Maybe it’s that deep, funky bass or those percussive rhythms that evoke visions of the Caribbean’s relaxed lifestyle, but you can tell Jamaican music from virtually any other genre coming from nearby regions. From reggae to dancehall, dub to 2 tones, you know you’ve swayed to the beats of these artists more often than not. Here are our top choices:
A bit of a left-field choice? You bet. But Shaggy IS a truly successful artist who also happens to be a lot of fun. Born in Kingston, raised in Canada, trained by the United States Marine Corps (wait… what?) and nicknamed after a character in Scooby Doo, the man born as Orville Richard Burrell has married reggae with pop in a string of worldwide hits like Oh Carolina, and the infectious Boombastic. Shaggy also got down at Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios.
9. Gregory Isaacs
You have to be pretty special to earn a nickname like “The Cool Ruler.” The late Isaacs became a force to be reckoned with in the reggae scene during the genre’s 70s heyday but kept releasing quality albums and conquering audiences with his terse vocal style until his passing from lung cancer in 2010.