Does Jamaica need to protect Reggae?

Reggae should be celebrated and protected!

Reggae music is rarely featured in mainstream media and news sources (in the USA at least), so when I saw the headline “Jamaica Moving to Reclaim Global Dominance in Reggae” I was more than intrigued, and a bit confused… Was there some other nation out there waiting to pounce and become the new face of Reggae?

In my eyes, Jamaica has never lost it’s dominance in the Reggae world, in fact, there isn’t a single country that could even begin to threaten Jamaica as the legitimate home of reggae, after all, Jamaica is the birthplace of such a wonderful style of music, originating from a rich cultural background and history. The headline for the article was a bit misleading, thankfully.

What the author was trying to point out is that there is a massive global market for Reggae music, and the whole reclaiming nonsense is a way of saying that the government wants in on it. It seems that Jamaican officials are realizing the impact Reggae is having all around the world, it’s rising popularity and good vibes being spread across the planet. Naturally, they are now trying to make financial gains on all of this.

LoveDancehall Reggae Graffiti

The plan is create a “seal” or symbol that will authenticate certain music and artists as being truly Jamaican. This reminds me of a “fair-trade” stamp on a bag of coffee, or an “100% organic” logo, but is Reggae really a tangible product? The whole point of Reggae is that it can spread joy, dancing, laughing, and good, positive vibrations from human to human. To bottle a feeling would be ridiculous.

The market for Reggae is growing globally, this however doesn’t mean that Jamaica is losing it’s grasp on it. Reggae will always be home in Jamaica, and real, authentic reggae does not need a stamp of authenticity! Reggae is a feeling, and not something which can be cheaply replicated by manufacturers in China or super producers in America (Snoop, you may have fooled some with the whole Snoop Lion thing, but that didn’t last did it?). If the artist themselves is not authentic, the music will reflect that.

The positive thing is that officials are looking for ways to support, grow and maintain Reggae. Lets hope they go about it in a sensible way.

“Who feels it, knows.”

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