Roots reggae is a subgenre of reggae that concerns itself with the life of the ghetto sufferer, and the rural poor. Lyrical themes include poverty, social issues, resistance to government oppression, repatriation, and Rastafari.
The heyday of roots reggae is usually considered the latter half of the 1970s – with singers such as Johnny Clarke, Cornell Campbell, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Max Romeo, Horace Andy and Lincoln Thompson, and groups like Black Uhuru, Steel Pulse, and Culture – teaming up with producers such as Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Bunny Lee, Joseph Hoo Kim andCoxsone Dodd. The experimental pioneering of such producers within often-restricted technological parameters gave birth todub, and is seen by some music historians as one of the earliest (albeit analogue) contributions to modern dance musicproduction techniques.
Roots reggae, having its origins in the Jamaican landscape, also became very popular in Europe in the 1970s, specially among left-wing white youths in Western Europe. When Jamaicans turned to dancehall, a lot of black, white and mixed roots reggae bands were formed in Europe. Later on roots reggae also made its way into the United States with the mass migration of Jamaicans to New York. This took place with the reforms made to American immigration laws in the early 1960's. Along with localized traditions and food, reggae music was inevitably brought as well, contributing to the New York Citysoundscape.