While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady. Reggae is based on a rhythm style characterized by regular chops on the off-beat, known as the skank. The tempo is generally slower than that found in ska. Reggae usually has accents on the 3rd beat in each bar, there being four beats in a bar; many people think it's accentuated on the 2nd and 4th, because of the rhythm guitar.
Reggae is often associated with the Rastafari movement, an influence on many prominent reggae musicians from its inception. Reggae song lyrics deal with many subjects, including faith, love, sexuality, relationships, poverty, injustice and other broad social issues.