from this. The Reggae you know of, hardcore Reggae lives in the hills of Jamaica with the true Rastafarians. The issues have not changed and they sing the same earth shattering tune. Unfortunately, they don’t care for your consent or liking.
Secondly, we’re ushering a new era of Reggae/ Dancehall. I’m no music expert like you, but I’m Jamaican…I have lived to see this.
Reggae is not only music to us, it’s the ital food we eat, the nappy hair on our heads, the patois we speak. For you to say it’s dead you’re hinting at whole portion of our lives being erased. That’s not fair.