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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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Reasons why I love my Jamaican Mom

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait till we get home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You going get a ass'n when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE.
"What di backside yu thinkin'? Answer me when me talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me CONSEQUENCES.
"If yu run cross de road an' cyar lick yu dung, a goin' kill yu wid lick."

5. My Mother taught me THE VALUE OF EDUCATION.
"If yu no go a school, yu a go tun tief or walk an' pick up bottle."

6. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If yu tun over yu eye lid an fly pitch pan it, it a go stay so fi evva."

7. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD.
"Is not one time monkey goin' wan' wife"

8. My Mother taught me ESP.
"Yu tink a don't know what yu up to nuh?"

9. My Mother taught me HUMOR.
"If yu don' eat food, breeze goin' blow yu 'way."

10. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT.
"Come an' tek yu beatin' like man."

11. My Mother taught me about SEX.
"Yu tink say yu drop from sky?"

12. My Mother taught me about GENETICS.
"Yu jus' like yu faada."

13. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Yu tink mi come from "Back A Wall?"

14. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE.
"When yu get to be as ol' as me, yu wi understan'."

15. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE.
"One day wen yu have pickney, a hope dem treat yu same way."

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