Hip-hop, Reggae, and Politics

5107 Words21 Pages
Hip-hop, Reggae, and Politics

Introduction

Music is an art form and source of power. Many forms of music reflect culture and society, as well as, containing political content and social message. Music as social change has been highlighted throughout the 20th century. In the 1960s the United States saw political and socially oriented folk music discussing the Vietnam War and other social issues. In Jamaica during the 1970s and 1980s reggae developed out of the Ghetto’s of Trench town and expressed the social unrest of the poor and the need to over-through the oppressors. The 1980’s brought the newest development in social and political music, the emergence of hip-hop and rap. This urban musical art form that was developed in New York City has now taken over the mainstream, but originated as an empowering art form for urban youth and emerging working class.

Musically hip-hop spawned the age of DJ’s. With strong influences from Reggae, hip-hop has developed into an empowering form for the expression of ideas, power, revolution and change. Power and empowerment have emerged from these musical styles that now have many commonalities. Hip-hop and Reggae are both forms of protest music. “Protest music is characterized by objections to injustices and oppressions inflicted on certain individual groups…. typically, the intent of protest musicians is to oppose the exploitation and oppression exercised by dominant elites and member of dominant groups”(Stapleton, 221). Hip-hop has developed as a new form of protest music void of the common acoustic guitar. The goal of protest music is to promote freedom through music.

Bob Marley expresses his belief that music is a message and route to freedom in the song “Trench town.”

...

... middle of paper ...

...ap” Miami New Times, February 10, 2000, Thursday.

Salmon, Barrington “ Bob Marley’s legacy lives forever” Miami Times, V. 73; N. 22 p. 5A, 2/18/1996

Shivers, Kaia “This is Reggae Music” Los Angeles Sentinel” V. 66; N. 32 p. B5 11/8/2000

Wilson, Basil “The politics & culture of Reggae music” The Caribbean-American Magazine v. 24 N. 1 p. 25, 2/28/2000

Discography:

Honorary Citizen: Peter Tosh, Sony Music Entertainment:1997

Steffens, Roger. “In the Tracks of the Stepping Razor: The Peter Tosh Biography” pgs. 42-51

Reflection Eternal: Talib Kweli, Rawkus Records 2000

“This means you”

Run DMC: Run DMC, Arista Records 1983

“Its Like That”

Bob Marley: Confrontation, Polygram Records 1983

“Chant down Babylon,” and “Trenchtown”

Bob Marley: Suvival, Ploygram Records 1979

“Babylon System”
Open Document