NEW YORK, United States, Monday December 22, 2014 – Billboard Magazine has announced its top 15 bestselling reggae albums of 2014, and for the third year running the list is dominated by non-Jamaican acts.
Only three new sets by Jamaicans made the cut: Ziggy Marley’s “Fly Rasta,” Chronixx’ “Dread and Terrible” and “Full Frequency” by Sean Paul.
Two box sets by Bob Marley and The Wailers also made the list.
Dub poet Yasus Afari considers this trend disturbing. According to a LOOP Jamaica report, he said that while the media obsesses with dancehall, white American bands are tapping into the traditional market.
“When you go to a Toots concert or Jimmy Cliff, a lot of them in the audience are musicians who become students of reggae,” he told the website. “Before you know it, they are more adept at the music than Jamaicans.”
Billboard’s list, which was published in its year-end issue, says it all:
1 – “Count Me In” (Rebelution): Released in June, this is the Californian band’s third chart-topper. The album sold over 17,000 copies in its first week and has sold over 38,000 copies to date.
2 – “Amid the Noise and Haste” (SOJA): The American band’s sixth studio release went straight to number one with over 12,000 copies when it debuted in August. It has sold over 22,000 copies to date. Produced by Jamaican Dwayne Chin-Quee, it is nominated for Best Reggae Album at the 57th Grammy Awards.
3 – “Reincarnated” (Snoop Dogg/Lion): The debut reggae set from the former gangsta rapper, “Reincarnated” has sold over 100,000 copies since its April 2013 release.
4 – “Fly Rasta” (Ziggy Marley): Released in April, this also topped Billboard’s Reggae Album chart. “Fly Rasta” is the most commercially successful album by a Jamaican reggae artiste for 2014 and has sold more than 16,000 copies to date. It is another nominee for Best Reggae Album at the 57th Grammy Awards.
5 – “Summertime Reggae” (Various Artistes): Since its release in July, this compilation has sold over 14,000 copies.
6 – “Representing” (Tribal Seeds): This is the San Diego, California band’s first Billboard number one. Released in May, it features collaborations with Don Carlos and Mykal Rose, among others, and has sold over 9,000 copies.
7 – “Automatic” (Iration): This Santa Barbara, California-based band is originally from Hawaii. Their third studio album, “Automatic” was released in July 2013 and has sold just under 20,000 copies to date.
8 – “Dread and Terrible” (Chronixx): Opened at number one in April with less than 1,000 copies sold, but thanks to his performance on NBC’s The Tonight Show, “Dread and Terrible” moved over 2,700 copies the following week. The album now stands at over 7,000 copies sold.
9 – “5 Classic Albums” (Bob Marley & the Wailers): Island Records’ box set features the studio albums “Rastaman Vibration” (1976), “Exodus” (1977), “Kaya” (1978), “Survival” (1979), and “Uprising” (1980). Since its November 2013 release, it has sold over 7,000 copies.
10 – “Hawaii 13” (The Green): The Hawaiian reggae band topped the Billboard Reggae Album chart with their third album which was released in 2013. It has sold over 16,000 copies to date.
Neither “Easy to Love” by Maxi Priest nor “Full Frequency” by Sean Paul have produced significant numbers.
Billboard’s top 15 is completed by the compilations “Soca Gold 2014,” “Legend Remixed” by Bob Marley & the Wailers and “Reggae Gold 2014.”