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Is Dancehall Music Dying?

Posted on 16th July 2008 by Reggaelifestyle

Critics believe that dancehall music, a fast-paced musical art form indigenous to Jamaica, may be in a death spiral because of a violent cocktail of events that has endangered its ability to flourish in the international marketplace. Several of its champions such as Bounty Killer, Mavado, Vybz Kartel, Busy Signal have serious visa problems, limiting their ability to go to the United States, which because of its large Caribbean population, has always been a lucrative marketplace for dancehall.

Famous Dancehall Artist - Bounty Killer

Furthermore, enforcement of the local Night Noise Abatement Act and lack of proper outdoor venues for large events have put a stranglehold on the ability of promoters to earn from the music. Several countries have begun to respond to the violent content of dancehall, which often celebrates misogyny, prejudice, homophobia and promiscuity, by banning artistes.


Most recently, Guyana banned both Bounty Killer and Mavado from performing there. Some station owners have given disc jockeys in Dominica, Trinidad & Tobago and in Dutch-speaking Suriname ultimatums not to play songs by Mavado. DJ Sizzla was arrested in Spain and deported to the United States after gay activists were successful in their lobby to have his visa revoked, while Bounty Killer was hounded by gays during his European tour, forcing the cancellation of at least three events. Another Bounty Killer show featuring Mavado as a headliner was not allowed to go on by cops in London.

Read More - Xnews Jamaica

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Response to.. Is Dancehall Music Dying?

Olivia posted on August 20th 2008

Wow, I mean it is bad for the dancehall business, but still these artists have to eat. But when you living in a world where certain countries uphold their own laws and standards, what is one to do? Its sad either way, though it is time for these dancehall artists to be a bit more aware of their lyrical content, I’m not saying that they should change their sound, its hard for me to construct this sentence because I appreciate some of the artists that were mentioned. Its a tough spot, those artists have alot of thinking and planning to do because these times are hard.

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