Commercialization of Reggae Music and Rastafari Movement: Aiding or Ailing? Essay

638 WordsOct 10, 20133 Pages
Brief description of Paper There is a thin line between embracing and exploiting. Out of the many people who spread the messages of Bob Marley by wearing shirts with his face or listening to some of his music, how many of them actually really know what Marley stood for? In this day and age, it is not alarming to know that someone who listens to reggae music on a regular basis does not even know what the colors red, yellow and green stand for and why they are used intertwiningly as a symbol for both the Rastafari movement and reggae music. Over the past few weeks in class, we have thoroughly discussed how the Rastafari movement is based on deep ideologies that encompass a whole lot more than what the modern day general stereotype of Rastafarians is, people who just smoke ganja, have dreadlocks and speak a different kind of English. The goal of this paper is to answer some questions that are at the forefront of critically analyzing the benefits and setbacks of commercialization of reggae music. Is commercialization and westernization of reggae to blame for exacerbating the various misconceptions of Rastafarianism? Do the new versions of reggae music such as Dancehall and ragga still carry on the messages of the reggae that Bob Marley tried so hard to expose? Does the Rastafari movement still continue to powerfully spread the teachings of Jah and Haile Selassie I through mainstream reggae music? Thesis Some may argue that the international exposure of Rastafarianism through reggae music is a positive benefit to many and has exposed to many the atrocities of Babylon and encouraged and empowered many people from many nations. To others, the exploitation of Rasta culture through commercialization and westernization of reggae has eroded the main messages of Rastafari religion that were once so artistically articulated by reggae musicians such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh,

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