Rasta, Reggae & Marijuana

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Avatar for juanmolina
2 years ago

The word "Reggae" comes from the Latin word "Regi" which could be translated as "For the King".

Then we must understand that "Reggae" is "Music for the King".

More specifically, we would talk about "An" King, specifically the King of Ethiopia: "Selassie I"

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In comparison we could say that if for a Christian his King is "Christ", for a Rasta his King is "Selassie I"..

That letter "I" is actually the representation of a number "1" in Roman "I". Therefore we are referring to King "Selassie First".


The "Rastafari" movement was formed in Jamaica and dates from 1930 approx. This is because in Ethiopia in 1928 a coup d'etat proclaimed Ras (Amharic Word meaning "head", "chief" or "king", is used by Rasta to put it before his first name) Tafari Makonnen. In 1930 Ras Tafari was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia, after defeating the fascist troops that occupied the country, so Haile Selassie was called "Lord of Lords, His Imperial Majesty.

Rastas claimed that "Selassie I" was the incarnation of "Jah" (God).

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Just to contextualize, we must learn that the Rasta culture is older than the Jamaica country itself, since this was an English colony and by then (1930) they used the Ethiopian flag. The Jamaican flag we know today dates from 1962.

Rastas belong to the humblest social stratum of Jamaican society and see the government, the police, the bureaucracy and the whole system in general as a tool of oppression.

But these are political things and maybe I'm deviating from the main theme of this post, so let's talk about what concerns us:

"Music and Marijuana"

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Marijuana, Ganya, Kaya

Rastas are big cannabis users for several reasons:

  • First: the good trip (LOL).

  • Second: it connects you with the internet of love, peace and reflection.

This is very logical if we think that the Rasta religion is one of the most peaceful in the world. There are many religions that are extremely violent. This is not the case of the Rastafari.

Marijuana is a plant. It is not an evil invention of the human being or any demon, it is not an atomic bomb, it is not a weapon of mass destruction ... it is a plant, which grows on earth.

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Rastafari consider ganja a sacred herb and smoking it is an integral part of their rituals, which is why they have asked for legalization for years. The government has resorted to the argument of the fundamental right to religious freedom, protected by the Jamaican Constitution.

The Rastafari are inspired by biblical verses, notably from Genesis, the Psalms, the Song of Songs and the Apocalypse, where they understand that the aromatic cane is cannabis.

According to Rastafarian beliefs, remains of the plant were found in Solomon's tomb, to which the authorship of the "Song of Songs" is attributed.

In the case of the Rastafari, the herb is considered a manifestation of the divine and its consumption, usually in rituals, is a form of access to higher levels of spirituality.


Reggae music is the evolution of other musical genres of the 50's, such as traditional SKA and 60's such as ROCK STEADY.

The key discfactory for the evolution of this genre in Jamaica was: "Studio One".

The production and export of Reggae is not the work of a single man (Bob Marley) as many believe, but there is an army of artists who also worked on the genre and evolved it:

Jimmy Cliff

Gregory Isaacs

Freddy Mc Gregor

Mr. Yellowman

The largest Jamaican colony outside Jamaica is in England.
Thanks to this colony in England, it was that Reggae was able to leave the island.

Thanks to this colony in England, Reggae became universal by being adopted by other races:

Reggae Mutation

Jamaican Reggae since its inception consisted of analogous music, they were instruments played live. But when in Jamaica to have a party you no longer needed to set up a stage with those musicians playing live, but the "Sound System" began to appear:

That was when everything changed, it was when something else was born:

The DanceHall !!!


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Avatar for juanmolina
2 years ago