Is Dancehall still Dancehall?

Just finished reading this article from Jamaica Observer, I don't like this question at all, it supposes that change will not happen. When we define things we give it an identity, however, when they evolve, as things always do, we worry about what it will change to. I would be more worried if it did not change and because Dancehall has changed is exactly why this Genre has grown. I am sure Reggae is proud of its little brother.

Excerpt: Jamaica Observer

"What we call dancehall is more inclusive of other genres . it is not as strict as reggae with the cheke-cheke! It borrows more from other genres it allows for more creativity," he says. "The youth culture do not distinguish so much with the beat, so anything that Mavado or Elephant Man or Beenie Man does is considered dancehall...If you strip a lot of the vocals from dancehall songs they could be called R&B songs or hip-hop songs or pop songs."

Bennett doesn't see a new form of Jamaican music emerging until the vocal deliveries change."Until the vocalist makes a new vocal style you really don't have a new genre of music," Bennett says. "The vocalist have the power to change the art form." In fact, Bennett doesn't want the music to evolve into a new genre as it offers convenient marketing: "It shouldn't when you think of it, it hasn't happened in America which is the biggest market."

New wave dancehall

Bennett was referring to hip-hop not ceding to a new genre. However, it has happened in Europe and the UK argues Chris Edmonds of RebelMix an internet music store, who cites UK jungle which evolved into drum and bass then garage to now dub-step with artistes like Benga Anger and grime ala Dizze Rascal. These genres, developed by Jamaicans in the UK, are a mix of electronica, dancehall and hip-hop.

"It's funny because grime and that stuff is being done by West Indians but it will probably never come to Jamaica,"said Edmonds who admits that urban electonica is filtering into the dancehall via US hip-hop. Just think of Rampin' Shop, Vybz Kartel's and Spice's vocals are robotic and the rhythm is spacey, built by a Norwegiann duo, Stargate which licensed it to US R&B star Ne-Yo, which in turn was mixed by the Kartel camp. Read more



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