Infusion of West Indian Culture

Infusion of West Indian Music
Jaden Richards

West Indian culture had a large influence on music in the 2000s. Some West Indian genres include reggae, dancehall, reggaeton, and soca. Most of these genres originated in Jamaica and Trinidad around the 1970s. As Caribbean music increased in popularity, its influence became evident in the 2000s with appearances in American media.

Caribbean influence on America was mainly due to migration. A lot of black mainstream artists originated from the Caribbean and although some of them might be Americanized, we still see their cultural background through their work. Rihanna (Barbados), Nicki Minaj (Trinidad and Tobago), Sean Paul (Jamaica) and WyClef Jean (Haiti) are examples of artists of Caribbean descent that were popular during the 2000s.

One artist that caught global attention was Bob Marley. Although most of his popular music was released in the 1970s, his tracks were constantly sampled on music of the 2000s. The video to the right is Trey Songz’s “Gotta Go” (2005) which samples Bob Marley’s song “So Much Trouble In The World” (1979).

Another reason for the increased awareness of West Indian music in the 2000s is because of the many collaborations between popular African American artist and Caribbean artists. Sean Paul was featured on Beyonce’s baby boy in 2003. Sean Paul featured Keyshia Cole on “Give It Up To Me” in 2005. Dj Khaled featured Busta Rhymes on “She’s FIne” in 2008


West Indian influence continued through the 2010s. Koffee, an upcoming reggae artist, recently won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album. She made history as the youngest and also the first woman to ever win this category.

In conclusion, West Indian artist have demonstrated their influence through their success and fanbase in America. “Pop” music is increasing in diversity and this diversity is also being recognized.

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