Dancehall To Di World

The writer sought to dispel the classicistic deceit, and wilful ignorance surrounding Dancehall culture in Jamaica, that have been disenfranchising the inner-city youths for decades. Youths who are struggling enormously to make their living through Dancehall music. The classicistic way of governance, fully supported by the majority classicistic society, have allowed and/or argued the following about the Dancehall culture:

Censorship of Dancehall music where the lyrics tout profanities and gun violence, as they are deemed negative influences, and have been the major contributing factors for crime plaguing the country.

Dancehall has not been doing well overseas because the artistes should have presented it better by ‘cleaning’ up the lyrics. Refrain from utilizing the dialect- patois, in order for foreigners to understand the music and for it to be received more favourably like Reggae music. Further suggesting that foreigners only prefer Reggae music, not it’s subculture- Dancehall music.

In addition, the dancers appear worthless, very uncouth when dancing, and should therefore seek appropriate, more gainful employment.

Ironically with all the aforementioned, foreigners in Europe and Asia, having studied the genre and it’s associated culture for decades, are now successfully capitalizing off Dancehall music. They stage numerous Festivals, Dance Workshops, Soundclashes…. All of this, whilst richly embellishing in the uncensored songs where the lyrics tout profanities and gun violence. Surprisingly, only the ‘clean’ versions of Dancehall music must be played in Jamaica in order to get air-time from the local media houses.

Foreigners even indulge in the dances that are normally deemed ‘uncouth’ when performed locally by the dancers in Jamaica. There are numerous Soundclashes without any censorship of the lyrics, as well no early lock-offs of these shows. Amazingly, the foreigners have mimicked the dialect- patois, and the accompanying slangs extremely well. Comically, some may argue that these foreigners merit Jamaican citizenship based on how well they have studied the craft.

Jamaican dancers, Shady Squad, conducting a Dancehall workshop in Germany.

The Japanese, many whom don’t speak English, still adopted the Dancehall culture in it’s entirety. In the midst of their Japanese exchanges at the Soundclashes, you may hear the Jamaican slangs, including the profanities spoken with great ease. That’s passion, love, and respect for the Dancehall culture that one cannot ignore. There’s no arguing that Japan is basically Dancehall at this point, but yet there are no significant crimes being reported in their country, and/or they even attributing Dancehall to any crimes that have occurred. The Japanese believe that Dancehall (even with the gun violence lyrics) is a loving culture, and it made them into a ‘Nation of Dancers’ which may have contributed to some extent why they are so happy, and physically in good shape.

It would be quite difficult for the writer to harbour any ill-feelings towards foreigners who are loving, and adopting this part of the culture that many Jamaicans have shunned for years. Pity is only felt for the disenfranchised affected-

  • The local dancers, who frequently traveled internationally to the Dancehall Workshops, and have/may become dispensable once the foreigners adopted the dance moves. Some of the said foreigners are now teaching their own Dancehall workshops as a way to lessen the associated expenses incurred when arranging travel for the Jamaican dancers to visit their workshops.
Reggae Sumfest Champion 2019.
  • The Jamaican Sound Systems are now struggling at international/local Soundclashes, because the foreigners are so excellently prepared, arising from the fact that they are allowed to work in supportive, uncensored environments in their own countries. Being able to do so, they are able to invest heavily in dubplates, as well developing a true passion for the craft, and overall joy for the Dancehall culture. Unfortunately, the playing field is not leveled in Jamaica, and would surely explain why the locals are losing frequently in these international soundclash battles.
Welcome to Jamrock Cruise Champion 2019.
  • The peddlers at Dancehall events who sell cup soups, jerk chicken with slice bread, amongst other treats … Oftentimes they are unable to sell off their wares because of early dance lock offs by the police as legislated by government.
  • The younger generation of Jamaicans who are already significantly compromised, and at a disadvantage in possibly making the Dancehall culture greater than their predecessors. Japan’s younger generation are already dancing way better than most Jamaicans. As the Japanese proclaimed, “Dancehall is now their life.”
  • Disenfranchisement of the inner-city communities that rely heavily on the Dancehall culture as their ‘bread and butter’. This disenfranchisement does have serious, negative implications on the wider society. The socio-economic conditions are already unfavourable for those in the inner-city communities. For many. who seek to improve their lives through Dancehall music they face many restrictions, including discriminations from the classicistic society. The lack of support, prohibitions, restrictions, and discriminations may cause some to get involved in crime as an alternative way of making a living. From the artistes, to the DJs, including the peddlers, they are all impacted by early dance lock-offs, censorship of the music and associated culture, as well discrimination from the security forces.
  • Surprisingly, Bob Marley, was also disregarded by many Jamaicans during his musical career even with his inspiring, ‘clean’ Reggae Music. His praises many Jamaicans now sing, he never received during his lifetime, only from the international community. His recognition from Jamaicans came only after his death, upon realizing the enormous impact he had globally. Had Bob Marley been appreciated during his musical career by his own, Jamaica more than likely would have been able to officially patent Reggae music in those formative years before it swept nations.
  • Similar to Reggae music, the writer doubts that Jamaica can try patenting Dancehall at this juncture … such a rich genre that also contributed significantly in placing Jamaica on the map. The horse is already out the gate. Europe, and Asia may thwart any attempts made in this regard, since they have been capitalizing off the genre for years.
Warrior Sound International, based out of Germany, won two of the biggest Jamaican Soundclashes of 2019- Reggae Sumfest, and Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise 😱🏆🏆🇯🇲#Soundclash #Reggae #Dancehall #Dubplates

A lesson for many; always strive to recognize value in your own. One man’s Bread-Back, is another man’s Whole-Loave-of-Bread.

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