One of the world’s iconic figures, Reggae musician Bob Marley(1945-1981) stated that, “People want to listen to a message, word from Jah(God). This could be passed through me or anybody, I am not a leader, messenger. The word of the songs, not the person, is what attracts people.” Reggae music is gifted to people in Jamaica as their own unique identity. Jamaican musicians are well-known for expressing their Rastafarian beliefs through the music, Reggae. Rastafarian reflects ideologies, attitudes, actions of the people for the better society (Spiker,1998). At this point, they became social commentators, prophets, and messengers who heal the wounds of people affected by social and political injustices (Aimers, 2004).This essay illustrates that reggae music has been successful spreading Rastafarian beliefs in politics, social injustices and cultures.
Firstly, Jamaican musicians play essential roles to give the political messages to people based on their Rastafarian beliefs. The political messages shared through the Reggae music are those of peace, love, and brotherhood of mankind for forming a unity to fight for the liberty of people in Jamaica. Musicians gave the message by setting several goals based on general popular interest of the population against any oppression and encouraged people to speak-up. For instance, Bob Marley(1945-1981); the predominant singer strived to bring the awareness for not only in the hearts of Jamaicans, but also in those of Africans and the rest of the world (Abram & Ingrid, 2009). One of his popular songs, “Get up, and Stand up for your rights” not only defended his religious beliefs but also pointed at political oppression and natural rights of people (Lockard, n.d). Following lyrics is from the song by Bob Marley (1973):
We sick an’ tired of-a-your ism-skism-game
Dying ‘n’ goin’ to heaven in-a Jesus’ name, Lord.
We know when we understand:
Almighty god is a living man.