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

Download Reggae Lover episode 140 by clicking the image above.

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
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN AND/OR SUBSCRIBE.

 

The Influence of Reggae

1

Discussing the power and cultural impact of reggae music on Jamaica and the world historically and today.

Click for podcast mp3 audio download to play offline.

What life lessons have you learned from listening to reggae music?

In your opinion, what has been the biggest effect on the world as a result of reggae music?

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN AND/OR SUBSCRIBE.
CLICK LINKS BELOW FOR MORE WAYS TO LISTEN AND/OR SUBSCRIBE:
61 - Reggae Lover Podcast - Original Vintage Ska (artwork)

Original Vintage Ska | Reggae Lover Podcast 61

This episode starts with early rocksteady then goes back in time to original vintage ska.

Cover: 61 - Reggae Lover Podcast - Original Vintage Ska

For those who are not familiar with ska, I will attempt to give you a brief history. Ska music originated in Jamaica in the 1950s and became popular in the 1960s. When you listen to ska lyrics and melodies you must keep a few things in mind:

  1. Ska had an uptempo beat for dancing and required very energetic dance moves. It’s based on Mento (Jamaican folk music) and Caribbean Calypso mixed with classic American R&B.
  2.  Jamaica gained independence from Great Britain in 1962 with ska as the soundtrack. This music is the island’s 1st true ‘pop’ genre and there is a sense of new national pride in some of the lyrics.
  3. An influx of youth moved from outlying areas of the island to Kingston to look for work. Unable to make a living, many teens resorted to illegal activities. This set the stage for what became known as the “rude boy” subculture, another major source of lyrics in early ska.

In the late 1960s the pace of the ska beat slowed down and a new, slower genre called rocksteady emerged. Rocksteady only remained popular from 1966 to 1968. Then reggae music hit the town and spread like wildfire.

Ska caught on in the British market from 1960 to 1967. Many British ska record labels popped up on the scene releasing music that featured Jamaican artists and musicians. The skinhead and punk communities also embraced the music. Ska experienced a revival with a second wave of popularity driven by UK bands in the 1970s.  Traditional ska transformed with the hard edge of punk rock among other influences.

The third wave of popularity began in the 1980s and continued into the 1990s. By then most continents had a growing ska presence. Ska bands such as No Doubt, Sublime, and Fishbone led the way in the United States and had major commercial success.

Playlist:

  1. Johnny Clarke – Move Out of Babylon
  2. Burning Spear – Marcus Garvey
  3. Carl Dawkins – Baby I Love You
  4. Derrick Morgan – Tougher Than Tough
  5. Peter Tosh and The Soulmates – Rudie’s Medley
  6. Desmond Dekker – 007 (Shanty Town)
  7. Lloyd Robinson – No More Trouble
  8. Alton Ellis and The Flames – Cry Tough
  9. Alton Ellis and The Flames – Blessing of Love
  10. Hopeton Lewis – Take It Easy
  11. Alton Ellis – Girl I’ve Got a Date
  12. U-Roy – Wake the Town
  13. U-Roy – I Can’t Love Another
  14. Ken Boothe – The Train is Coming
  15. Bob Andy – I’ve Got to Go Back Home
  16. Delroy Wilson – Dancing Mood
  17. Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come
  18. Paragons – Happy Go Lucky Girl
  19. Eric Morris – If I Didn’t Love You
  20. The Melodians – Rivers of Babylon
  21. Stranger Cole – Rough and Tough
  22. Theophilus Beckford – Easy Snappin’
  23. Bob and Marcia – Young Gifted and Black
  24. Prince Buster – Hard Man Fe Dead
  25. The Maytals – Six and Seven Books of Moses
  26. The Skatalites – Guns of Navarone
  27. Derrick Morgan – Forward March
  28. Prince Buster – Al Capone
  29. Derrick Morgan – The Hop
  30. Derrick Morgan – Housewives Choice
  31. Don Drummond – Man in the Street
  32. The Folkes Brothers – Oh Carolina
  33. Bob Marley – Judge Not
  34. Jimmy Cliff – Miss Jamaica
  35. Alton Ellis and The Flames – Dance Crasher
  36. Justin Hinds and The Dominoes – Carry Go Bring Come
  37. The Wailers – Simmer Down
  38. Laurel Aitken – Boogie in My Bones
  39. Clancy Eccles – Sammy No Dead
  40. Baba Brooks – Girl’s Town Ska
  41. Owen Gray – Midnight Track
  42. Millie Small – My Boy Lollipop

SOUNDCLOUD: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD, OR PRESS PLAY BELOW TO LISTEN NOW.

APPLE PODCAST: SUBSCRIBE OR LISTEN VIA  ITUNES.

GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC: SUBSCRIBE OR LISTEN HERE.

STITCHER RADIO: SUBSCRIBE OR LISTEN HERE.