This is a form of popular music of Jamaican origin, characterized by syncopated rhythms and influenced by blues and calypso music.
Reggae developed in Jamaica and is closely linked to the Rastafari movement, though not universally popular among Rastafarians. It is founded upon its rhythm style, which is characterized by regular chops on the backbeat, played by the rhythm guitarist and the bass drum often hitting on the third beat of each measure-- this is called the "one drop."
It gave the poor people a voice and something to call their own, celebrated the joys of life on the tropical island and spread One Love throughout the world. The subject matter of reggae songs deals with many subjects other than Rastafari, with love songs, sexual themes and broad social commentary being particularly well represented.
For fifty years, the natural medium for this music has been the sound system dances, with, traditionally, commercial recordings and release schedules playing second fiddles to these awesome ghetto-centric situations. Thus, for as long as there`s been Jamaican music it`s remained inseparable to the people and the environment responsible for it. Reggae remains one of the world`s last genuine folk musics.