Background Study: the Evolution of Dancehall

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Background to Study

Music has been seen as something that persons listen to ease their mind, to get inspiration or sometimes a good laugh.

Today, the genre of music that has dominated is “Dancehall Music”. Dancehall music is a genre of Jamaican popular music that is a more sparse version of reggae.

Dancehall music was at its best in the 1980’s in this period it was the rise of the sounds systems culture where there was friendly rivalry among different sounds systems. This rivalry was done lyrically and the beginning of dancehall culture was marked by artiste making mostly clashed type music and music that consisted of funny stories about people and themselves and making music which dissed other sounds which came about as dub plates.

Dancehall became more modern in the later years and this period 1990’s can somewhat be called the “sketel years”, within this period, the focus moved away from the sounds system to the artistes themselves. This is where music was focused on women and relationships. It is referred to as sketel era because the genre was about women being “wife” and the position of “matey” (or mistress). Women essentially were the forefront and this and then dancing was a major part of dancehall, and things pretty much got out of hand. This gave rise to promiscuity and women degrading themselves by dress and behavior.

In the 2000’s, daggering came about. Daggering is a form of couples dancing to rhythmic actions emulating repeated sexual penetration. Within this period, “badmanism” came about. This is where artistes would depict graphic ways in which they plan to kill the other artiste. The songs were referred to as “war tunes”. These artistes pointed such a horrid picture including every detail of this death. They also promoted guns and marijuana in their songs.

Dancehall Music has been through a lot of changes since its inception and will continue to do so as the society evolves.

These are the type of music adolescents find...
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