This thesis examines the relationship between postcolonial politics and aesthetics in Linton Kwesi Johnson’s poetry. The thesis shows how Johnson’s poems are predominantly analysed and discussed in a political context. Less examined, however, are ways Johnson’s poetry engages in a discussion about poetic form and aesthetics. Johnson is inspired by reggae music, and he discusses how reggae can inspire a new literary form. In the poems, bass and rhythm can transform people and the society they live in. This thesis examines why studies of Johnson, and of many postcolonial authors in general, tend to extract explicit political messages from the texts and neglect their aesthetic features, and discusses the problematic consequences of this critical praxis. The thesis will discuss Elleke Boehmer’s claim that there is an institutionalised opposition between ‘the postcolonial’ and ‘the aesthetic’. I argue that Johnson’s poems challenge this opposition, and that they offer the ongoing debate over the role of aesthetics in postcolonial literature some new perspectives.