Deejaying, now known as Dancehall became popular in the
early 70s. It may have been way earlier, since it is not dissimilar to
what MCs did at the time – talking while the music plays in the back ground. It is to be noted here that the beginnings of Hip Hop can be traced back to this
early form of Jamaican music.
Roots Reggae is the most popular form of reggae and it was
made popular by Marley and others. It started to take shape some time in the mid 70s and has continued to this very
day. It is what most people around the world identify as authentic reggae
3. Who invented reggae?
It would certainly make life far easier if one could
attribute the creation of reggae music to a single individual. But we know from above that reggae developed over a
period of time. Here is where the history of reggae becomes somewhat fuzzy. Marley said it is the music that "I
man" (referring to himself) created.
Others have said it was Lee Perry after he left Studio One
and was experimenting on his own. And again we have those who claimed
it came from Africa. Truth be told many individuals, some more than
others, contributed to the development of reggae music.
The pioneers of reggae are too numerous to list here but all
the early Ska, Rocksteady, Early Reggae, Nyabhingi, Dub, Deejay (Dancehall) and Roots Reggae artists all
played their role in the formation and development of reggae music as we’ve come to know it.
4. Why was reggae created?
Jamaica became independent in the 60s and the music by that time was starting to
gain a political edge but not to any great extent. But that was soon
For you to get the full grasp as to why reggae evolved, you
will have to put yourself in the position of the every day man or woman on the street.
If you can picture yourself working in the hot tropical sun
all day, at the end of which your employer takes most if not all your wages; and when you go home the living
conditions are horrible to say the least and your mind can not remotely fathom there being a better
Imagine the joy of being freed from slavery and yet bond by
your circumstances, and to be part of a new system that degrades and miserably fails its own people. If you
can imagine this state of affairs, then you can understand the frustrations that weighted down the spirit of the
people of Jamaica during this time.
It is out of this frustration reggae music
evolved. In the inner cities (ghettos) of Kingston conditions were
even more dire; and we know from experience that the oppression of people anywhere will always bring about some
unique form of self expression or a complete cultural renaissance.
A musical renaissance occured in Jamaica. Even if the
musicians wanted to write about other forms of social commentary, they could not ignore the rapid political decline
and the acute spiritual awakening of themselves and the masses.
They simple had no choice but to make music from their
experiences. And so, Roots Reggae developed and the rest as they say is history, reggae history that is.