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Has DanceHall Lost Its Sting.

Errol O'Meally
Written by Errol O’Meally

Think about it – at the same time Sting announces it’s not happening this year, Kingston is prepped for Major Lazer’s 5th Annual EDM/Dancehall/Crossover event  – what does that tell you? – the irony is that, in a year when Dancehall beats underpinned many major hits abroad, at home Dancehall continues its’ implosion. Banal lyrics about petty, parochial feuds or now quite stale x-rated rhymes, are hardly the stuff that make international hits nowadays and to be honest, the innovative riddims that often helped to push a mediocre lyric over the line are fewer and farther between. The revival of roots reggae has helped to balance things, on the touring side, but commercially, in recordings, the pendulum has swung away from Jamaican-based Dancehall over the last few years. What people want are exciting, danceable riddims and good songs, or at least exciting djs that project the energy and the fun they associated with Dancehall when it was all about the dancing. Now that afrobeat has somewhat usurped that aspect, what is left for Dancehall at home and abroad? To lament that Kartels’ absence is the main factor, is a sad indictment of the paucity of talent these promoters believe exists in the industry. Before Kartel, Sting thrived and grew for many years and one thing I know, Jamaica is NEVER short of talent. I think the truth is that the almost incestuous relationship of producers, promoters, radio personalities, media and Dancehall selectors, cemented by payola and hype, has starved the creativity and innovation of artistes of the necessary space to grow and flourish, filling the airwaves and the media with so much mediocre music and worthless gossip that it has devalued the artistes in the constant limelight, so much so that assembling a stageful of them elicits only a yawn from a saturated public. I have always felt that Dancehall, in its present overhyped form has to peter itself out and become underground again, before Jamaican music can progress, perhaps that time of destruction and resurrection is at hands ?

What do you think?

Written by The Editor

warrior dedicated to the cause of fighting the takeover of our culture.

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