Reggae is currently in the middle of another rejuvenation in the American music scene. While places like London, Japan and Toronto have always kept the culture alive, Stateside fans tend to be more fickle when it comes to Caribbean riddims. Rap, R&B and pop music have all seen roots reggae and dancehall come in waves throughout the years. We might have a few hot summers of Sean Paul radio hits, and then a dry spurt until someone like Kranium catches the attention of a major label.
We also have to steer some credit to a few of the current superstars in music -- Rihanna, Drake and Ed Sheeran -- all have incorporated reggae influences and sounds into their Billboard chart-topping pop hits over the last several years. With all the aforementioned tunes, purveyors of reggae in America are experiencing another wave of island vibes in pop culture.
But before you go off thinking today’s A-listers are solely responsible for pushing Jamaica’s rhythmic music to the masses, please do some homework. Actually, you don’t have a choice if you’re still reading this article -- because we’re here to help with your reggae history lesson, and we have to start with Sister Nancy, whose classic “Bam Bam” single took her from tiny dancehall clubs in Kingston to stages all around the world.