Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture

A dive into the dynamic 1980s Jamaican dancehall scene, Beth Lesser’s Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture looks at the influential movement that was largely unseen by those not involved. Lesser traveled to Kingston, Jamaica in the ’80s for Reggae Quarterly magazine and various dedicated nights, and found herself in the midst of dancehall’s golden age. While political tensions were still apparent, the welcoming and …

Lee “Scratch” Perry: Disco Devil

Innovative and influential record producer, singer and songwriter Lee “Scratch” Perry passed away in Jamaica this weekend, aged 85. The prolific artist (who produced records for the Congos and Bob Marley & The Wailers) is not only respected for pioneering dub and reggae, and helping spread Jamaican music around the world, but also for his unique production techniques and experimentations—done mostly at his iconic Black Ark …

Toots & The Maytals: Funky Kingston

Singer-songwriter for Toots & The Maytals, multi-instrumentalist and reggae pioneer Frederick “Toots” Hibbert has passed away in Kingston, Jamaica—the birthplace of the music he helped create. His 1968 song “Do The Reggay” remains widely believed to be the first to namecheck reggae (at the time a fledgling genre influenced by mento—Jamaican folk music that combines elements from Africa and Europe—as well as jazz and R&B, …