The great news for Reggae artists is the shelf life of a Reggae fan is pretty much forever. That may sound like a bold or subjective statement if you have never been to a Reggae festival or listened to a Reggae band play trough skyscraper sized speakers while sipping a Red Stripe on a Caribbean beach.
Waiting for managers, producers, investors or record labels to keep you busy is not just frustrating it is a career death sentence.
Reggae distributors, artists, managers and promoters need to come together with a team approach to push bigger projects by committee and share in the success. If the egos can be left out of the equation everyone will win big.
Roots Reggae artists have chanted down Babylon for decades invoking the warrior spirit. This is not surprising when you take into account Jamaica’s rich history from Nanny and Paul Bogle, to the Pan-African movement and Marcus Garvey, to Rastafarianism.
Reggae did have an on stage appearance at this years 52nd Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. Thanks to two musical giants and long time Reggae ambassadors Sting and Shaggy.
Two of the biggest Dancehall artists in Africa are Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale. If you are a Dancehall fan and you are not familiar with these two names google them and or go to Youtube where you can watch dozens of their music videos.
"Stony Hill" by Damian Robert Nesta "Jr. Gong" Marley, Bob Marley's youngest son, won for Best Reggae Album at this years 60th Annual Grammy Awards. He has been nominated five times.
In a letter to fans Buju wrote....“To all of my fans who have stood beside me I thank you. Your actions, letters and heartfelt prayers have been appreciated. I thank you and am humbled by your kindness – I am with you and you with me. Always,”
In 1991 at the annual Sting stage show what many would argue was the first really epic dancehall clash took place between two greats, Ninjaman and Supercat. Both were long time veterans and had real street credibility. Supercat was huge in Jamaica and had a big buzz overseas. Ninjaman was also huge in Jamaica and had the local stage show clash scene primed.
While waiting to board my flight the feeling of curiosity as to what first class would be like gave way to excitement when I spotted the the Ranks! Shabba Ranks dressed in the baggy tailored linen suit, shades and cross cut dress shoes with no socks.
This was Reggae’s early digital era and Tenor Saw’s voice was infectious on the riddims. He had with out question one of the most original voices in Reggae music.
I think most would find it hard to argue that the overwhelming majority of names on the list belong there.
Bob Marley's music was chart topping all over the world when he and Stevie met and their mutual respect was apparent when they shared the stage performing Bob's "I Shot The Sheriff" and Stevie's "Superstition".
Jamaica has created multiple musical forms such as Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, Dub and Dancehall and has directly influenced others like Hip Hop. No other country that size has been more innovative in music.
Music listeners all over the world love reggae. But, the success of a genre is measured more by the staying power of premiere artists and their constant chart positioning, which show the public’s willingness to spend on it, than by the public’s acceptance of it’s entertainment value.
Most agree that Hip Hop began in New York in the late 70’s. Anyone serious about tracing the roots of Hip Hop will find themselves researching Sir Coxsone, Duke Reid, Daddy U-Roy and Yellowman to name a few.