February 08, 2010


By Starapple

We have certainly come a long way in the dancehall. In the 70's - 90's we had a smattering of females in the dancehall, but 2010 we have more numbers and not only that, but more airplay. Let's see we have Dawn Penn, Sister Nancy, Lady G, Lady Saw, Macka Diamond, Queen Paula, Tifa, Stacious, Timberlee, Cecile, Natalie Storm, Tessanne Chynn, Tami Chynn, Shema, Alaine,
Ishawna, Aisha, Denyque, Baby Tash, Face, Ikaya, Lisa Hyper, Spice and I could go on and on and on. Point is not only are there numbers, but there is airplay and more appearances at stage shows locally and overseas.

Having done the rounds at studios and hanging with the men and speaking with those in the fraternity and outside of the fraternity you would be amazed at how far we have come. Once upon a time you would hear real sordid stories about how a female artiste would have to give it up [no need for gross writing here] over and over before she could get on a riddim and even then her song might get a regular mix or not even appear on the track listing. You would even hear of the men styling the women is the most demeaning of ways, regardless of whether she has talent or not.

It pleases me now that the women are getting more airplay and have more presence despite the fact that the men still dominate the charts. If you scrutinize any chart carefully the top 10 is predominantly comprised of males, which are unless they have a combination with a male. Most times the songs that are in the top 10 are not necessarily the best.

What I find particularly disturbing is that in this day and age when more women are matriculating into higher institutions of learning and more of them are graduating and holding positions of power; when more of the female artistes are high school graduates and possess more knowledge that their predecessors, why is it that more of their lyrics are not empowering
Tessanne, Aisha, Tami, Shema, Denyne, Raine Seville aside.

Most of their lyrics revolve around the glue that they have, the tightness of their thing, how firm their bodies are, their ability to 'tek' your man, how well they can swallow the male 'member', how they would deal with their matey and other base lyrics. Is this what women want for themselves, is this the true mark of success? It confounds me that the majority of the lyrics revolve around these topics. How different are their lyrics from the men? Why is it that a 'good' song does not have to contain these lyrics?

It was so refreshing to hear that new song with Michael Bolton and Tami Chynn 'Can You Feel Me' and the new Shaggy and Tessanne 'Never Let You Go', Top 10 Billboard qualities without going to menial, common lyrical construction.

All sorts of songs can be accommodated, but don’t the men do enough of a slice and dice job of degrading women already, why do we feel the need to do the same of ourselves? Certainly we can sing about more than just about what lies below our necks.

We Say It How We See It


  1. Congratulations to those who try to move away from the base/banal level. Heard an interview with Tifa..she is a graduate of the UWI with a degree in psycology to boot! She is also a past student of Wolmers girl school. Smart girl..when the demand for her style of music is no longer, then she has something to fall back on. Way to go girl.

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