Jamaican Flag
13 mei 2020

Reggae Music

Music has changed immensely over the centuries. From classical to hip-hop, cultures have adapted to new styles time and time again producing the beloved musical pieces we enjoy today. One very unique music genre is Reggae. Reggae music is widely known. Originating from Jamaica, Reggae served as the voice of the oppressed. Jamaica was plagued by remnants of colonialism and slavery, turning policemen against her own citizens with hefty violence. The cities and towns were littered with ghettos filled with crime committed just to stay alive. It was and still is hard for the overwhelmingly large portion of lower class citizens on the island. Reggae was introduced to the world by a number of artists, the most famous ones being Bob Marley and the Wailers. Nowadays there are many different forms of reggae. Miscellaneous artists found their sound in the Jamaican music, so naturally you can find a broad variety of songs and styles to enjoy. When did this great music start? And how why was it names Reggae? We from Best Friends love reggae for more than one reason, so let’s dive in and explore to find the answer to some of these questions.

Ska music people dancing

Before reggae gained it’s fame, the popular genre in Jamaica was ska and rocksteady (a slower form of ska). These music genres derived from local drum styles and American jazz/blues. One particular drum style came from the Rastafarian movement of the Nyabinghi, a branch of Rasta that translates Rastafarian philosophy of peaceful resistance and biblical passages into drum music and chanting. The rhythm of this drum was based on the rhythm of the heart. Multiple talented artists created songs similar to ska but with a lower pace and more focus on the drums, bass and off rhythm, birthing a unique style onto the island of Jamaica. In the late 60s Toots and the Maytals released a song called: “Doing the Reggay”. Giving a name to a genre that would echo far into the future.

Bob Marley Singing Black and White

Big names like: Bob Marley and the Wailers -Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer-, Dennis Brown, Ken Boothe and Lee “Scratch” Perry were key figures in the formation of Reggae. Eventually Jamaican reggae artists -namely Bob Marley- would tour the UK, America and Africa to show the mainlanders what Reggae music was all about.

Reggae is a way of communication, a way to politically address social and economical injustice, like in the song: “War” – Bob Marley.  A way to spread news, love (Song: Till your well runs dry – Peter Tosh) and philosophy (Song: Iron Sharpening Iron – Culture), And later a carrier of the Rastafarian message to move back to Africa, the promised land (Dreamland – Bunny Wailer). With it’s deep sounding bass, skanking guitar and particular off-beat rhythm, reggae music holds the ability to reach both mind and soul with it’s lyrics and mystical beat.
Rasta with speakers on car

Not only did Reggae become a global genre, it also inspired new musical genres to tread forward. Dancehall deejays took the idea of singing about injustice over music and brought it to America, partially sparking the revolution of hip-hop.Music is often an integral part of a comfortable and soulful environment. Here at Best Friends we love music. We at all times strife to carry a welcoming sound to our customers ears. Do you enjoy the music from Best Friends Centrum? Then here is some good news. You can now listen to it daily from the comfort of your own home! Our playlist is online and accessible on Spotify.

Check it out HERE!

The playlist is filled with soul, funk, reggae, jazz, rock and much more! The goal for this playlist is to enjoy a smoke while listening to many different genres, delivering an ever changing experience! The songs are picked to be in the same trend, but different enough to keep it fresh. Explore and be stunned by the many both famous or unknown tracks!

Playing reggae on the streets

Share this on Facebook
Thanks to our friends @
Best Friends

Written by
Peije Steinz