I know many of us will say they love dancehall reggae or love a certain dancehall musician.But have you ever wondered how it all began and who pioneered the beginning of dancehall music.Well stay with me and i will let you know.
Dancehall originated in the Jamaica’s capital city Kingston in the late 1970s.In the beginning it was a sparse version of reggae than the roots style which during the time has dominated the air waves. King yellow man himself and eek-a-mouse were among the biggest stars of the early dancehall era.
I think i should tell you why yellow man called himself so.He has albinism.But that didn’t stop him from doing what he loved being adeejay,singer and songwriter.Among his hits that marked the beginning of dancehall is the famous “zungguzungguguzungguzeng” song under the album he released in 1983 of the same title.
By 1990s artists such as Shabba Ranks and Chaka Demus and the Pliers produced dancehall mega hits that popularized the genre.I mean who doesn’t know murder she wrote by Chaka Demus and the Pliers…it is a hit up to date.
Dancehall faced some backlash from purists who debated as to whether it should be considered an extension of reggae.This is because dancehall was far from the gentle roots and culture that had themes of social injustices,repatriation and the strong belief in the rastafari movement.These were overtaken by lyrics about dancing ,violence and sexuality.
Things changed in 1992 after the song by Buju Banton got an international backlash and the eruption of violence within Kingston.
The song titled boom bye bye released in 1992 by Buju received criticism because of its message against gayism.This infact led to his performance being cancelled in the USA.Most of the dancehall artists turned back to rastafari and cultural themes.Now with this turn there was the birth of “conscious ragga”which became very popular.Artists who emerged during his period had their lyrics and music in a more conscious ,rootsy way.These includes the late Garnet Silk,Tony Rebel,Sanchez ,Luciano and Antony B.Most of these dancehall artists are members of the Bobo Shanti movement.