Reggae & Dancehall Influence on Hip Hop

Reggae and Dancehall’s Influence on Hip-Hop: A 50 Year Celebration

Hip-Hop is a genre that has captured the hearts of millions of people across the globe. However, it is a sound that was influenced by a number of sources, including reggae and dancehall. With 2023 marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of Hip Hop, we take a look at the impact that these two vibrant genres had on this iconic sound. So when Mikelah, host of the Style & Vibes Podcast asked me and my other friend Chris of WhereItzAt Magazine to discuss, it was a conversation we knew was needed.

Part 1: Reggae and Dancehall’s Influence on Hip-Hop

It is impossible to talk about hip-hop’s origins without mentioning Jamaican sound culture. The likes of DJ Kool Herc, who is of Jamaican descent, popularized playing records back to back, using two record players. This technique became the backbone of the hip-hop movement in the late 70s and early 80s. However, DJs like Kool Herc aren’t the only accredited foundation members.

During our conversation in the Style & Vibes podcast, we delved into the trials and triumphs of both Reggae and Dancehall, and how they have shaped Hip-Hop. We talked about why Dancehall hasn’t seen the same level of growth as Hip Hop. We also dissected the unique sound clash culture in Dancehall and Hip Hop. We critically analyzed the harsh realities faced by artists in both genres, and the importance of staying connected to the culture. Listen to Part 1 or Watch on YouTube.

Part 2: Best Reggae, Dancehall and Hip-Hop Collabs

In part two of the Style & Vibes podcast, we continued our celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop by sharing our favorite Reggae, Dancehall and Hip-Hop song collaborations. Mikelah created a playlist of some of these icons collaborations on Apple Music.

Reggae and Dancehall are more than music genres; they are a way of life. They have inspired and influenced a plethora of other genres, and Hip-Hop is no exception. The influence of these genres is still felt today, and it’s exciting to think about what the future will hold. Listen to Part 2 or Watch on YouTube.


The impact of Reggae and Dancehall on Hip-Hop is undeniable. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, there is no better time to celebrate the impact that Reggae and Dancehall have had on this iconic genre.


Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown is Founder & host of Carry On Friends one of the first podcasts dedicated to the Caribbean American Experience. She is leading the way for Caribbean Podcast as the founder of Breadfruit Media, the first Caribbean podcast production company; and founder of the Caribbean Podcast Directory a place to discover podcasts by people of Caribbean Heritage.