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Conceptually, the island of Jamaica is the epitome of “Right Place, Right Time” An expanded version of this quote would read, “‘discovered’ by Spain, captured by England for the Brits’ love of Tea. Once occupied by both Indians and the Chinese, Jamaica was used as a secret battleground for the CIA during the Cold War and has produced mega influential movements in religion and music.”

Jamaica, aka The Land Of Wood & Water, is roughly the same size as Los Angeles County- with a population of only a few hundred thousand more than the borough of Brooklyn. Yet, its global imprint rivals that of most superpowers. Even with its laser-focused propaganda and ability to sway elections, I would argue Russia’s soft power (its ability to shape the influence of others through appeal and attraction) pales compared to the tiny island of Jamaica. Entire cities such as Toronto and London are melting pots of Jamaican influence. Even NYC’s hip-hop scene was ignited by Kool Herc, a Jamaican immigrant bringing his homeland's ethos of Clashing to the Bronx. As the artist Tom Sachs once said, “Jamaica is the most creative place in the world per capita.”

Oh yeah, back to “Right Place, Right Time.” When England took the island from Spain, they converted the official language from Spanish to English, a pivotal moment in the island’s quest for cultural dominance. I’m no historian, so don’t hit me up stating my facts were wrong, but music from the south of the United States would ride the airwaves across the waters of the Caribbean. Jamaicans now had access to Blues and Country music, which they would re-contextualize into Reggae and Dancehall. Additionally, Jamaicans grouped music into two buckets. Domestic music and foreign music this point of view allowed Jamaicans to be more open-minded to a vast amount of White music V their Black American counterparts. I feel this seemingly random amalgamation of events is needed to contextualize pop culture's love affair with Jamaica. For the sake of not being like every other article on the world wide web, we won’t discuss music and will focus on my favorite art medium, fashion.

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