Page Eight

Five years later they are playing at Madison Square Garden and making music videos for MTV. Yes it is commercialization, and yes it is considered selling out, but in our day and age it is almost inevitable. The commercialization of Rasta culture led to such exploitation because selling out is considered “giving in to Babylon,” and is contradictory of the movement’s initial agenda.

There is too much commercialization of Rastafari and key figures in the commercialization such as Bob Marley did veer from their roots, but it does not mean Marley had bad intentions or take away from the fact that he was an extremely talented artist and creative, passionate human being.

Although he might have sold out, he still kept the message of Rastafari in his songs, and promoted universal love and peace, which are themes that should be accepted and preached by everyone. So although there was too much commercialization of reggae, the movement should continue. Reggae artists continue to thrive in society such as Buju Banton, Ziggy Marley, Damien Marley and many more. Inevitably, the music has veered from roots reggae and has been modernized, but the message and core of reggae is still shown.

Reggae was, is, and will continue to be a liberating voice of the poor and oppressed, and continue to spread messages of “human rights and universal love in a “Babylonian” world of civil unrest, political instability, and economic collapse.”(Winders, 228) The essence of the Rastafarian religion and the music associated with it will continue to be powerful and spiritual, regardless of any commercialization and exploitation that takes place.