|Dancehall Reggae Music|
Dancehall reggae as the name suggests is a musical genre that encourages dancing. The high energy beats and pulsating rhythms are suppose to get your lazy feet moving and your waist line gyrating. The music in and of itself celebrates sexuality in both the male and female participants. Dancehall has created a whole new culture that can still be experienced in the inner cities of Jamaica, its birthplace.
Early Influence of Dancehall Reggae
Dancehall reggae music emerged from the bowels of the inner city during the 1970s which had brought with it both social and political changes to the Jamaican landscape. Back then Jamaica was a different country in which class divide existed among the people. Those who lived uptown were considered upper class and those who live downtown were considered ghetto. This divide meant that dance secession which took place uptown were only meant for the upper class , and it was out of this need to create an entertainment pass time for the downtown folks that dancehall was born.
The people by then had started to shift away from roots reggae they now desired live performances. Huge sound boxes would be strung in the streets and powerful amplifiers would supply the power needed to drive the deafening music to the anticipating masses. The lyrical content of dancehall focused on dancing, money, sex and violence. The old had now been replaced with the new and sound systems such as Stone Love, Killamanjaro, Gemini disco, Virgo, Hi-fi and Aces International. They started to capitalize on the new sound and propagated it to the waiting masses. Soon the old reggae acts would be replaced by new stars such as captain Sinbad, lone ranger, Charlie Chaplin, Clint Eastwood, Josey Wales, and Yellow man.
New Dancehall Reggae Artistes Take the Scene
As the 1980s emerged a new set of artists would take the lime light including female artists who would now push the sexual envelope to a new level. Artists such as Lady Saw, Lady G, Junie Ranks, Sister Nancy would speak to female sexual empowerment. Yellow man would then go on to be the first dancehall artist to be signed to an American record label.
By the 90s had emerged Shabba ranks, Chaka Demus and Pliers had taken control of the charts it was during this decade that dancehall had made the cross over into the international markets. Songs such as Mr. Loverman by Shabba Ranks, Dawn Penn No, No, No, Patra's Wokerman and Chaka Demus and Pliers Murder she wrote all became mega hits both at home in Jamaica and overseas. The year 2000 brought with it new dancehall acts such as Elephant Man and Sean Paul. These artists would go on to achieve mainstream success and be listed on the billboard top ten charts. Songs such as' gimme the light',' give it up to me',' we be burning' and' break it off' a duet with Rihanna all held prominent places on the chart.
Dancehall being a child of Reggae Music makes use of the same types of instruments that reggae uses, these includes Bass Guitar, Guitar, Drums and organs. Dancehall reggae music has affected many facets of the Jamaican society. The dancehall culture affects both the physical aspects such as clothing and makeup and the social aspects of individuals who come into contact with the music. In recent time great effort has been made to clean up the music as in many cases the lyrical content incited violence against certain members of society. Its explicit nature made the music unwholesome for young people to consume. The industry is making great strides in moving back the core concepts of dancehall reggae in order to create music that can be consumed by the masses.