When reggae emerged in the late 1960s, it came as being a cultural bombshell not only to Jamaica nevertheless the whole world. Reggae has influenced communities throughout the world, contributing to the development of new counterculture movements, specifically in Europe, in the USA and Africa. Indeed, by the end of the 1960s, it participated in the birth of the skinhead motion in the united kingdom. In the 70s, it influenced on Western punk rock/ pop cultures and influenced the first rappers in the USA. Finally, because the late 1970s onwards, it has also inspired singers caused by Africa, Alpha Blondy, Tiken Jah Fakoly and Lucky Dube being perfect good examples. Thus, my papers will analyze the effect of Jamaican reggae songs on the worldwide social world, particularly on Europe, the USA and Africa.

Reggae is the musical category which revolutionized Jamaican music. In the event it emerged inside the late 1960s, it arrived as being a cultural bombshell not only to Jamaica nevertheless the whole world. Its sluggish jerky beat, its militant and religious lyrics as well because the rebellious look of the singers, amongst others, have influenced musical styles, cultures and societies throughout the world, leading to the development of the latest counterculture movements, specifically in European countries, in the us and Africa. Certainly, by the end of the 1960s, it took part in the birth of the skinhead motion in the UK. Inside the 1970s, it influenced on IBRU, influencing musicians like Eric Clapton and also the Conflict. Through the exact same decade, it inspired the first rappers in the united states, providing rise to hip-hop tradition. Finally, considering that the end from the 70s, it has also influenced performers originating from Africa, the Ivorian singers Alpha Blondy and Tiken Jah Fakoly, as well as the South African Lucky Dube clearly illustrating this point. Therefore, my paper will analyze the impact of reggae songs around the worldwide social world, concentrating especially on Europe, the united states and Africa.

“Between 1953 and 1962 approximately 175, 000 Jamaicans from city and country boarded the banana watercraft destined for London, Liverpool and other British ports” (Chevannes 1994: 263). And regardless of the 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act, the immigration of Jamaicans towards the UK, particularly Britain, stayed rather significant through the 1960s. Therefore, in the late 1960s-earlier 1970s, Britain had a large Jamaican community. Almost all of Jamaican migrants lived in operating-course districts such as Tottenham (Northern London) and Brixton (Southern Central london), the latter having probably the largest power of Jamaican immigrants throughout the uk. It was basically in this framework that this Jamaican popular songs of times, ska, rocksteady and earlier reggae, gained fans within the Jamaican expatriate communities through the sound system subculture1. Meanwhile, a youth counterculture movement was surfacing within the same Central london operating-course districts: the skinheads.

2 The word “dancehall” refers back to the space where well-known Jamaican recordings had been aired by nearby s (…)

3Actually, the skinhead motion developed from the modernist motion, a counterculture youth motion which originated in London in the late 1950s but whose maximum matches the middle-1960s. Modernists (often just known as “mods”) were usually from working-class backdrops. They employed to cut their hair close, both to assist their style and prevent their hair from impeding them in road fights. They used to fulfill every Weekend to go soccer matches and assistance their nearby teams, which regularly ended in massive fights between opposing supporters. These people were challenging children for sure but paradoxically they “affected dandyism” (Moore 1993: 24). At nighttime, for instance, mods employed to dress yourself in their very best clothing and visit Black night organizations to dance to Afro-American songs like beat and blues and soul songs that they had been absolutely keen on. They also frequently visited dancehall2 in order to dance to new sounds introduced by Jamaican immigrants including ska, rocksteady and earlier reggae. At these events, mods and Jamaican impolite boys danced, laughed and drank with each other, sharing their taste for such musical styles. It is really worth underlining that the rude child movement erupted in the early 1960s being a unique force amongst the unemployed young men of Kingston. Jamaican musicologist Garth White stated that these younger males “became more and more disenchanted and alienated from a system which appeared to gkanik no respite from struggling. Many of the young became impolite. ‘Rude boy’ (bwoy) placed on anyone against the system” (White-colored 1967: 40-41). Thus, mods and rude young boys merged with each other providing increase for the skinhead movement. Within an interview that I conducted with Roddy Moreno, leader from the Oppressed as well as an emblematic figure in the skinhead motion, the latter said:

Roddy Moreno, interview conducted by myself on 29 September 2008.

“As most of Britain kept alone distant from your immigrants the skinheads accepted Jamaican design and songs. We might attend through the night Blues parties with each other and many young Blacks had been skinheads them selves. Recall the [Jamaican] migrants had been fairly poor and so the working course children had more in normal with them as compared to the center and upper classes of Britain. We resided on the same roads, visited the identical schools and we partied with each other. While most of Britain saw the migrants as ‘those dark people,’ we skinheads saw them as ‘our dark buddies.’ Needless to say there have been skinheads with racist attitudes, but most skinheads experienced black mates and a lot skinhead gangs experienced black kids among their ranks. […] Skinhead would not really exist without having Jamaica”

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