How Marley's Music Changed Society

1683 WordsAug 5, 20147 Pages
The paper discusses how Marley’s music changed society by mainstreaming the ideas of black resistance, social justice, racial equality, and anti-colonialism to the baby-boom generation and generations endlessly onward. The paper will outline the historical background of reggae as well as the social cause to which it became attached by the work of Marley. The paper submits that reggae, ultimately, became the chief means of expressing the angst and dislocation felt by many within the African Diaspora. Finally, the paper will offer a critical analysis of one of Marley’s works, “I Shot the Sheriff”, and will explain why this signature work is a classic instance of reggae speaking out against injustice and the prevailing power structure. We learn from looking at the literature that modern-day Reggae had its wellsprings in the African-American soul music of the 1950s and 1960s. The insistent, off-beat rhythmic pattern of soul music became a feature of reggae in the late-1960s and early 1970s. However, the aforementioned pattern mostly appeared in the form of the trade-mark galloping backbeat of ska, which was a tip-beat and dance-oriented predecessor of reggae. Ska had a limited expressive range and its galloping speed needed to be slowed down if it was to enjoy a larger audience. Fortunately, it did slow down and, by the end of the 1960s, something known as “Rock Steady” was beginning to surface (Anderson, 206-208). “Rock steady,” for all intents and purposes, was what reggae
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