Top 5 Reggae Artists of 2010

Jamaican reggae music is deeply embedded with sociopolitical themes like black nationalism, antiracism and anticolonialism. Additionally, many artists use their music to spread messages of love and unity through song.

Jamaican dancehall artists are more than mere entertainment; many serve as activists, commentators and educators as well. SumFest festival serves as an outlet for this caucus of performers to come together.

Bob Marley

Bob Marley is widely considered one of the greatest reggae artists ever. His music epitomizes the Rastafarian faith, which promotes self-reliance and nonviolence. Bob used his talent to spread Rastafari movement by writing songs that became anthems for black liberation against oppressive regimes – the iconic “War” being his tribute song to Haile Selassie (known as spiritual leader among Rastafarians).

Marley was raised in West Kingston, Jamaica’s impoverished Trench Town district. Using music as a platform to address social issues he used his talents as a singer/songwriter at an early age; many of his songs reflected both personal struggles with drug abuse and poverty as well as universal realities for Jamaicans as a whole. His 1976 album Rastaman Vibration became an international hit, featuring hits such as “Wade in the Water” and “Buffalo Soldiers”.

Reggae artists use music as an outlet to support sociopolitical causes such as anti-racism, anticolonialism and political system criticism; some artists even call for racial equality while criticizing capitalism – with their music also celebrating love and erotica! Reggae is especially beloved among Jamaicans, where people of all ages enjoy it while many young Jamaicans don dreadlocks to play it; it has since spread around the globe including America.

Reggae artists may often be politically driven; however, not all are. This is especially evident in dancehall, which specializes in reflecting upon realities of ghetto life both locally and abroad. That being said, some artists have distinguished themselves this year based on Angus Taylor’s research of most popular reggae/dancehall tracks worldwide.

The list features hit songs with millions of listeners as well as underground classics with only a few thousand plays, as well as recent additions like Tarrus Riley, Randy Valentine and Protoje.

Damian Marley

Damian Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley and one of its most promising artists. Beginning his musical pursuit at just 13 years old and releasing his debut album with Tuff Gong Records at Tuff Gong in 1996 – toasting is one of Damian’s signature musical techniques and may lead to future rapping techniques in Jamaican diction. Damian’s most recent record entitled Distant Relatives delves deeply into spirituality as well as other social issues.

Reggae music has long been associated with discussing socio-political themes; however, its music also frequently addresses lighter subjects such as love and socializing. Many artists also utilize religious themes within their songs – whether this involves praising the gods (Jah) or advocating cannabis use; which Rastafaris consider a sacred plant.

Reggae music is widely recognized for its vibrant beat and rhythm. Many musicians incorporate drums and bass guitars from traditional African styles into their recordings, creating a sound unique among other types of reggae music. Furthermore, its rhythm has inspired musicians from other cultures to form their own forms of the genre; Uganda musician Papa Cidy performs reggae while Arthur Lutta from Malawi uses its same style of beat and rhythm when performing traditional African music.

Reggae music has also gained widespread appeal in countries where Jamaican immigrants have introduced it, where it often forms part of an integrated cultural scene that marries Jamaican and local influences – for instance in Mali where Askia Modibo blends reggae music with Malian music while Tiken Jah Fakoly blends reggae with traditional African songs.

In the late 1990s, dancehall artists experimented with different sounds, leading to dancehall fusion – a subgenre of reggae which combined elements of reggae with other genres such as techno and house music. Although dancehall fusion has gained widespread popularity among American audiences, many Jamaicans view it negatively, as this genre dilutes its raw sound and thus their cultural identity is diminished by it.

Vybz Kartel

Vybz Kartel has made waves in Jamaican dancehall music since his career began in 2000 and by 2003 had become an instantaneous household name in his home nation. His songs often contain political messages or social commentary and, despite being often perceived as controversial due to this content, continue to find success both locally and globally – having collaborated with artists such as Jay-Z, Rihanna, Missy Elliott, Pitbull, Busta Rhymes, M.I.A, Pharrell Williams Kardinal Offishall Akon and Jim Jones as collaborators or collaborators themselves! In 2008 he even launched his own liquor brand line!

In 2009, singer Chris Young took an unexpected leap out of his comfort zone when he collaborated with producer Diplo for a track on Major Lazer’s album Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do. Their single, “Rompin Shop”, caused controversy due to its explicit sexual content; nevertheless it became an instantaneous hit and catapulted the artist into prominence.

Don’t Come Easy was Kartel’s 2010 debut album and was well received by local and international audiences alike. Additionally, this project included collaborations with artists like Sean Kingston, Daddy Yankee and Busy Signal.

One of the most remarkable elements of this album was that Kartel recorded it himself at his home studio, over four consecutive nights – an astounding testament to both his talent and work ethic.

Vybz Kartel’s career remains on an upswing in 2010, having already released singles from his forthcoming album and organizing an international tour slated to commence in the spring of 2011.

VP Records excels at selecting only the finest reggae songs, as demonstrated by its annual compilation, Reggae Gold. This album brings together both big-name superstars and lesser known acts – from party anthems, love jams, storytelling numbers and party anthems from big to small acts alike. Damien Marley joins forces with Nas to rework Earl’s composition “As We Enter”, while Busy Signal updates an early 1980s song from Commodores Night Shift while Vybz Kartel extolls his favorite shoe on Clarks (reworked).


Reggae fans had an exciting year in 2010, thanks to Fambo, Sean Kingston and Konshens who all emerged with remarkable new acts that left an impressionful first impression – such as Fambo himself! His music received worldwide acclaim.

While many reggae artists choose to focus their music on political themes, others use the genre to explore lighter subjects like love and socializing. Furthermore, many reggae musicians use religious topics in their songs as a form of spiritual awakening and may use reggae music as a vehicle to do this.

Over time, Jamaican musicians have become known for mixing various genres with reggae to produce new sounds and styles, leading to dancehall being born as a hybrid form of reggae music based around hip hop sounds and styles. Since its initial introduction, dancehall has quickly gained popularity throughout America and worldwide as an invaluable form of reggae music.

Dancehall artists such as Damian Marley are well-versed in reggae music. Through his influence, these dancehall artists can help younger generations appreciate and appreciate reggae music.

Reggae music has always been used as a vehicle to address various social and political issues through its lyrics and musical style. From political turmoil, economic concerns or racism – reggae has long used its music as a means to spread messages that encourage positive change.

Konshens is a Jamaican reggae artist best-known for his dancehall anthems like Gal a Bubble and Brug off Yuh Back, making them perennial classics in dancehall music. Additionally, he has collaborated with other artists such as Chainsmokers, Major Lazer and rappers Rick Ross and Nipsey Hussle – giving him access to collaborate further in dancehall culture.

Konshens is a rising star in dancehall. His debut album Mental Maintenance was an international success and received critical acclaim, featuring music featured in multiple films and TV shows as well as being featured as DJ sets by several DJs around the world. Konshens also performs as DJ and producer.