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The History of Reggae: A Timeline

Reggae is a genre of music that has long been a part of Jamaican culture. It is a style of music that has been embraced around the world and has influenced a variety of different genres. To better understand the development and evolution of reggae, let’s take a look at a timeline of its history.


The roots of reggae can be traced back to the late 1800s, when the African-influenced music of the Jamaican Maroons began to emerge. The Maroons were a group of people who had escaped slavery and settled in the mountains of Jamaica. They created a unique blend of traditional African rhythms and the ragtime music that had become popular in the US. This early form of reggae was known as mento and it was the foundation for the reggae sound.

In the late 1800s, Jamaican music began to evolve into ska, which is a faster form of mento. Ska was heavily influenced by jazz and calypso music, and was the precursor to rocksteady, the first true form of reggae.


In the 1960s, rocksteady was born in Jamaica. This new style of music was slower and more soulful than ska, and it was heavily influenced by American R&B. Reggae began to emerge in the late 1960s, and was characterized by a slower tempo and a heavy emphasis on rhythm and bass. This new style of music quickly gained popularity in Jamaica and began to spread around the world.

In 1968, the song “Do the Reggay” by Toots and the Maytals was released and is widely considered to be the first reggae song. This song was a major milestone in the development of reggae and helped to popularize the genre.


In the 1970s, reggae began to gain more international exposure as it spread to the United States and Europe. The most popular reggae artists of this era were Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, and Burning Spear. These iconic musicians helped to popularize reggae around the world, and many of their songs remain popular today.

The 1970s also saw the emergence of the roots reggae subgenre, which was characterized by its slower tempo and spiritual lyrics. This style of reggae was heavily influenced by the Rastafarian movement, and some of the most popular roots reggae artists included Lee “Scratch” Perry, Max Romeo, and Burning Spear.

1980s and Beyond

In the 1980s, reggae began to diversify into a variety of subgenres, including dancehall, dub, and ragga. These subgenres were heavily influenced by hip hop and electronic music, and they helped to keep reggae relevant in the modern music scene. Reggae also continued to gain popularity in Europe and the United States, and some of the most popular reggae artists of this era included Shabba Ranks, UB40, and Shaggy.

Today, reggae is still popular around the world and continues to evolve and diversify. Some of the most popular reggae artists of today include Sean Paul, Shaggy, and Damian Marley. Reggae has also had a major influence on a variety of different genres, including hip hop, rock, and pop.


Reggae is a genre of music with a long and varied history. From its early beginnings in the late 1800s to its modern-day popularity, reggae has been an influential force in popular music. Its unique combination of African rhythms and soulful melodies has captivated audiences around the world, and it continues to evolve and diversify. The next time you listen to reggae, take a moment to reflect on its fascinating history.

Learn Beginner Friendly Acoustic Guitar Rasta Reggae Chord

Easy reggae chord progression for beginners on acoustic guitar! Lets take it all the way back to the beginning when two simple chords could make a massive hit! Let’s start over! lets get it right! the 1 2 chord progression with no doubt the most popular chord progression in reggae next to the 1 4 5 I want to show you my viewers and subcribers how to approach such simple chord progression on acoustic guitar and make it sound magical (strumming pattern, slides, slurs, accents, dynamics) I’ll break this up in 2-3 tutorials as I want you folks to take it one step at a time (especially for beginners) so be sure to look out for part 2 as we continue. ONE LOVE

Understanding Basic Teachings of Rastafarianism Through Rastafari Music

Rastafarianism is a religious and cultural movement that originated in Jamaica in the 1930s. It has gained worldwide recognition and has a significant impact on the music industry. Rastafari music, also known as reggae music, not only entertains but also serves as a means to spread the teachings and principles of Rastafarianism. In this article, we will explore the basic teachings of Rastafarianism and how they are conveyed through Rastafari music.

Rastafarianism: A Brief Overview

Rastafarianism is a monotheistic religion that reveres Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia as the Messiah. It emphasizes the belief in the divinity of Emperor Selassie and the rejection of Babylon (the corrupt and oppressive system). Rastafarians seek to liberate themselves from the mental and physical bondage imposed by the Babylonian society.

The Connection Between Rastafarianism and Music

Music has always played a crucial role in Rastafarianism. It is considered a powerful tool for communication, spiritual enlightenment, and social awakening. Rastafarian musicians use their lyrics and melodies to convey the core principles and teachings of the movement.

One Love and Unity

One of the foundational teachings of Rastafarianism is the concept of “One Love” and unity among humanity. This principle is beautifully depicted in songs like Bob Marley’s “One Love” and “Get Up, Stand Up.” The lyrics emphasize the need for everyone to come together despite differences in race, religion, or social status. Rastafari music promotes the idea that love and unity are the keys to overcoming the Babylon system and creating a just and harmonious world.

African Diaspora and Repatriation

Rastafarianism promotes the repatriation of African descendants to Africa, considering it their ancestral homeland. Many songs in the reggae genre address this idea, encouraging people of African descent to reconnect with their roots and reclaim their African heritage. “Africa Unite” by Bob Marley and “Africa” by Peter Tosh are prime examples of songs that promote the repatriation message.

Biblical References and Haile Selassie

Rastafarians hold the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, as a sacred text. They interpret biblical prophecies and find references to Selassie throughout the scriptures. Rastafarian music often incorporates biblical verses and references, emphasizing the teachings of the Old Testament and connecting them to the divinity of Emperor Selassie. Artists like Burning Spear and Culture have composed songs like “Jah No Dead” and “Two Sevens Clash,” which draw heavily on biblical teachings.

Spirituality and Meditation

Rastafarianism places great importance on spirituality and meditation as a means to connect with Jah (God). Rastafari music frequently incorporates repetitive chanting and melodic rhythms to create a meditative and transcendent experience. Through songs like “Rastaman Chant” by Bob Marley and “Mystic Man” by Peter Tosh, Rastafarian musicians invite the listeners to embark on a spiritual journey and find inner peace through meditation and connection with Jah.

Environmentalism and Natural Living

Rastafarians advocate for environmentalism and natural living. Their belief in the sanctity of nature is reflected in songs that promote the preservation of the Earth and sustainable living. Artists like Third World and Ziggy Marley have composed songs such as “96 Degrees in the Shade” and “True to Myself,” which highlight the need to protect the environment and live in harmony with nature.

PAPA MAMA RASTA FAMILY Chantent sur Armaggeddeon Riddim Extrait du concert à Montélimar pour Mélodimanche Chants : Papa Ras Rod , Mama Rasta , Ras King Niko Camera : Mama Rasta Montage et Réalisation : Papa Ras Rod


Rastafarianism uses Rastafari music as a powerful medium to spread its teachings and principles to a global audience. Through reggae music, Rastafarians convey messages of love, unity, repatriation, spirituality, environmentalism, and more. It serves as a vehicle for social change, enlightenment, and inspiration for generations to come. So next time you listen to a reggae song, take a moment to truly understand and appreciate the basic teachings of Rastafarianism encapsulated within the lyrics and melodies.

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