Reggae naturally spread to the other Caribbean islands after its birth in the ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica. Reggae music spreading its roots, influenced by ancient traditional music originating in Africa, kept alive by Rastafarians and evolving over time.
I went to a party one Saturday night with my girls and while grooving to some Mary J, Usher and the other citizens of that genre while surveying the crowd at the same time.
I noticed that although the majority of the party goers were Black there was a sprinkle of other races and ethnicities also.
There were even a few Asian kids hanging out next to the DJ booth. Well I didn’t go to the club to stare at people so I went back to doing my groove thing. Then the reggae came on and the DJ said “I want give a shout out to all my West Indian Massive, nuff respect.”
Well I thought that was the end of that now on with the music but then he continued to say. “What about Brooklyn, raise your hands! England, Belgium and last but not least Japan. I was born in Japan but I tour the world playing my music and everywhere I go I get respect.”
It was crazy—the crowd was loving him and how could they not. He knew his business and he didn’t just play, he mastered it. His mixes were crazy, he knew all the classics, he handled the legendary riddims with skills that suggested he was a born and raised West Indian rudeboy.
It was amazing to watch reggae strip everyone in the party of their differences to see them alternating from dubbing in a dark corner and pressed up on walls to displaying the latest dance styles in the center of the floor, to raising their hands and chanting together, united by the sweet sweet sounds of reggae.
That night we danced to tunes that encouraged us to live life, love freely, think consciously and give praise. The party winded down to “One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright. Give thanks and praise to the lord and I will feel alright.”