What Kind of Reggae is That?

Whether you were at a club, bought a mixed cd or went to a concert — you have asked that question.

Foundation artists, such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Steel Pulse have programmed our ears to the early ska, rock steady beats. Roots and dub are direct creations from the reggae legends mentioned above.

Soon came digital instrumentation and the birth of dancehall. Artists would “toast” or sing over riddims (rhythms) and create specials or dubplates for sound systems. Dee-jay and sing-jay collaborations were common back in the early 80s featuring artists like Wayne Wonder and Buju Banton.

Ska reggae can be heard by listening to Toots and The Maytals, specifically “54-46 Was My Number,” a nifty song about his time spent in prison.

Conscious ragga developed shortly after dancehall with artists like Sizzla, Luciano and Anthony B., singing political and empowerment lyrics over dancehall riddims.

Reggaeton have riddims and beats similar to dancehall reggae, but was created Panama. It was Puerto Rico that brought recognition to reggaeton.

Modern Soca has been heavily influenced by reggae, although it isn’t a recognized reggae genre, it sounds very familiar to dancehall. Check out Machel Montano or Renato and listen to what many Caribbeans vibe to. Here in San Diego, where you find reggae is the only place where you’ll hear Soca.

Mz. Jackson

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