Few musical styles associate themselves so closely with a particular country as reggae music does to the island nation of Jamaica. Though it has only been around since the late 1960s, reggae was brought to world prominence by Bob Marley and the Wailers, though in its history there have been a multitude of talented performers. If you have ever been on an all inclusive in Jamaica, you may have seen one of these performers at a concert or at a local bar. The simple, sometimes hypnotic songs seem to blend well with the island’s party atmosphere, where everyone is simply out to have a good time. Listening to reggae with some good food and a cold beer or rum drink is just about the pinnacle of existence for some.
While many love reggae for its laid-back rhythms and feel-good attitude, others embrace the counterculture aspect of it all. Dreadlocks are a common trait of reggae performers and fans alike, as are bright, colorful clothing. Reggae also has the stigma of being tied to recreational marijuana use, which may put off some towards the idea of Jamaica when looking for family vacation ideas. The truth is, however, that while there is certainly a subset of people that use reggae as an excuse for drug use, there are many reggae concerts that are family-oriented. And if you have your kids on your vacation with you, it would be a great thing to expand their musical and cultural horizons. When your children get older, they may even remember when they went to see the band with the dreadlocks. A reggae concert can be just that memorable.
Reggae is also known for a diverse range of lyrical expression. There are some that simply use their music to bring happy feelings to their listeners, and sing about love and having a good time with friends. Other artists tackle heavier subjects like the criticism of materialism, black nationalism, and religion. Controversial subjects like Apartheid are fair game, as well as the denouncement of political systems or oppressive regimes. While these are themes that require more serious listening, those who are in Jamaica on adult vacations may just be looking for that. Like other forms of music, many different subsets can be found within this one style. For many, that’s what makes reggae so inviting: no matter what your mood or taste, you can find a reggae artist or style that suits you!