Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Of course, you are allowed to have your own opinion.
I'm also allowed to have mine and publicly call you out on your ridiculous assertions as you cast aspersions on the soul of another.
Saying someone is "using" reggae as vehicle for commercialism as opposed to a true love of the genre is most definitely calling someone (in this case, someone who isn't even around to defend himself) a liar.
Agreed completely, and you can call me ridiculous and I am not too concerned with that, it is your freedom of expression, but I can also counter it with my own assertions, and I precisely intended to accuse Matisyahu of "lying" when he uses pseudo-reggae music to promote his blatantly Jewish agenda and also make mad boatloads of duckets doing it, call me old fashioned but its hard enough for me to embrace Bob Marley making all this crazy commercial money and success let alone folks who aren't even Rastafari. It'd be like an openly Muslim Gospel band with no inetions of Christianity, folks surely would have a hard time swallowing that, and I feel the same way about non-Rastafari su-called reggae music.
Im sorry, a musical genre (which reggae is now, whether you like it or not) is not based upon beliefs or racial selectivism. There are certian progressions, notational charistics, time signatures, and scale compositions that pretty much help classify what a musical genre is. I'll give you an example.
The majority (not all but alot) of blues is set up in a major pentatonic scale with a 12 bar, 1-4-5 progression. It does not matter if I am a diabetic black guy, or I'm from Texas, the Delta, Memphis, or Chicago. Case in point: Eric Clapton.
The idea that Reggae is not reggae if they are not Rastafari is no longer relevant, thanks to a certian Rasta that made it popular......
Now Im not saying its a good thing or bad, but its a fact of life because people took the original artists and ran with what they introduced.
Please allow me to explain
I am discussing the ethos and pathos of Reggae music, not just the structure, timing, or chord signatures. Reggae, like punk or Gospel, is not just a purely stylistic genre of music, it really has an accompanying lifestyle and culture which is what I am discussing. When I say Matisyahu isn't reggae, I am speaking to the ethos and pathos. The ethos of reggae is directly related to the experience of the Rastafari culture, and so if folks aren't Rastafari they aren't exactly following this original reggae ethos. The pathos of reggae is a bit more universal, it is an appeal to the political ideology of liberation and equality, as well as the spiritual manifestation of One Love. Of course, amongst the Rastafari community, the specific pathos of reggae is an appeal to the specifically Rastafari experience, which is why Rastafari people proclaim that "reggae is the sound and horn of the Nyahbinghi" which is Rastafari movement.
Nyahbinghi means "death to all downpressors" but not in the literal sense, more correctly could be interpreted as "death to all oppression" and while this is the universal appeal that attracts both militant punks and casual listeners to Bob Marley who have a heart for One Love, the specific context and connotation of the Nyahbinghi is that liberation from oppression and inequality comes from Emperor Haile Selassie. This is why then I proclaim that folks who are not part of the Rastafari affiliation, are not exactly reggae in a cultural sense. Further, as a musician, the specific subtleties of reggae music are hard to explain, its not as simple as saying us this time pattern, this strum pattern, or this chord signature, because the approach, the attack, and the implementation is not as easy to explain, and from m EAR< most groups including Matisyahu aren't really duplicating that authentic real reggae SOUND from the foundation artists. So really from my perspective, these folks are neither stylistically or culturally reggae, because musically it takes more than just a ka-chank strum on the Am chord to be reggae