April 06, 2010



It has been a rather interesting 3 weeks. So much has been happening in the Jamaican entertainment industry. The late night murmurings of the plausible revocation of some of the major stars (Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Mavado, Idonia, Selector Ricky Trooper) visas had twitter buzzing more than a hive last Wednesday (March 31, 2010). Many thought it was going to be a mere April Fool’s day joke; unfortunately this was no Alice In Wonderland Fairytale. This is a reality that has quite a number of artiste’s defecating bricks faster than a mason can lay them.

Numerous articles have been written expressing deep concerned over the financial implications for Jamaica. After all, how much more can we really withstand? Let’s look at our industries: Bauxite is limping, coffee is draining, bananas are rotting, tourism will soon get a bullet because of the ever mounting societal tension, sports are trod ding along while entertainment is under serious pressure. It is not far fetch or conspiratorial to think that perhaps soon the major powers might institute technical trade blockages, issue statements which affect the willingness of possible visitors to grace our shores and even deny Jamaicans the privilege of a visa to their land.

Many a person integral in the dancehall sphere or fans of the sub-genre have insinuated that it is the homosexuals who have cause the dent to the genre and severe pressure on the artistes, but how true is this?

What is truly uncanny is that every time we suffer a laceration to the entertainment industry the gays are blamed, when in fact there are other factors which are stemming its development. In previous articles, I have pointed out a number of these factors and many other players have written and spoken on the subject.

The artistes will defend themselves and say that they are writing about what they have experienced or seen. That in itself might be true, but there are many artistes who directly tell you what to do in a violent manner in their songs. Many supply armaments, many engage in highly salacious behaviour and glorify it and many encourage behaviours which run contrary to what is written in their ‘HOLY BOOK – THE BIBLE’, many fail to make appearances at shows for which they have been paid, many give lackluster performances yet demand high fees, and frankly many do not even have performance prowess and lyrical wit.

A recent and disturbing argument which I have heard and one which is gaining fluency and flow is that the dancehall genre is affecting the airplay of indigenous music of other lands, how can this even be true when at the Grammys the winner is not presented with the Grammy at the live show, when the sales of the genre is so low, and when you look at the Billboard Reggae charts there is a weak representation of local artistes not to mention the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It is perhaps only in the islands that you might hear more Jamaican music on their airwaves and even that too might soon change. Just look at the restrictions being placed on promoters in those islands where dancehall acts are supposed to be the major pull.

From recent reports about 50 major players in the entertainment industry are being targeted and the police are being strict about cutting off dances / sessions. Is this related to the failed extradition of Dudus or is it that the people overseas are fed up with the overall lack of professionalism or our “artistes” and the poor quality of “music” that is being produced?


  1. I must commend the author of this piece. Great writings.

    How you ended is probably the ultimate reason behind all of this. Dancehall is fast becoming a VERY influential genre. However, the message of it probably isn't pleasing to the international leaders. THEY DO NOT WANT IT IN THEIR COUNTRY.

    Of all of these happenings, how many roots reggae artists are affected?......NONE!

    Reggae and dancehall was originally 'Feel Good' music. The sexually graphic and violent nature of some of these new productions won't be accepted in many countries.

    Too many of these entertainers are managing their own careers then their egos get the best of them. Not many wise decisions are made.


  2. Great article...too bad the handlers of these artists don't have the sense or an inkling of it to realize that the downfall of the music is their own doing.

    You've made some very potent points, all of which can be a conversation piece by themself, including lackluster performances, profanity laced music, high prices, and failure to appear to name a few.

    Many are now irrate at the idea of bans in Germany and other European countries. They complain reggae is being taken away from us. Whoever makes such an assanine claim, I say "YOU'RE DEAD WRONG! The artists of today and the Jamaican people who glorify the Gully and the Gaza and other slackness are to blame. YOU ARE THE ONES THAT GAVE AWAY REGGAE MUSIC! Blame yourselves". You cannot fault an art collector for seeing the value in a painting you saw fit to throw out in the garbage. Only to complain, failing to acknowledge your own ignorance, the collector is now in possesion of a prime and cherished asset.

  3. Wow! That is a tremendously well written article and one that really hits home to me.

    I manage the content for iRibbeantunes and one thing that continues to concern me is the fact that I can't comfortably put up Dancehall music on our website. The reason, too much of it is for the 'free' market, cause honestly people arent prepared to spend good money, on this trash. Let's be honest, a lot of this music and what it stands for has no place in society.

    What hurts me as a Caribbean business person, is to see the damage that many of these Dancehall artists have done to Jamaica's strongest brand, it's music!

    The average man outside the Caribbean don't make the separation of roots, reggae, dancehall, for them it is Jamaican music. More and more people and recognising that the form of Dancehall currently in circulation is not worth buying, listening or even identifying with. The sad reality is these artists have within them the ability to produce music of great value.

    So, where next for this generation of Dancehall artists? Well economically, most of them could find themselves out in the cold and isolated, if it takes that to drive a new sense of direction, so be it.

  4. This is a wake up call.Quality over quanty.Most of these artistes are uneducated. You have some who are educating themselves, even some with degrees, but the rotten ones make it bad for others.And the worst part is that they think they know it all, and must not be critisized or corrected. Communication is at our finger tips,so why can't these artistes pick up something good. All most of them do is display vulgarity on stage. Look at the women who follow them & call themselves dancers..they are so vulgar.
    We blame everyone and every thing,but no one is looking at self. They are flossing!!! Gimmie a break. Sets of idiots.

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