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The Jamaican Bias with music

04/08/10

Permalink 10:27:56 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Entertainment, Commentary

The Jamaican Bias with music

I've been meaning to write about this for some time but I've been putting it off for a while, because I was hoping to find more articles about a similar topic in one of the newspapers, but then I realized that I would probably never find such an article because most people actually just choose to ignore it, or simply dont believe that such a problem exists. The problem I am speaking about is the local bias that exist in our treatment of music.

Now first I would like to highlight that in no way is this article me trying to justify the lyrics of our dancehall artists, nor is it trying to say that the broadcasting commission that what they are doing is wrong. As a matter of fact I completely agree with what they have done, instead I wish that they had done it sooner before the problem spiralled to the level that it is currently at, that way artists would not have felt victimised by the ban. Instead I am simply going to talk about the varying levels of respect that music genres face in the local airwaves.

Now Jamaica will always be dancehall & reggae country, maybe its a matter of pride or maybe its just that really and truly its the best genre of music there is (after all they are both respected throughout the world). However recently there has been a growing influence coming from the rest of the Caribbean where Soca and Calypso music are beginning to take footholds in becoming mainstream, so much so that 2 of the major radio stations in Jamaica at least once per day have a good hour where they play Soca music. This is quite welcome by the listening public as you are guaranteed to find people who are palancing with the soca beat.

I dont have a problem with this soca influx either but my problem lies with the reception. The average person listening to soca music will say that its a very clean genre and there is no reason to place a ban on the songs because Soca music does not explicitly involve lude lyrics, unlike dancehall where the artists choose to say outloud what they mean. However I am lead to ask what about the dancehall songs that try to creatively hide away the content of their songs. and yes these songs actually do exist but they were taken off the air with that large ban that took place of dancehall songs.

I am led to ask the question... why? It seems to me that there is some sort of vendetta against dancehall music. After all I have been hearing censored versions of hip hop songs on the radio even though the rules of laid down by the same broadcasting commission says that absolutely no censored music should be on the radios. So its not only with Soca that there are exceptions, but also with hip hop as well, as if both genres do not both have the possibility of influencing their listenership (new word?)

Personally I think that there is a strange bias where Jamaican people simply do not want Jamaican music to strive... people may argue otherwise but there are obvious times where it seems like some genres get more leeway than the music which came from our homeland. I do hope I'm wrong though...

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Bruk Pocket Jamaican

"Recently, this Jamaican won the 10 million special lottery for a dollar. As soon as the office of the Lottery Corporation was open on the following day, he was there to collect his winnings.

Graciously, he presented his winning ticket to the clerk and in his best English uttered his request "Me cum fi collect the 10 millian dallars, si me ticket ya".

After reviewing and checking the ticket with his manager, the clerk returned and requested on how he would like his payments. The Jamaican replied "Mi wan all a de moni now". "Unfortunately, Sir" the nervous clerk responded, "The procedures are that we can only give you one million now and the balance equally over the next 20 years".

Furious and agitated, the Jamaican asked for the manager, who re-iterated "Sir, my assistant is correct, it is the regulation of the corporation that we initially pay you one million dollars now with the balance paid to you equally over the next 20 years".

Outraged, the Jamaican slammed his hand on the desk and shouted in anger, "Oonu tek me fi idiat, me wan all a de moni now or oonu gi me bak me rass dallar!!"

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