I just got back from spending the last few days vacationing in Hawaii. A great place of course, and it was interesting to hear that the pacific islanders have adopted reggae as their main form of music. Reggae run through that Blackwellian marketing filter of being music created by jam-bands rather than soundsystem engineers and ruthless producers, but reggae nonetheless.
Of course, after four days I can’t claim to know that much about the Hawaiian taste, but we did spend some time listening to the local radio stations while driving between different beaches on Kauai. I’ll drop the following observations: British pop stuff, like UB40 and Maxi Priest, is popular — probably more popular than anything Jamaican. Local productions are played a lot. They all sound more or less like slick lover’s rock, and every track features some not-very-talented deejay who tries hard to nail that fake patois but can’t really make it. The only name of a band I picked up was something along the lines of “Natural Vibes”.
I hope I don’t piss off any hardcore dancehall crews in Honolulu or something now, but the whole thing seems pretty similar to the Californian hippie-reggae scene. Still, some cross-culture music weirdness never hurts.