Reggae’s New Chart Topper Is Definitely Not Jamaican

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Snoop Lion
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 16, 2013: Reggae, the musical genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s has a new leader – at least on the Billboard Reggae charts – and he’s not Jamaican.

In case names like Beres Hammond, Richie Stephens, Shaggy or even Sean Paul cross your mind – think again! The man who peaked at number one and has kept a strong hold on the Billboard Reggae charts for the past 17 weeks is not of the reggae genre but simply a rapper turned reggae singer. Well sort of!

Snoop Dog, now Snoop Lion, is proving to be the indomitable force to beat on the Billboard Reggae Charts. Snoop landed on the charts with his “Reincarnated” album 17 weeks ago and is still number one this week.

He’s also trending high on the I-tunes reggae charts – number two in Canada, number three in the U.S. and number four in Germany and Austria.

And the new trend is being embraced even by some Jamaicans.

“Every genre of music has embraced reggae in one way or another,” said Jamaican journalist Janet Silvera. “The fact that Snoop has transformed his own music with reggae, reinforces not only the importance and influence of the music form, but once again places Jamaica in a position of excellence. I would say it’s yet another compliment for Jamaica.”

“I love it,” said Shaun Walsh, producer of New York’s Whatz Up TV. “It’s good for reggae, it exposes many of his fans to reggae music who never would have been interested in it and this allows an increase in sales for other reggae artists. Recently, reggae artists have been using hip hop beats and that has caused so many to feel reggae has lost its way. By Snoop not using any hip hop type of beats to reach the Billboard, our reggae artists will probably take notice and keep the music new but authentic.”

But there are others that are puzzled by the dominance, especially since many songs off the track clearly sound like hip hop put to a reggae beat.

“I don’t understand it,” said baffled Uhuru Radio host, Ron Bobb-Semple.

As for Snoop, he’s laughing all the way to the bank, creating other lines of business to go along with what many perceive as synonymous with Jamaica – weed. Snoop Lion’s virtual marijuana joint, the “Golden Jay” animation, a funny virtual sticker that allows you to place yourself with a joint, is selling globally at $100 a pop.

‘Jay’ is a slang term that is usually pertaining to weed or marijuana. That is the actual inspiration behind the ‘Golden Jay’ sticker. The design is very simple – just a mere image of ‘jay’ emitting sparkling gold color. It can now be purchased for the hefty cost through Snoop Lion’s own online app called ‘Snoopify,’ adding undoubtedly to Snoop’s growing reggae earnings.