Words by Natalie Weiner and Martei Korley, Photo by Martei Korley—
“I decided to play the bass…because the drum, it is the heartbeat, and the bass, it is the backbone,” the Wailers’ Aston “Family Man” Barrett said recently. “If the drummer is not right, the music is gonna have a bad heart. And if the bass is not right, the music is gonna have a bad back.” Quite simply, without the bass, there is no reggae. On that note—literally—we’re closing our our trilogy of lists spotlighting reggae’s most important musicians—check out the toppa top guitarists here, and count down the don dadas of reggae drums here—with the genre’s baddest bassists.