The UK has come out blazing about this genre of dancehall music and now leaders and others are dropping their 2 cents. From the comments I have read thus far, a fair amount believe this should take place on the Roc. If memory serves me correct, did we not have a certain Minister who spoke out about the lyrical content of our current dancehall music and he in turn received serious backlash???????
How dare you with your timing oh so coincidental now speak to the ills or should I say the negative influence it has on many of our youths, toddlers, schoolers both boys and girls? Our ‘intellectuals’ as it appears, have turned out ‘alright’ hence their support that there is no negative influence. Attempting to rationalize by comparing to television. Let us focus on Jamaica and not ‘fareign’. What is happening here? Speak to what you see unfolding on the Roc. It is not about you, rather the masses. The worst fate one can receive is when those who know better promote otherwise. You have the good job, the successful business, and once upon a time you used to or still rock to this genre of dancehall music, smoke a bit a weed, but hey, I’m good, look at me. Hold up. Back then, back in time, the country was a different space. ‘Broughtupsey’ was the order of the day. If you dared strayed from family values at home irrespective of your demographic, you would go so far and not beyond. Why????? Family values meant something. Board house, zinc fence, big house pon di hills, mid town or downtown, you were your neighbours keepers.
If Miss Mattie saw you on the corner hitch up, rest assured she could haul you up, drag you home where grandma, guardian, mumma or puppa would lay it pon u. When you were told to go to school, you had no choice as the consequence of not doing so would be more traumatic than school was for those who wanted to rebel. Teachers could discipline your child, speak to your child with authority and so I dare say, your head was safely screwed on your body even though you might have sampled a bit of weed. Times have changed as none of the above is carried out in many of the homes today much less our school system. Parents or guardians have no moral compass and so will fly ina school and go up ina teacher’s face, ready to put it on. Teachers more interested in collecting the pay check than holding themselves to a higher standard in many cases. Breakdown, total breakdown and all you need is to listen to a genre of music that inflames your mind when it is evident that your home life is not all what it is supposed to be.
Music has and will always be an influencer in the World as do the artists who promote their talent. So if the music is negative what do you expect? The social awareness followed by change is for persons in leadership to remove themselves from the ‘art material’ and look at the wider picture. Look at how the culture through dancehall has redefined itself through its youths in how they behave. How do our females respond to the music regardless of how demeaning the lyrics are to their being? What is the message being sent as to how our men must view our women; what is expected of them? How often have we had violence erupting at dancehall events?
This is but a small Island, and through music we can build, or we can destroy. One of the positives of social media, is that while many live vicariously through the platform you are able to see exactly how they are being affected by the influencers in dancehall. To ban, censor or not dancehall music is a discussion that must be had. Those who should be included to the table are certainly not those who are going to deny that the music is not impacting negatively on a generation, and sad to say some old timers who have lost their moral compass. As long as ‘money’ and ‘self-interest’ are the driving force, be prepared to deal with the consequences.
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(Jamaica Observer) Friday, February 17, 2017 78 Comments
Dancehall music is facing heat in the United Kingdom. Authorities there associate the genre with violence, which has caused several nightclub owners to ban it from their venues.
Rhoan ‘DJ Face’ Woolery, originally from Montego Bay, is a popular disc jockey from Stafford in East London. He confirmed the ban in an interview with Splash.
“Now promoters can’t even get a club. Once you say the word ‘bashment’ you won’t get the club. Promoters of most bashment raves are now underground and the events are being held at secret locations,” he said.
In early January, the tabloid Daily Star reported an incident which took place in Westminster, West London. The article stated that a Jamaican dancehall boat party on the River Thames descended into chaos when a reveller was stabbed.
The incident was also carried in the rival Daily Mail.
In a story aired by the BBC one year ago, the owner of a London nightclub said he was ordered to stop playing dancehall music.
Roy Seda, owner of the Dice Bar in Croydon, claimed he had been told that Jamaican music is “unacceptable” by the Metropolitan Police. He said he came under so much pressure that he now requires disc jockeys to sign contracts not to play the genre.
The report also cited police reports that the club’s licence was under review, saying it is associated with crime and disorder.
“We had a flyer which said R&B, garage, house, bashment and hip-hop and I was advised to remove the word ‘bashment’ because chart and commercial music is considered safer,” Seda told the
DJ Face believes the ban will be far-reaching.
“A ban on dancehall music in clubs will definitely affect the growth of the music on the UK scene. The artistes will get less concerts and reggae and dancehall disc jockeys will also get less work. The music will just become underground,” he said.
TJ “Stylah” Blackwood, another club DJ, has also experienced the police clampdown. Originally from Constant Spring, he now lives in London.
“I have played at clubs in Croydon and Central London and there have been signs on the wall saying “NO BASHMENT”. Immediately my heart sunk. Dancehall is my passion, I even named my sound (system) Dancehall Syndicate, in the hope of showing people a movement that can highlight dancehall in a positive and influential way,” he said. “A member of my sound has even decided to leave the dancehall scene as he hates the way it is heading; he now plays in the commercial, alternative pop scene. He no longer collects dancehall music and it’s a huge shame.”
Blackwood is not daunted, however.
“I will never give up on dancehall. When I enter these clubs, I will play alternative and the patrons (mainly white people) will beg me to play Sean Paul, Shaggy, Bob Marley, Beres Hammond and even Vybz Kartel and Popcaan.”
Since the dancehall ban, TJ has noticed a significant decline in patronage at some venues.
“Clubs are seeing a decrease in patrons where no dancehall is allowed. Club owners think dancehall is all killing and shooting, but I have played hours of dancehall and party and love songs and it’s absolutely fine,” he said.