I find that the music coming out of Jamaica over recent years has been overwhelmingly violent with very lude lyrical content. This, among other factors which I will discuss here, I feel has left many fans totally disenfranchised. Some say it is due to the violence encountered in everyday life in parts of Jamaica. This I understand, however with that being said, wouldn’t it serve society better to deliver messages about peace, or just non-gun related topics? My question assumes that there are artists whose purpose it is to serve humanity. Perhaps this is not realistic.
There are Jamaican arists today, such as Luciano and others for example, who in every way represent the messages of truth, rights, roots and culture, and who bring strong, thought provoking lyrical content as opposed to just “Pop.” Popular culture in Jamaican Dancehall now includes:
men in tight pants dancing with each other while ladies are left alone (strange in a place where alternative lifestyles are taboo and frowned upon), songs with lyrics that intricately describe guns and scenes of shoot outs and even torture, and of course the extremely simple dancing tunes ala Pon the River, Dutty Wine, Nuh Linga, etc. This is all fine and well if done in moderation.
Nowadays in America, many partrons, DJs, selectors, and sound systems are guilty of perpetuating rubbish by following, copying and mimicing whatever they see coming out of Jamaica. Let me explain. The dancehall DVDs, the clips that make it to youtube, and the CDs from dances we access here are edited to only really feature the “hype” part of the dance when the “dancers” are in a frenzy, etc. This means that the same songs get played in the background over and over and over again. These “sound bites” have become dancehall.
Sounds no longer study music or prepare to perform for their audiences. Selectors no longer select. They simply download mp3 that they hear others spinning and run out to be their gigs to be mediocre at best. But you can’t tell them that because the just played alot of Mavado so therefore they ‘done the place?’
For the unoriginal, non-creative average DJ who doesnt know any better, this to them means they MUST play the exact same songs over and over. Not only that, but all the phrases, jokes, stories, and song intros that selectors in JA use are copied and used over and over.
Many of these DJs (so called entertainers) do not realize that in Jamaica most of the dances last until the early morning hours, which means that at points during the night the music varies to enable many different types of reggae music to be featured. Even at Passa Passa many other genres of music get played and get good responses from the crowd too.
The real victim is the partygoer who has spent money and alotted the time to come out and be entertained only to hear the same songs over and over with no introduction of anything new or refreshing and no chance for nostalgic vibes to be conjured up because 40 years of reggae music mega hits are left out and the DJ only plays the new mid to uptempo music (which will stay hot 6 months max.)
I have faith that the times will change and the real will recognize real. The truth is always true and will always come to light. Good will always conquer evil.