The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

Beginners Guide to Reggae

Vera Agne
The above pictures show Bob Marley (top left), The Wailers (bottom right), and Slightly Stooped (bottom left) “taped” onto the Jamaican flag.

Music constantly envelopes society today, whether it is playing in a local Starbucks and even in nature like the sweet melody of birds in the morning or cricket chirps at night. The most popular music genre today is pop music; artists like Taylor Swift, Zach Bryan, Morgan Wallen, and Travis Scott all appeared in the top 100 on the billboard this week (Sept. 4-8). Reggae is listed as number 4 on the popularity scale according to talkinmusic.

Reggae, originating in Jamaica in the 1960s, became a popular international music style by the 1970s. Bob Marley, otherwise known as Robert Nesta Marley, is considered one of the pioneers of reggae as his career fused reggae, rock, and ska (a rocksteady genre originating in Jamaica). Besides Marley and the Wailers, groups who attracted the fusion of Rastafari and reggae were Big Youth, Black Uhuru, Burning Spear (especially Winston Rodney), and Culture. Reggae utilizes an energetic four-beat rhythm powered by drums, bass guitar, electric guitar, and the “scraper,” a curved stick that is rubbed against an ordinary stick (the drum and bass provided the basis for the new instrumental genre dub.) As reggae emerged from these foundations, its songs became progressively political and more explicitly addressed concerns regarding social and economic inequality. The Rastafarian movement, which advocated for the return of the African diaspora to Africa, glorified the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie I and encouraged the use of cannabis (marijuana) for sacramental use, grew during this period of reggae development.

Making the perfect reggae playlists takes an abundance of research: operating the Spotify/Apple Music/YouTube search bar. Most people know who Bob Marley is but do not know enough of his songs. Class favorites include the following: “Could you be loved”, “No Woman No Cry”, “Three Little Birds”, “Jamming”, “Natural Mystic”, “Buffalo Soldier”, “One Drop”, “Africa Unite”, “So Much Trouble in the World”, “One Love”, “Is This Love”, “Sun is Shining”, “Waiting in Vain” and “Stir it up”.

Of course, there are many more songs, but these options should be more than suitable for the beginning of your reggae journey with Bob Marley.

The second artist/band is a tad more underground, but the music is just as pleasant. Slightly Stoopid. People always look at me funny when I say I am going to their concert because of how stupid the name is. These songs are desperately required for your reggae playlist: “Officer”, “2 am”, “Bandalero”, “Collie Man”, “World on Fire (stick figure)”, “Nobody Knows”, “If You Want It”, “Sweet Honey”, “Closer to the Sun”, “Mona June” and “Mellow Mood”.

Sublime, famous for their song, “Santeria” also should be included in your playlist along with a few other songs: “Waiting for my Ruca”, “Scarlet Begonias”, “Doin’ Time”, and “Badfish”. After lead singer, Bradley Nowell unfortunately passed away in 1996, the group later reformed into Sublime with Rome in 2017 with lead singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez. From sublime with Rome- “Cool and Collected”.

To finish off your beginner training in making this playlist, here are a few random songs to consider: “Welcome to Jamrock” -Damian Marley; “Lazy Afternoon” and “Suffering”-Rebelution; “Moonlight”-Tribal Seeds “Edge of the Ocean”-Stick Figure; “Act of Affection”-Wailing Souls “Fire on the Mountain”-Grateful Dead; and “Stone Love”-Pepper.

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About the Contributor
Vera Agne, Staffer

Hi! My name is Vera Agne I’m a junior here at Plant High School and a second-year staff member on PHS news. In my free time, I love to read, sketch, and watch all kinds of movies. I am so excited to be a part of staff again this year:)

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