Reggae is characterized by a heavy backbeat rhythm, meaning the emphasis of the beat is on, for example, beats 2 and 4, when the song is in 4/4 time. This backbeat is characteristic of all African-based musical styles and is not found in traditional European or Asian music. Reggae drummers also emphasize the third beat when in 4/4 time with a kick to the bass drum.
Rastafarianism is a religion and social movement established in Jamaica in the 1930s. It is characterized as an Abrahamic system of belief, in that its adherents claim their faith has it origins in the practices of ancient Israelites, who worshipped the "God of Abraham." Many of the world's most famous reggae musicians practice this religion, and therefore many reggae lyrics reflect the beliefs and traditions of Rastafarianism.
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