Is there such a thing as a good stereotype?

When it comes to being in Jamaica, I’d say yes. The people are friendly, they like weed, camaraderie, music — especially reggae music — and living in low-maintenance harmony.

Such attributes are commonly and universally understood when it comes to visiting the Carribean countryside but to actually experience it the flesh resonates so much more real-life emotion.

I was fortunate to not only experience Jamaica’s prized attraction, Montego Bay but its world-renown Reggae Sumfest — powered by Red Stripe.

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This past summer marked the 25-year anniversary of the mega-concert series. And the semeblance resonated with all artists who were present. Whether it was Popcaan or Spice or I Octane and Agent Sasco f.k.a. Assassin — all the way up to the royal pipeline of Damian Marley performed with an extra dose of pride, seeing that the event was now a must-do amongst tourist attractions.

I witnessed Maxi Priest belt out vocals so pristine that you would think he was a new artist. Cali native J Boog brought a smooth level of G-funk to his performance and arguably the real winner of the two-day affair was Bounty Killer, who had graced the Reggae Sumfest stage 24 out of the 25 years it has existed.

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But after sitting through an inaugural symposium that covered everything from the country’s historic roots to the origins of its drum playing, I discovered how much reggae music mirrored Hip Hop. It was the rebellious voice of the people who fight for freedom at any costs.

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To experience the Reggae Sumfest for yourself, visit www.jtbonline.org. Check out more pictures from the dynamite affair down below.


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