Song #18: “Jah Rastafari”

I think it was Tom Waits who said the best thing to come from religion is the music. That means reggae music for me, because once you get into reggae, it doesn’t take long to notice certain religious themes all over place, namely Jah (God) and Jah Rastafari (God incarnate). The Rastafari movement is more accurately a form of religiosity than any kind of religion. It’s a bit half-baked, but

Song #17: “Black Wa Da Da”

I could load up half this song list with reggae music. Artists like The Congos, The Gladiators, Joe Higgs, Toots and The Maytals, Lee Scratch Perry, Peter Tosh — I got into all of them in a big way for many years. They all left a strong impression. One of the more eye-opening impressions, though, came from the Burning Spear album Marcus Garvey and the dub version of the album

Song #15: “Duppy Conqueror”

Bob Marley’s Legend introduced me to reggae music. The next stop on that train was The Wailers. They released only two albums, Catch a Fire and Burnin’. Everything after that is “Bob Marley and The Waiers,” which is a good vibe but a different vibe. The original Wailers with the core members of Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley made reggae music that’s unmatched. It’s impossible to choose a

Song #14: “Top Rankin'”

When I first heard reggae music, I was convinced I would never get into it because it didn’t sound like music to me. Then sometime near the end of high school, I remember watching an episode The New Music featuring Bob Marley that compelled me to go out and buy his best-of compilation, Legend, and it changed everything for me. The music lifted my spirit and blew my mind like