Praise Jah! I don’t know very much about the Rastafarian religion, honestly, so it’s hard to judge, but it seems like a pretty fun one. If nothing else, its music has been outstanding. I presume that most faiths come with their own musical heritage, but the phenomenon of reggae is unique. Reggae is not exclusively religious music the way gospel is, but it’s deeply entwined with faith and with political belief. Whatever an artist like Peter Tosh chooses to sing about – love, justice, good times, bad times – it’s implicitly from the perspective of a devoted Rasta, a man of faith. Are there any celebrated reggae artists for whom their Rasta identity is not a central part of their message? I don’t know of any, and no, Matisyahu does not count. It is indeed unique that reggae, a musical style inexorably linked to a very specific and to most of us exotic cultural identity, has such widespread appeal. What sounds on paper like it should be a niche genre at best has gained popularity around the world and made superstars of Tosh, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Sly & Robbie and many others. Part of the thanks for that can be put on the enormous talent and charisma of Peter Tosh and Bob Marley. I also think that it’s the very spiritual nature of reggae music that makes it appealing, along with positive messages of love, social justice and equality.