Reggae is a musical genre that emerged in the late 1960s and is the most popular of Jamaican musical expressions. Thanks to his international success, he became an internationally appreciated musical style, carrying his own culture. Reggae is often linked to the Rastafarian movement, itself born in Jamaica. But some Rastas, such as the Bobo Shanti movement, were or are opposed to it. Nevertheless, the majority of reggae singers are, or claim to be, Rasta; reggae can be seen as a means of spreading Rastafarian ideas.
According to the Larousse dictionary, the definition of reggae is as follows. "Jamaican popular music born in the late 1960s from the fusion of ska and calypso rhythms from Trinidad with blues and North American rock and roll, and characterized by a binary rhythm syncopated with the shift of the high time. The genre metamorphosed into reggae, a term coined by Frederic Toots Hibbert, composer of Do the Reggay in 1967. »
Reggae was launched in Jamaica in the late 1960s in a context of strong competition between small music producers. It is the result of many encounters and crossbreeding: evolution of ska then rocksteady, it finds its roots in the colonial white rhythms and music that were played as slaves (polka, mazurka, scottish, scottish, quadrille but also music of military types with fife and drums), cultural and musical forms of the 19th century such as Kumina, Junkanoo (in) or Revival Zion, which are translated into traditional Caribbean music (mento and calypso), but is also very influenced by Rhythm and blues, jazz and soul music (American music is then very popular in Jamaica). In addition to these influences, there are influences from African music, the Rasta movement and Nyabinghi songs, which use drums derived from Buru Afro-Jamaican ceremonies. This crossbreeding will not stop there: nowadays, many styles are inspired, integrated or take up the reggae style all over the world. Reggae is now a universal music, as its main ambassador, Bob Marley, wished.
The term appeared in 1968 in Jamaica, but its origin is controversial. It could have come from the Jamaican English word, "streggae", which refers to a person who is poorly or poorly dressed, and from there, the prostitutes; this word would have been modified by a Jamaican radio station at the time. This etymology is also provided by the great reggae producer Bunny Lee who explains it to Jamaican musician and musicologist Bruno Blum in the film Get Up Stand Up, the history of reggae, stating that the radio stations did not like the pejorative word "streggae".