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The Rastafari sound: Jah, Ganja, Bob Marley and the roots of reggae
Reggae came into existence in a late 1960s Jamaica, emerging from the genres ska and rocksteady, and quickly became the dominant style of music in the country. Its lyrics, both sociocritical and inspired by love, peace and unity, coupled with the use of the creole language, Patois, and the spiritual connection to Rastafari, turned reggae into more than just a style of music. Reggae is a social movement, a philosophy and a way of life that has spread internationally since the 1970s - particularly in the US, England and Africa.
Reggae - The Voice of the Oppressed
In the 1970s the development of reggae was fueled by the coming together of the music and the Rastafari movement. The latter is a way of faith striving for equality and justice and advocating the resettlement of the African Diaspora people to Africa. But it is well known mainly thanks to its endorsement of the holy and ritual consumption of marijuana. Bob Marley and The Wailers, and also bands such as Big Youth, Black Uhuru and Burning Spear popularized the love affair between reggae and Rastafari. The previously mentioned ska also formed a reggae movement in the UK, whose supporters most notably included the band UB40. In the US the popularity of reggae was due to Bob Marley: not only directly through his own music, but also indirectly, through the music of others, for example, Eric Clapton's cover version of his song "I Shot the Sheriff" (1974).
In these parts, reggae has been more than an unknown quantity for a long time now. The wave also spilled over to many European nations in the late 1970s, however, the popularity was initially expressed in pure means of consumption. Over the course of the 1980s, many musicians and journalists began to strongly pursue their own interests instead, and in doing so contributed to the emergence of their own reggae culture. The Sound Systems, Pow Pow and Silly Walks played an equally important role as the artist, Gentleman. The latter embraced the Jamaican style over the years he spent living in Jamaica and created authentic reggae music, not only in English, but also using the Jamaican creole language Patois. In the 2000s his number 1 album “Confidence” was a great commercial success.