It’s officially the first week of British summer, and I haven’t written a blog post in a while so I thought I’d give you little round up of my thoughts on what’s been happening in dancehall recently.
The Art of Blogs
I thought I’d start with a little moan about the current trend for blogs to post the same content without offering any sort of individual opinion. Many bloggers seem content with copy and pasting stories from each other (or from other media outlets) without offering their own slant on the topic. I’m not saying people have to go down the line of Vice and others that give the impression they are looking down their noses at most things they comment on but I for one enjoy reading a blog that offers me the chance to get an insight into the writers opinion and even give me a sense of their personality. I understand blogs are competing for clicks but still I don’t believe that’s an excuse for some of the shoddy plagiarism I’ve seen lately!
Media Need to Get Their House In Order
Continuing on from my little moan on the lack of creative bloggers, I think the media has a lot to answer for lately. If you only read blogs/websites you would think that dancehall has descended into some sort of strange sexual frenzy, with numerous reports of slack artists, slack songs, demonic behaviour and a lot more along those lines. Now before we start I’m by no means pretending that we haven’t seen a lot more slackness within dancehall but as I’ve said before Dancehall is a genre that encompasses many styles of artist and the media’s obsession with reporting on the negative elements of dancehall, although nothing new holds back the genre. Artists achievements go unnoticed while an unknown artist gets a full page article on his song about his love for eating pussy or for tattooing his eye balls!
Alkaline, Vybz Kartel Mk 2 I Think Not
This brings me on nicely to Alkaline who seems to be dividing dancehall recently, I am a genuine fan of Alkaline but he’s come in for a lot of criticism lately whether it’s being compared to Vybz Kartel or for the content of his music. Now let’s address the Vybz Kartel comparison, yes he uses similar shock tactics (although I will say Kartel’s use of shock tactics always seemed more calculated) and yes he sings about some more freakier topics but that’s where the similarities end for me. I have said on radio a number of times Alkaline embodies a lot of aspects from various “Gaza” artists and has almost refined it, taking the best elements of a number of different artists, Kartel included. As for the criticism regarding the content of his music, I think its simply if your not a fan don’t listen, as I’ve said earlier there is plenty of artists with various styles to choose. I also have a problem with the number of artist jumping on his hype with “diss” songs. Yes it’s always a part of dancehall but I don’t like seeing a young artist being shot at lyrically, when very few of these artists are bringing anything more constructive to the dancehall table and on this subject I will let Alkaline have the final say
Alkaline – Too Real
P.S look out for Alkaline hitting the UK in April for his first UK appearance
Dancehall Music Round Up
Time to take you through a few of my favourite new releases
Busy Signal – Professionally
The Turf President delivers a brilliant visual for his take on P Squares afro beat anthem “Personally”. Not only do we get Busy’s brilliant lyrical delivery but the video is a great advert for all that’s great about dancehall, with the female dancers throwing down some great moves and having some great fun doing it!
Its not only Busy who’s caught the afro beat bug, ANG artist Kalado has jumped on Personally as well with a much more explicit take (Check it out below)
Kalado – Personally
Spice Ft Busta Rhymes – So Mi Like It Remix
Fresh from collaborating with Soca king Bunji Garlin on the remix of Differentology, Busta has brought his talents to Spice’s Hit “So Mi Like It”, Busta delivers everything you expect and a little bit more and I can see this dominating dances over the summer.
Onto big riddims and I have to mention Claims Records new riddim “Pre Order” featuring big cuts from Cham, his wife O and a nice collab from Veterans Wayne Wonder & Beenie Man. I remember seeing Cham post a preview of this on facebook and I looked forward to its release, it follows a simple formula but like the saying goes if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Cham – Don Fi Who
Finally I wanted to mention Rvssian’s new riddim aptly named after him, I’ve always been a fan of his production and although I was initially disappointed when I first heard this riddim it really has grown on me. The riddim features cuts from Masika, Konshens, Vybz Kartel & J Capri and Sean Paul and it’s Sean’s piece that I have really taken to (Never expected to say that).
Sean Paul – Front & Back
End Of An Era
Finally it saddens me to write that after a long run Heatwave have decided to concentrate on their Hot Wuk parties and will finish their weekly event Hot Wuk Wednesday’s at The Social. As someone that has been resident there on and off since it’s Madd Raff Inception I have nothing but good things too say, the vibes have always been electric and it will leave a lot of patrons wondering where they can get their weekly west end dancehall fix!