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Billboard Top Reggae Artists of 2007 : You Said Reggae

Billboard Top Reggae Artists of 2007 : You Said Reggae

Billboard Top Reggae Artists of 2007 : You Said Reggae

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Top Reggae Artists of 2007 from US billboard magazine is out.

US Billboard magazine just released their end-of-year Top Reggae Artists of 2007, based on sales and downloads of the artists' music plus airplay in the US. And the winner is Matisyahu !

1. MATISYAHU
2. BOB MARLEY
3. STEPHEN MARLEY
4. DAMIAN MARLEY
5. SEAN PAUL
6. BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS
7. COLLIE BUDDZ
8. BUJU BANTON
9. NOTCH
10. BEENIE MAN

As you can notice reading the results, reggae music is not really in top form. I would not say that the business is going down but it is important to observe that “best reggae” sellings don’t really correspond to what we call ‘reggae’. If by definition Reggae is a Jamaican musical genre produced by Jamaican people, how to explain that the American artist, Matisyahu is the Top Rankin Reggae Artist? I don’t want to mean that only Jamaicans can play or produce reggae, but this Top Reggae Artists of 2007 raises some questions.

We are surely attending to a deep change in reggae. Best Dancehall artists choose American market to broaden their audience, and it is comprehensible. Hip Hop music influence is increasingly present and seems to offer better sellings than original roots or dancehall. Hip Hop rhythms are more appreciated by new generations who are growing up with this sound until 20 years. However, it is also due to producer’s choices who notice that reggae music is a rising up musical genre. They consequently try to diversify their productions with reggae and dancehall artists as Puff Daddy who produces Elephant Man new album. Reggae and Hip Hop are different. Two distinct musical genres, two sounds, two cultures totally opposed in my opinion. If we should speak about values spread by reggae like love, spirituality, they are just the opposite of US West Coast rappers lyrics for example with guns, murders or hate.

Relating to Bob Marley nomination in this chart, he is an icon of Reggae and he probably deserves this position. Just note that he may take the place of modern talented artists and that the absence of ‘new’ singers or groups in the 2007 Billboard chart proves there is a big lack of communication in reggae. Professionals and the whole reggae community have to make effort to better promote this music, which is constantly renewing. Moreover, for those who think that original reggae music is dead or is dying, here are some 2007 albums releases, which certainly deserve a better audience. Rule The Time by Midnite, In The Streets To Africa by Richie Spice, Livin’It Up by Horace Andy, On My Mind by Daville, The Experience by Burning Spear or True Reflections by Jah Cure.

Now, the question we have to ask ourselves is which values are we defending ?

If this website is online, it is also to offer an alternative, to allow a larger audience to discover Jamaican culture, its prosperity and all the talented artists. Rendez vous next year for 2008 charts, in which we hope we will see great reggae artists who spread serious and conscious messages…

Happy New Year to all, Jah will work it out.

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