If you think back to all the songs you’ve heard on the radio, how many of them can you think of that have incorporated elements of reggae?
What most people may not realise is that reggae has been a major influence in various genres for decades, as the Marley family and other heavyweights work with various musical acts to produce some of the most memorable songs in the category. From pop rock to hip-hop and RnB, the reggae groove can blend rather well with almost any genre, despite how odd some of the collaborations appear to be.
Genre crossovers are seen quite often in the music business, mixing artists from different categories that contradict each other but somehow create a new sound appreciated by fans from both sides.
Other than these reggae collaborations, one of the prime examples of effective music partnerships is Jay-Z and Linkin Park’s Collision Course, released back in 2004. Besides music, the genre-mixing phenomenon has also popped up in other industries.
Video gaming has harnessed the popularity of music to garner unbelievable results. Grand Theft Auto used Bob Marley’s music among other popular artists to successfully reach new markets. Additionally, games like Guitar Hero have brought a new demographic to gaming. When GNR reformed earlier this year, Pocketfruity tapped into the online buzz by launching the Guns N’ Roses Video Slots title. The power of music is its flexibility and it can be melded with many things to produce astounding results.
With that in mind, let’s look at the top 5 reggae crossovers:
No Doubt feat. Lady Saw – Underneath It All
Written by Gwen Stefani and The Eurythmics, the Jamaican infused ska track proved to be a success as DJ Lady Saw‘s vocals and craft helped No Doubt soar to the top of the charts, with “Underneath It All” being the band’s most popular song.
Sugar Ray feat. Super Cat – Fly
Prior to the formation of Sugar Ray, guitarist Rodney Sheppard had played in several reggae bands, so it came natural to the band to recruit Super Cat in producing their first hit single “Fly” in 1997. It was included in their album Floored, which ended up reaching double platinum.
Damian Marley and Nas – Distant Relatives
The reggae and rap duo first collaborated on Damian Marley‘s 2005 single “Road to Zion”, resulting in a unique harmony that made the two genres an organic combination. Fast forward to 5 years later, they united to create a 13-track studio album known as Distant Relatives.
Beyoncé feat. Sean Paul – Baby Boy
By far the catchiest song of the list, Beyoncé was quickly rising to the top as a solo artist, all the while Sean Paul was moving into mainstream music and working with a number of musicians in various genres. In 2003, the two teamed up to release one of the biggest hits in 2003.