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Dancehall

A style from the sound system, from the attempt to raise the tones of reggae and the rhythmic verses. The over the top attitudes, both violent and sexual, reverberate through every element, even in the ass shaking young ladies. Dancehall is a jamaican music genre that exploded in the 90’s thanks to artists like Sean Paul, Buju Banton, Elephant Man and many more….listen here all their best dancehall songs. If you're looking for a fun, lively music style with jamming beats, look no further than Dancehall! Booming drumbeats and DJ's making call and response overtures of vocal samples make this type of music infectious. It invites partygoers onto the floor and gives them an experience unlike anything else. You may already be well aware of how it gets dancefloors jumping in Jamaica and around the world, or you may just be hearing about it now, either way you can instantly be enticed by its beats. Let Dancehall fill your soul with rhythm, joy, and energy for life! So put your dancing shoes on, make some room to bust some fun moves whilst listening to the latest Dancehall tracks...you won't regret it!

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2023-02-01

Jamaican Music

The island of Jamaica, flourishing in the Caribbean Sea, has a diverse variety of music genres, from folk traditional music to nationalistic and patriotic songs. If you consider music as a tree, then its branches in Jamaica are reggae, dub music, dancehall, mento, ska, rocksteady and reggae fusion. The Jamaicans consider folk, reggae and dancehall as their most relevant symbols, and mento is the most emblematic genre considered by Jamaicans.

When the Rastafari religion spread in the Jamaican culture, and Rastas celebration too, the inhabitants of Jamaica united under the music that came, with the many artists we know. Traditional Jamaican music has influenced the music of other countries in many ways such as music toasting modified into ragging in New York and certain genres of British music like rock, jungle music and grime.

The various categories of music genres according to its style are given below:
Mento:
Lord Flea and Count Lasher gained success with Mento music. The subject matter was rustic and rural life of slaves in the 1940s. The popular songs of this genre are Jamaica Farewell, Day-O, and Linstead Market. Its classic feature is its instruments as rhumba box, banjo, hand drums, mbira and its acoustic guitar.

Calypso:
Most of the times Mento and Calypso are confused together because of the similarities they have. It is the cultural representation of themes such as poverty, sexual insinuation and society problems. However, these serious dilemmas are discussed in a humorous way.

Rocksteady:
The typical example of rocksteady is Desmond Dekker in which the music is slowed down to give prominence to the vocalist along with the introduction of background instruments. It is the music of Jamaican's rude boys in the 1960s. The prominent figures of this genre in mid 1960s were Supersonics, Soul Vendors, Jets and Jackie Mittoo.

Ska:
It emerged in the last years of the 1950s and it considered as the forerunner of reggae and rocksteady. In the 1950s, it was the result of products as Caribbean Mento with Calypso along with American jazz and R’n’B.

Jazz:
Joe Harriot got international fame based playing Jazz music. It emerged in the early t2000s. Alpha Boys School played a significant role in the formation of Jazz musicians in Jamaica. The most prominent Jamaican jazz musicians are Dizzy Reece, Leslie Thompson, Ernest Ranglin and Monty Alexander.

Reggae and Dub music:
Reggae music was created in the 1960s and it is about real life issues. Bob Marley is the leading figure in this music genre. In 1973, dub music came on the floor and proved a strong emergent remix. Augustus Pablo is responsible for its emergence along with Errol Thompson.

Dancehall and ragga:These genres emerged and became the center of attention in the 1980s. Yellowman and General Echo are the dominant figures of dancehall. It represents music along with sexual dances wearing scant and prominent dresses and its contents and themes are of violent nature.
Tag: Jamaican music, dancehall, Rocksteady, Mento, Calipso, Rasta
2022-12-31

The King of the Dancehall, Beenie Man and the dancehall music

Talking about Jamaican music, maybe many people will be associated with reggae music, which can be considered as the popular music of Jamaican people during the 20th century. However, since the 1980s, reggae music is started to replace with the new emerged music from the deejay artists. Yes, this is dancehall music, or ragga, or dub, the new wave of popular music in Jamaica. This new genre becomes well known in Jamaica during the 1990s, and skyrocketed worldwide during the 2000s and achieve mainstream success. This is the starting line of the dancehall influences in western deejay artists. However, the history of dancehall music started more than 60 years ago, to be specific, around the 1940s.

Dancehall music is firstly developed around the end of the 1940s in rural areas near the Kingston city center, mainly created by the people who cannot attend the dance clubs. Who knows that this kind of lower-class people music becomes one of the faces of Jamaican popular music now, right? It started to alter during the 1970s when there are political turmoil and shifts from socialist-oriented to the government who supported the labor movement. After these governmental changes, the dancehall appears and disseminated throughout Jamaica and become famous. During this era, Sugar Minott becomes the pioneer of the later-called dancehalls music, with some of his works, for example: Live Loving. Vanity, Roof over My Head, and Jah Jah Children. If Sugar Minott can be considered as the pioneers, then Yellowman must be one of the most successful musicians in early dancehall eras. He is also known for his lecherous and lustful lyrics which are inserted in his songs. Yellowman's aims for his sexual lyrics creations are no other for criticizing the failure of socialism implementations during the 1970s. Also, Yellowman even becomes the first Jamaican DJ who obtained the contract with a major American label, and hence, he gained massive popularity within Jamaican citizens.

During the early 21st century, Jamaican dancehall becomes widely known not only in Jamaica but also in the United States and Europe. Thanks to the hard work of Sean Paul, one of his works entitled Get Busy, become the first single in dance hall single to get in the US Billboard Hot 100, even the song obtained the no.1! During this period, the form differs from the predecessors, as most of the dancehall music utilized the melodic structure similar to mainstream pop songs. The notable artist during this era is Beenie Man, who proclaimed himself as the ‘King of the Dancehall.’ The result is, the veteran dancehall artist Yellowman criticizes his self-proclamation. After the vast popularity of dancehall, many western artists utilize the dancehall style for their singles. For example, Work from Rihanna and Drake’s songs such as Controlla and One Dance. The popularity of dancehall re-appeared during 2016, with Popcaan, Alkaline, and Aidonia as one among the best musicians.

During this era, dancehall has become one of the renown Jamaican popular genres which already gained popularity worldwide. The artists that I mentioned can be considered as the best, which contributes toward the development of dancehall during decades. You can start listening to Sugar Minott and Yellowman as the introduction before exploring more. Happy listening!
Tag: dancehall, ragga, Jamaican music, reggae, Beenie Man
2023-03-12 h: 16:00
Erykah Badu, Charlie Wilson, Sean Paul, Keyshia Cole, and 2 more… at Hard Rock Stadium (March 12, 2023)
Miami, US

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