Reggae Music

Reggae is a form of a music genre that borrows its roots and originality from Jamaica. It started in 1960s and most cases is used in a broader sense to explain most types of the Jamaican dance music. Reggae denotes a certain kind of music style that has a strong influence on the traditional calypso and mento music together with American jazz and blues and rhythm. It evolved from the early genres the rock steady and ska Offbeat rhythms is an element that is easily and most recognized in reggae music. It is usually characterized by having a slower tempo than rock steady and ska. The use of bass guitar in reggae music has a dominant role in its sound that is generally thick and heavy and its lower frequencies emphasized usually played on the rhythms off beat. Reggae is enjoyed because of its tradition of religion and social criticism in its lyrics. Also most the reggae music normally entails discussion of personal subjects such as socializing and love in a lighter sense and understanding. Today reggae music is witnessed in many countries all over the world in which the countries use their local instruments with the fusion of other genres.

Reggae Music in Africa

Africa received a milestone boost in reggae when Bob Marley visited Zimbabwe in 1980s although the Nigerian reggae had already developed. Reggae music in South Africa played a role in unifying cultural groups in towns and also during the apartheid. South Africa was well represented in reggae before the death of Lucky Dube but today only reggae bands are enjoyed in various centers in the country. Countries such as Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia and Mali still have something to smile with popular reggae musicians in their turf. Ivory Coast reggae music is the most popular form of music genre with musicians such as Tiken Jah Fakoly and Alpha Blondy. In Africa, drums, beats and bass guitars have been adopted in various music styles and amongst the reggae music lovers’ dreadlocks and iconic pictures are characterized by them.


Rastafarianism is a form of religion that most reggae musicians practice that makes most of the reggae lyrics to reflect on the traditions and beliefs of this religion. In this religion, marijuana acts as a sacrament that links a person with God by opening the mind to receive God’s testimony. Ganja as it is mostly referred in Jamaica usually features more prominently in reggae lyrics. April 21st to Rastafarians makes the celebration of “Grounation day”. Also wearing dreadlocks is undertaken to symbolize the Rastafarianism roots.

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