REGGAE: THE STORY OF JAMAICAN MUSIC PART 2 OF 4
One of the reasons why reggae lends itself to a sweeping, historical documentary, is that the reggae audience demands innovation, yet still values mass appeal. Reggae has moved through a series of clear and distinct phases, with only a minor fragmentation between deejays and singers, conscious and rude. Hip Hop is far too fragmented and disparate to be neatly summed up in a similar fashion.
Aside from the well-researched structuring and narrative, the BBC documentary is also notable for its comprehensive selection of artists and candid interviews with a wide range of figures, from deejays and producers, to politicians, record execs, and writers.
One of the nicest things about this documentary is the fact that they cover almost all of the necessary artists, without making it seem breezy or over-edited. As well, the writers and or producers never lose sight of the many background issues that influenced the music. The show is also unafraid to confront some of the more difficult topics like homophobia and discrimination against social outcasts like Yellowman.
Missing from the show are King Stitt, Larry Marshall (Bob Marley's favorite singer), King Tubby, Gregory Isaacs, and Brigadier Jerry. But that's about all, which is really impressive for a 90 minute documentary that chronicles 40 years. Hopefully this documentary will be made available to the public through libraries or retail distribution.
The only thing I would have added would be more talk about the development of rapping, and also connections with Kool Herc and the numerous DJs who have crossed over on jungle beats.