Rap and reggae have always had an interesting relationship. From the beginning, reggae culture has had an influence on hip hop, with the emcee at block parties having parallels to the DJ at Jamaican soundstations. Both genres are the music of struggle, frequently giving a voice to people and situations that are otherwise unheard. In anticipation of the new Nas and Damian Marley collaborative album Distant Relatives, in stores May 18th, let’s take a look at some past rap/reggae collaborations and rap songs that drew influence from reggae.
Juelz teamed up with roots-reggae artist Sizzla for this track off of 2006’s What the Game’s Been Missing. The track nods to Jamaican culture, with Juelz bigging up himself and others as “shottas” - a Jamaican term for gangstas (and a popular hood flick).