Precluding the release of Major Lazer’s latest album Music Is The Weapon, group member Walshy Fire had a lot to say about the genre with sound points. One of them was a critique of how music (coming from Jamaica) is grouped as reggae. Which, to be fair, doesn’t sound like anything from the greats like Peter Tosh or Bob Marley. Walshy suggested for people to come up with another name for this brand of music. And to move away from calling it reggae.
“I have said it, maybe for the last two years now. I think what the guys are doing now is not Reggae. I already think that a new name is gonna come up. I am encouraging everyone to find a new name for Reggae and a new name for Dancehall, for what they are doing. And mainly because it doesn’t sound or feel the same and therefore, why bring it under the name of something if it’s sounding and feeling different?”
Honestly speaking there is a whole lot of merit to these comments. In addition, I am sure a better way to distinguish Caribbean music will arise. However, in the case instant have a listen to the latest track from Richie Spice and Dre Island. The veteran Richie teamed up with rising star Dre Island in what I would like to describe as modern reggae. With a distinct reggae beat. Murderer also has a modern electric sound which differs from a track like Stir It Up from Bob Marley for example. But sticking to the same time frame have a listen to Capleton’s latest jam Have Some Hope. This is more on the original reggae tip which came to prominence from ska and rocksteady jams back in the 70s. Capleton represents the genre with much aplomb and any old school fan will definitely appreciate.
Its high time the lines are drawn. Because, as long as there is ambiguity, there will always be an issue on the charts. And Grammy accreditation will remain an issue as there is no real distinction as to what people are listening to.