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Rude Awakening: 25 Major Moments in White Reggae History

Explore the chronology of Caucasian forays into Jamaica's second biggest export (and the first one too)

Was there a bigger surprise hit in 2014 than Magic!’s “Rude”? There, tucked into the balmy folds of the Summer of Ass, was a soft and sunny tropical tune sporting a sweet sentiment and just the slightest hint of fake patois. And just like that, White Reggae returned to the zeitgeist. (Yes, Nasri Atweh’s of Palestinian heritage; we’ll explain.) In an effort to figure out how this happened, we took a deep dive into the annals of the art form — skipping most ska and cover songs, which deserve separate lists, really — and made some wild discoveries about Whitey’s island fetish. Call it an appreciation of appropriation if you must; this isn’t about judgment. (Mostly.)