The New Music of Jamaica

Walshy Fire stated that “Jamaican artists are on the verge of creating a new genre” in a recent interview. This claim warranted further exploration so we went in on the topic.

Before analyzing today’s music we reviewed the many genres that Jamaica has created. That amazing history includes Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, Reggae, Dub and Dancehall. Reggae sub-genres Nyahbingi, lover’s rock, and rub-a-dub are also popular styles.

Reggae Lover Podcast 140 - The New Music of Jamaica

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There was a peak in dancehall popularity in the early 2000s followed by a decline in quality reggae. At that time vinyl formats transitioned to CD. Then CDs went out and digital downloads came in. DJs started using laptops to play music and consumers turned to personal electronics. This transitional period led to what we call the reggae revival.

The current global dancehall and reggae revival movements are creating genre-bending trends. Artists like Protoje, Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Jesse Royal, Damian Marley, and Koffee are synonymous with such trends.

Based on our analysis there either is a new emerging genre, or the concept of genres is simply dead. Distinctions between genres have become blurred and young audiences around the world are embracing that change.

References:

  • Lord Fly with Dan Williams – Medley of Jamaican Mento
  • Koffee – Toast
  • Culture – Two Sevens Clash
  • Lila Ike – Biggest Fan
  • Toots and the Maytals – Do the Reggae
  • Reggae Lover Episode 20 – Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry,
  • Johnny Osborne – Water Pumping
  • Reggae Lover Episode 21 – Augustus Pablo,
  • The Skatalites – Guns of Navarone
  • Reggae Lover Episode 120 – Dub.
  • Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus – None of Jah Jah Children
  • Hood Celebrity – Walking Trophy
  • King Tubbys – King of the Arena
  • Ed Sheeran – Shape of You
  • Justin Beiber – Sorry
  • Koffee – Rapture
  • Bob Marley – Talking Blues
  • Reggae Lover Episode 126 – Dancehall vs Reggae
  • Reggae Lover Episode 133 – The Influence of Reggae
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Social Responsibility (RIP Nipsey Hussle)

The community involvement of fallen rapper Nipsey Hussle lead to today’s topic: What is the social responsibility of the reggae artist who has gained notoriety in their community?

Nipsey Hussle

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Kahlil Wonda argues that artists should first clean up their lyrics. This way word and sound equals the power to influence others.

AGARD argues that artists should organize people and perform good deeds in the community to effect positive change.

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Sound System Chat with Webba

Once one of Kingston’s most sought after selectors, Webba talks about his time playing some of Jamaica’s top sound systems including Stone Love, Metro Media, Black Stone, and African Star.

Once one of Kingston's most sought after selectors, Webba talks about his time playing some of Jamaica's top sound systems including Stone Love, Metro Media, Black Stone, and African Star.  We talk about how he got his start in music, why he transitioned to promoting reggae events, and more. Catch all the stories and insights in this fun Reggae Lover interview.

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We talk about how he got his start in music, why he transitioned to promoting reggae events, and more. Catch all the stories and insights in this fun Reggae Lover interview.

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Buju, Koffee, and Kahlil Wonda Interview

I discuss Buju Banton’s triumphant return to the stage at the Long Walk to Freedom Concert. There’s no way I could fail to talk about this historic event.

Also, Koffee’s debut EP release and the placement of her single “Toast” in the box office blockbuster movie “Us.” Stream or download her EP “Rapture,” now.
Reggae Lover episode 137, Buju #LWTFC, Kahlil Wonda interview, Koffee - Toast.

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This episode includes footage from when I was a guest on the Dash-A-Fire podcast. You learn where I was born and raised. You learn where and how Highlanda Sound got started. I talked about my love for vegetarian food and where I go get it in Atlanta. I list some of my favorite artists and explain my inspiration for starting this podcast. All good stuff.
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