White reggae artist, Collie Buddz, sits at the top of the reggae chart. Rebelution, a white reggae group sits at number two. White artists ruling the reggae chart is not just this week; it was the same thing last week, the week before that and it will be the same thing next week.
Reggae might have started in the ghettos of Jamaica by African people but you would never know that if you only look at the top selling albums on the reggae charts. There is an unspoken rule in reggae that the lighter you are, the brighter you are.
If you want proof, on any given week, just hop over to the Billboard Reggae chart and you will get the point. While 90% of reggae artists are Black, 90% of the artist in the top 10 is white or at least mixed-race.
This week Morgan Heritage manage to squeeze in the top 5 with Collie Buddz, Rebelution and a variation of the Marleys but that is rare. Morgan Heritage also had to do a lot of collaborations with lighter skinned entertainers like the Marleys in order to get in the top 10.
In Jamaica and the Caribbean, reggae music is judged according to talent but in the rest of the world the music is judged using standards that force a talented artiste like Vybz Kartel to bleach his skin. These standards are precisely why Bob Marley who merely recited Marcus Garvey’s teachings, bible verses, African/Jamaican proverbs and other famous phrases over the Barret Brothers’ music is considered the king of reggae. These are the same standards why one of Sean Paul’s album has sold more than all 80 of Sizzla’s albums combined. Imagine the greatest reggae of all time with 80 albums cannot sell anywhere close to one album from an uptown white guy who is not even in the top 20 greatest Jamaican artists.
If this was something that had to with only music and entertainment it would not be so bad, however, this permeate society in general. The thinking that makes thing the way they are in music is the same reason why we have police brutality where every other day innocent black men are left dead in the streets. It is the same reason why the N-word was spray painted on LeBron James’ house yesterday.
18 Karat Reggae used to do music production a few years ago. If we ever decide to go back to producing and we were doing it for love and real talent, we would go to Jamaica and search for the best talent we can find, however, if we were doing it to make money, we would use the first decent white artist that comes along.