Rasta fari existed in Jamaica from the 1930s and definitely staked its claim in the modern music business of the sixties, through musicians like Don Drummond and Lloyd Brevett from the Skatalites. The Rastas had been persecuted in Jamaica and children were told to stay away from The Blackheart Man, but in the seventies, they started to rise up and began wearing dreadlocks openly and Rasta camps and meeting places were no longer destroyed by the police and soldiers. Michael Manly stood up for the poor and this included the Rasta community. Their style of reggae included conscious lyrics and a heartbeat rhythm which synchronised with the natural movement and rhythm of the people working and moving in their everyday life.
The Wailers and their conscious lyrics, powerful heartbeat rhythms and rebel drum and bass took Rasta Reggae music to another dimension. Bob Marley took reggae and Ras Tafari out of Jamaica and spread it all over the world and today everyone knows what the symbol of Bob Marley represents. In Africa during the fight for freedom years, if you showed a Jamaican flag it was a sign of unity and that you could be trusted.
The Rastafarian message, often in the lyrics, is still strongly conveyed in a lot of the reggae music that is listened to today, however, from the start it was clear you did not have to be a Rasta to make or love reggae music.