It makes us ask questions such as, how did they get that sound? Or what are they saying? Music can give off a variety of feelings.
The reggae genre is composed of such distinct forms as roots, dub, and most recently dancehall. Similarly, the message contained within reggae music has changed since the days when the music reflected an adherence to Haile Selassie and the Rastafarian faith.
Since the beginnings of reggae in the s reggae has evolved tremendously into the high-bass dancehall form most prevalent today. This musical evolution has not always been without criticism, however. It is true that there is a certain amount of reluctance with any change, for change means shedding a past way of living.
It must also be recognized, however, that prior modes of thinking and representation through the medium of music can be preferable. When critiquing reggae music it is of great importance to distinguish the lyrics from the rhythm. To the unaccustomed ear it is easy to forget, or altogether ignore, the paradoxical fact that such a cheerful, upbeat rhythm is used as a form of protest.
Thus, to better understand this unique form of music it becomes necessary to analyze the message conveyed in the music from the sound itself. Dancehall, both as a form of music and especially as a reflection of society and its beliefs, frequently stands directly against the music from the 'golden age' of reggae in the s.
One of the most startling differences between these two forms of music is how the DJs of dancehall visions' of the world differs from that of conventional reggae artists. There has traditionally existed a great reverence for a united Africa with Ethiopia serving as heart in the Rastafarian faith and reggae music.
This is largely due to the rise of emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. Standing in direct contrast to the desire for a unified Africa is portrayal of immediate community by the music of dancehall. It is claimed that hopes for a unified Africa no longer remains a theme for inspiration among the current dancehall artists.
With the advent of dancehall the realities of life in urban London, Toronto, and Kingston replaces the calls acknowledging the significance of Ethiopia or the end to repression in Zimbabwe. Hence, the lyrics of dancehall, "see the new battles as immediate and local- through gun-sights and across dirty inner-city streets.
As such, "Outsiders to the culture of ragga tend to find these narratives rude, crude, scatological, and 'slack.
While sexual exploits and gun violence are certainly grotesque and deplorable subjects, they convey a generally unflattering mode of existence. If the listener can get past the vividness of the lyrics of dancehall it quickly becomes apparent that both it and traditional forms of reggae are speaking against social conditions that few of us would care to contend with.
The enormous tragedy caused by slavery, colonialism, and despotic rule by an elite class should be considered equally, if not more, morally reprehensible.
It could be argued that the former has a tendency to glorify the situation that exists, while the latter found the conditions in the developing world reprehensible and sought to change them.
A plausible argument could be made that prior forms of reggae represented the voice of a global struggle but that dancehall focuses on "microrealities, the obsessive minutiae of Jamaican urban life which holds little meaning for all outsiders.
If the listener realizes this, Jamaica no longer remains only a place of palm trees and ocean views of Ocho Rios. Nor does Jamaica retain its special, although false, image of primarily being a place populated only by peaceful Rastafarians who smoke kaya all day and eat a diet of fish. As is often the case with rhetoric, this stereotype held by well-meaning tourists proves to be false upon further scrutiny.
In the latter half of the past century much of urban Jamaica was a culture obsessed with Hollywood outlaws and their fictitiously violent exploits. Perry Henzell's movie, The Harder They Come, starring Jimmy Cliff, depicts the struggles of the early reggae music industry and life in general, in some of the tougher sections of Jamaica.
Walking down the road with a pistol in your waist Johnny you're too bad Walking down the road with a ratchet in your waist Johnny you're too bad You're just robbing and stabbing and looting and shooting Many of the youths in Kingston borrowed the names of the most violent of these characters of the American films, with musicians under the names of "Dillinger", "Clint Eastwood," and "Frisco Kid.
Throughout this period Jamaica was seen by policy makers in the United States to be one of the areas to counter the expansion of communism in developing countries. Manley, elected Prime Minister inwon the election by offering an alternative to the Jamaica Labour Party's paternalistic rule of Hugh Shearer.
To accomplish this Manley turned his attention to the 'sufferahs' of Jamaica, which meant the overwhelming majority. The 'One Love Peace Concert' was held during the most trying period for the Manley regime, when it was reported that the country was on the verge of civil war.
Barrett writes of Manley: Michael Manley and the P. One pundit notes, "Election-related gang warfare using automatic weapons began in earnest during the campaign, when the C.
For example, "The J. In these areas of gritty Kingston, the posses are the crucial link between the sufferers and the politicians. The local members of parliament funnel jobs, money and guns to their constituencies through the gangs.
Commenting on this, Chude-Sokei observes, "The ragga response, however, is not to accept themselves as passive victims in an overwhelming Babylonian structure, not to represent themselves as 'wailers,' as victims of history belonging to a helplessly innocent race.The dancehall music industry later agreed in to stop releasing songs that promote hatred and violence against gay people after great lobbying to that effect.
Role of media in popularizing reggae music The media has played a pivotal role in the birth, growth and spread of reggae music.
The violence and gun lyrics expressed in dancehall have caused a debate about whether free expression or a lawful, safe society should take priority in the music. Jamaica has no First Amendment or similar protections of speech.
Early dancehall represents a crucial turn in Jamaican music’s evolution. The legacy of dub From the inception of what is now called “roots” or “roots and culture” reggae, a sub-genre of Jamaican music branched off and became known as dub.
Thesis: Although dancehall music has positive effects on the younger generation its negative effects outweighs the positive effects and is manifested mainly through the generally explicit, sexual and violent content of the music. Music done by black musicians had an impact in many countries on the continent.
Apart from the race connection, there was “something” with Jamaican artistes. Feb 23, · This is a brief discussion on dancehall and our values & attitudes, and how these interrelate to crime.
The main idea is that the common themes now found in dancehall music are very much factors which contribute to our society’s disintegration.