Foreigners Make Better Reggae Music Than Jamaicans, According to Tanya Stephens.

People outside of Jamaica are making reggae music; they have all right to do so and often times the reggae music they make is better than the reggae music being made in Jamaica.  Those are the sentiments of dancehall artist, Tanya Stephens.

Tanya has never been one to pull punches or bite her lips, so her repudiation of Jamaicans who are trying to claim ownership of reggae is not surprising.  Except in this case the “These Streets” singer is completely wrong.

Tanya posted the following on her Instagram:

Dear Jamaica, other people make Reggae too; often better than you.

We were with Tanya until the “often better than you” part.  Exactly where outside of Jamaica is this reggae being made that is better than what is coming out of Jamaica?  Who are these foreign artistes and musicians who are making reggae music that is often times better than what is being made by Jamaicans? Is it Fortunate Youth, SOJA, Tropidelic or Rebelution? It is utter nonsense to think any of those overseas entertainers are even worthy to tie the shoes laces of Jamaican entertainers like Tarrus Riley, Chronixx, Jah Cure or Beres Hammond.

It is obvious that Tanya Stephens has not read: Tarrus Riley and the elephant in the reggae room no one wants to talk about

Tanya is mixing up sales, marketing and marketability with talent and quality.  Of course the foreign reggae artistes are outselling their Jamaican counterparts by leaps and bounds but it has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the music.  It has everything to do with the marketing and who are main consumers of the music in terms of actually purchasing the music.

What Tanya is saying is the equivalent of people saying Bob Marley is the most talented Jamaican musician ever.  That is utter rubbish.  Bob was and is the most marketable Jamaican based on European standards but only an idiot would say he was more talented than the likes of Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown or Sizzla. The truth is, Bob having a white father made him more appealing to the world, the same way these white foreign artists that Tanya says if often better than Jamaican artistes, are more appealing to the world.

So when one uses sales to decide who is making the highest quality of reggae music they are going down a very slippery slope. If Tanya Stephens herself was about twelve shades lighter and made herself up to look more European, she would be the female version of Sean Paul and Shaggy in terms of earnings.

The truth is color still matters.  All you have to do is look at the iTunes or Spotify top ten reggae chart.  It is ruled by foreigners and not one of these foreign acts are Black.  So using Tanya Stephens’ logic and statement, we could have said: “Dear Jamaica, white people make Reggae too; often better than you.”  See how stupid that sounds?

So yes, we agree with Tanya Stephens; Foreigners are making reggae music and they have all rights to make reggae music.

Saying foreigners’ reggae music is often better than Jamaican reggae music is very silly. Foreign acts are often lighter than Jamaican acts.

3 thoughts on “Foreigners Make Better Reggae Music Than Jamaicans, According to Tanya Stephens.

  1. To be fair to Tanya,Jamaican musicians are mostly informally trained meanwhile foreign musicians namely America,English and Canadian musicians are classically trained.Jamaican musicians don’t have the love and passion for the music like foreigners.they are into the hype or money. Question how many Dean Frasers and Handel Tuckers and Dale “Dizzle Virgos,Mickey Bennetts along with the legendary Sly and Robbie are available in Jamaica?


    1. You make a good point. We always said that the veteran musicians need to pass down their skills to the younger ones. Not sure if that is happening though. Most of these young “producers” just want fruity loops and protools.


  2. I am not Jamaican, and never been, but when you say that the veterans should pass their skills to the younger ones, that is something I agree with, but when I look at what is happening the world over, especially in Africa where I come from and where much of the culture is similar to Jamaica, the younger guys generally tend to be arrogant and let the fame get to their heads, so they do not even want to listen to their elders who they consider old fashioned, and incidentally the fan base also seems to be caught in the hype of what the younger guys are doing, probably mostly because a lot of the younger generation were not there when the legends were in their prime. The younger people have grown with the younger breed of musicians. I remember playing some Mutabaruka (Never Get Weary) on my radio show in Finland, and one of my Jamaican friends said this is the music his mother used to listen to, and he respect me for that,but he never have the interest to listen further, and somehow I had to understand where he was coming from. I hope I make some sense.


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