Jamaican presence dwindles on Billboard Reggae chart, Americans dominate top 10
Despite Jamaica's apparent renaissance in Reggae music this year, the island's presence on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart in The U.S. continues to dwindle Americans have recently dominated the top 10.
In the latest edition of the American magazine's chart, five of the top ten albums are by American Reggae artists, led by California-based Reggae band, Rebelution for their Peace of Mind album. Pennsylvania-born Reggae act, Matisyahu is runner-up for his album, Spark Seeker while Virginia-based band, Soldiers of Jah Army (S.O.J.A) is third with Strength To Survive.
Two other American acts, Josh Heinrichs (Rooftop Session EP) from Missouri and Fiji (Born and Raised II – The Rebirth) from Hawaii round out the top 10 at nine and 10 respectively. This is the third straight week at least half of Billboard's Reggae charts were albums from American Reggae acts.
Only two solo Reggae albums from Jamaican acts are on the list: Jimmy Cliff' Grammy-award winning project, Rebirth at number six and Beres Hammond's new album, One Love, One Life at number eight. Marley: The Original Soundtrack and Reggae Gold 2012 are the only other Jamaican Reggae albums on the list at fourth and seventh respectively.
Bermudan act, Mishka is the only act outside Jamaica and the U.S. on Billboard's Reggae albums chart with Ocean IS My Potion at number six.
These latest figures are concerning, considering 2012 releases within the U.S from prominent Jamaican Reggae acts such as Romain Virgo (The System), I-Octane(Cry To The Nation), Busy Signal (Reggae Music Again) and Sean Paul (Tomahawk Techniques. However, none of them returned favourable end-of-year numbers, selling less than 5,000 units each, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
By comparison, Rebelution and Matisyahu's albums sold 16,000 units in the first week of their releases in January and July respectively.