Bob Marley And The Wailers

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Reggae is a music genre that evolved from the Jamaican music style called ska, and was influenced by American rhythm and blues. Reggae contains many references Rastafarianism, which many consider the result of Bob Marley’s practice of integrating reggae with Rastafarian ideology. This paper serves to examine reggae, with special emphasis on a lyric analysis of Jamaican reggae band Bob Marley and the Wailers. The major question this paper addresses the social context that led to the dominance of social criticism in the lyrics of reggae songs, the importance and significance of Rastafarianism, as well as how reggae has transformed and spread across the world. Reggae was born from a community of marginalized poor Blacks in Trenchtown, the…show more content…
The context of deindustrialization that gave birth to American hip hop is comparable to that of the community of marginalized poor Blacks in ghetto Trenchtown in Jamaica. Hip hop was able to replicate and reimagine the grievances of urban life and symbolically appropriates urban space, and give disadvantaged young Black youth a voice to vent their frustrations (Rose, 1994). The tensions and contradictions in public urban landscape during a period of substantial transformation in New York and attempts to seize the shifting urban terrain are found within hip hop’s rap lyrics. As a result, rap lyrics directly related to urban deindustrialization of the 1970s, the postindustrial urban landscape in 1980s, and impact of all these social pressures on the Black communities. Hip hop’s emergence entails several Afro-diasporic forms, traditions, and practices, and rap is form of protest (Rose, 1994). Police brutality, racism, and harassment make up the political core of male rapper’s social criticism. This strongly parallels the social function of reggae lyrics. Rose (1994) talks about the long history of Black cultural subversion and social critique in music and performance, and the concept of the “hidden transcript”. In social conditions in which direct attacks on authoritative groups are unwise, oppressed people may use music to mock those in power, to express rage, and to produce fantasies of subversion (Rose,
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