Popular music originating in the West Indies; repetitive bass riffs and regular chords played on the off beat by a guitar.
Predominant form of West Indian popular music of the 1970s and 1980s, characterized by a heavily accented offbeat and a thick bass line. The lyrics often refer to Rastafarianism.
Musicians include Bob Marley, Lee “Scratch” Perry (1940– , performer and producer), and the group Black Uhuru (1974– ). Reggae is also played in the uk, South Africa, and elsewhere.
There are several reggae styles. The practice of issuing singles with, on the B-side, a dub version, or stripped-down instrumental remix, was designed for use in clubs, where disc jockeys who added a spoken vocal part became known as toasters; they in turn released records. A fast reggae-rap style called ragga emerged in the early 1990s. Like rap texts, reggae lyrics tend to be political-historical (Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs), sexually explicit (Shabba Ranks), or describe ghetto violence (Cobra).