Bob Marley may be the most important and famous reggae artist but he isn’t the only reggae practitioner. I feel like when people hear the word the “reggae” they instantly think of the Rastafarian pioneer so I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite reggae songs not by Bob Marley.
Toots & the Maytals- 54-46 Was My Number (1968)
Born in 1942, Fred “Toots’ Hibbert has been doing this for a long time. I saw him last Saturday and at the age of 70 he is still killing it. Along with many of the original members of the Maytals, Toots wore a complete leather ensemble and covered “Louie, Louie” by The Kingsmen and “Country Roads” by John Denver. This is probably his most famous song and has been covered by Sublime.
Sister Nancy- Bam Bam (1982)
Known as Muma Nancy, I consider Sister Nancy the first lady of reggae. A great summer song, this track goes great with chilling by the pool with a cold drink.
Barrington Levy- Murderer
Some of the first hip-hop pioneers (DJ Kool Herc) were from Jamaica and listening to “Murderer” proves that hip-hop is a direct descendent of the reggae. You can hear that Levy definitely has a hip-hop flow.
Buju Banton- Boom Bye Bye (1990s)
This song is great. Branching off from the “dancehall” style of reggae music, Buju Banton comes from the same school as Barrington Levy.
Stephen Marley feat. Damian Marley (2006)
Ok, I know I said no songs by Bob Marley, but I didn’t know say no songs by the “Marley family.” I feel like this is a modern representation of what reggae has become, plus Stephen and Damian Marley together are really great.