Reggae, the Next Big Ting?

Madison is predicting that reggae (dancehall) is on the rise. I’d love to see it happen but I feel a sense of déjà vu. Didn’t we go through this about 10-15 years ago (damn I’m getting old) when Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton, Supercat, Cutty Ranks, KRS-ONE, etc. were doing their thing? And let’s not forget Sly & Robbie’s Silent Assassin CD. I just knew dancehall was gonna take over the U.S. but it never happened. Seems like most Americans always get stuck on not being able to understand the lyrics. Nor did those artists, aside from Shabba, ever really get much radio/video play. Will it be different this time? If it is I hope we don’t get some watered down version of dancehall. Keep mine pure & hard core.

Also, in the comments of Madison’s post is a good discussion about the history of hip-hop and how much reggae influenced rap. There’s another prediction in the comments about Garage music being the next, next thing. I’d love to see that too, but I can’t see Americans adopting it widely. Especially not now that we’ve got like 1 1/2 companies running all of the media outlets. They’ll just spoon feed us the same old stale music they’ve been playing.

Shop at Amazon.com

This entry was posted in Music. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Abe

    The best theory I’ve heard (forgot where, sorry) is that Dancehall/Reggae pretty much keeps a constant quality level at all times. But the media in America only pays attention to it when things are weak in the US. No good hip hop to write about? Break out the Jamaica article and big up an artist. Soon as some hot new shit comes out in America its forgotten. And the Jamacian’s just keep making crazy amounts of music (they have more music output per capita then any other country in the world). It’ll be the next big thing again in a few years…

    The pattern goes back to the late 60’s with Desmond Decker (pop rock dying), Marley (area rock needs help), Dub and Sly and Robbie (punk/new wave loosing steam) and into the era you mentioned, which happend to be right before Wu, Dre and Nas made hip hop exciting again.

  • Micheal, thanks for the comments, link, trackback, etc. I hope this conversation spreads and grows because it is an interesting one.

    Actually, now that I think about it I am baffled that dancehall and reggae in general have not become bigger in the US. At a New York “hip-hop” party the dj must play some dancehall. It is ESSENTIAL.

    And how come some of the most popular hip-hop vinyl spots on the net (sandboxautomatic.com, hiphopsite.com, ughh.com) completely ignore reggae? Curse the dj who’s reggae vinyl isn’t up to date and they try to spin at a party in Brooklyn!

    It must be the language barrier. And that’s where hip-hop may mix in and make it more popular, without as much watering down.

  • The theory that Abe mentioned makes a lot of sense to me. Americans at large don’t seem to be interested in foreign music too much… or foreign anything for that matter. For example, there’s so much incredible music being produced in the U.K. but most Americans have never been exposed to. I’m not sure who’s to blame though. I’d love to place it all on the media companies but the public has to take some blame for not demanding anything different.

  • Pingback: Diesel Nation()