Worthy content needed
Industry players call for better lyrical content
Recording artiste Tapper Zukie, known for the singles Oh Lord and Natty Dread, has called for the music industry to take a stand against derogatory content. According to the artiste, while he is not fighting against any genre of music, too much slackness is being allowed to pass as music.
During a recent interview with The Sunday Gleaner, the artiste said the new generation of entertainers was less concerned about social commentary and other issues affecting the world.
Tapper Zukie says veteran reggae/dancehall artistes, while they were by no means saints, they did dedicate some of their material to fighting against oppression as well as other difficulties being faced in society. The singer believes the lyrical content in contemporary music is too one-sided and sexual.
"Dem youth yah only a fight battles in the bedroom, and they don't seem to be concerned about issues affecting the world. Every song is about their sex life, and there is more to music than that, so mi a ask the youth dem fi make some other music, too. Speak on some real issues and don't only fight war inna di bedroom, and this is not a fight against any genre of music, mi just a sey fight some worthy battles, too," the veteran said.
Curator of The Jamaica Music Museum Herbie Miller also shared similar sentiments. Miller, in a recent Gleaner interview, said music should have a deeper meaning, given that the world is facing serious issues.
"We can't just be doing music for music's sake anymore. Had it not been for music, this country would be up in flames like many other countries in the world," Miller warned.
He also advised artistes to choose worthy mentors. "I want musicians to be more diverse than just for the ethnic market. Be more like people like Burning Spear, who are appealing to the broadest market. Producers might have to look into things that they are producing in order to appeal to a wider market. I want to see broader topics like what was done by Third World and the Marleys. There is so much to sing about, like global warming, the world's financial problems, the abuse of women and so much more. We can still be sexual in our music without being downright lewd and x-rated. I want to see conscious music that is reflecting the real issues," said Miller.
In the early 90s, even the rebellious dancehall genre carried a pool of content with social commentary. However, 2014 has been flooded with material promoting various sexual acts, some quite taboo.
Notable social commentaries from dancehall includes Bounty Killer's Anytime and Look Into My Eyes, Peace by Spragga Benz, Assassin's Day In Day Out and Vybz Kartel's Emergency.