“Selassie Souljahz:” The Reggae Revival and Black Millennial Music Protest in Contemporary Jamaica

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2017-05

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Abstract

Coined by Dutty Bookman in 2011, the Reggae Revival is a contemporary cultural and musical movement of consciousness in Jamaica which has captivated the world. Heeding the legacies of reggae forefathers like Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Bob Marley, the Revival is a creative community of millennial artists and activists who have used music to disseminate Black Power, anti-colonial thought, and self-determination. Artists like Oje “Protoje” Olliviere and Jamar “Chronixx” McNaughton Jr. have spearheaded this movement with songs like “Wrong Side of the Law” (2011) and “Here Comes Trouble” (2014), respectively.

      Using an interdisciplinary framework that incorporates an intersectional lens of race and gender, as well as methodologies of History, Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, Performance Theory, and Black Feminist Theory, this thesis serves to connect two generations of reggae activism. It examines a living history of the Reggae Revival and contemporary Jamaica using music to trace the emancipatory legacy of roots reggae on the island. By critically analyzing music lyrics and videos of this movement, this thesis builds upon Jamaica’s far-reaching history of Black resistance and highlights Jamaican millennial conversations about neocolonialism, government corruption, Afrocentricity, poverty and its effects on the working-class, as well as Black Feminism and women’s empowerment. Then and now, this thesis emphasizes reggae as both cultural and intellectual property for perspectives on Black redemption and revolution across the African diaspora.

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Miller, Alexandria (2017). “Selassie Souljahz:” The Reggae Revival and Black Millennial Music Protest in Contemporary Jamaica. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18202.


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