Jordane Delahaye, Gleaner Writer
Over the past couple of years, dancehall music has experienced an unprecedented dominance of local airwaves. Jamaica, a country revered for producing one of the most original genres of music and some of the world's most celebrated in that same genre, has been toting reggae's flamboyant offspring as the music of choice for quite some time now.
Many music enthusiasts have voiced their antagonism towards dancehall and its reign on the local music circuit, because of the recurring motifs of sex and violence that it tends to portray, with explicit lyrics that leave little to the imagination.
But, dancehall music is as much a part of Jamaican culture as reggae music though, and all animosity should be directed towards the musicians rather than the music.
The truth is, sex and violence are recurrent themes in many popular genres of music on the international scene today, and are not necessarily a defining characteristic of the genre itself, but speak instead to the artiste's moral standing.
Reggae music is the diamond of Sierra Leone that has lost its lustre and appeal in the country that it has brought fame.
Internationally though, reggae is still lauded and celebrated, even though it is, for the most part, the same veteran reggae musicians who are being praised.
Many have blamed reggae's virtual consignment to oblivion in Jamaica on a lack of fresh, credible reggae acts, but director/curator of the Jamaica Music Museum Herbie Miller isn't convinced.
Miller blames reggae's poor performance on the local music scene on the disinterest of the younger generation.
According to Miller, it is the younger generation who knows nothing about the history of Jamaican music that are dispelling music through different media and, naturally, he says, they only purport what they know and are a part of - which is the dancehall culture.
In an interview with The Gleaner, William 'Bunny Rugs' Clarke, lead singer of the Third World band - Jamaica's longest running reggae band, said he saw a bright future for reggae music.
Recently, there has been a slew of authentic reggae acts that have surfaced to lift the dark fog of obscurity which seems to have engulfed the genre.
Rising, talented musicians like Pentateuch, Chronixx and Kabaka Pyramid join an already long list of reggae acts that have been attempting to herald reggae music's triumphant return to the fore.
While some of these musicians are bound for success, reggae music's 'comeback' is not guaranteed and is, in fact, unlikely.
Many have said that reggae music has been dead for some time now, but this could not be further from the truth.
Reggae lives on, not only through surviving and up-and-coming reggae acts, but through dancehall as well.
It is important to view the Jamaican music industry's transition from mento in the yesteryear to dancehall today as an evolution rather than a replacement of one genre by the other.
Mento gave birth to ska, which paved the way for reggae and so on. Soon dancehall will have inspired some new sound and the cycle will continue.
Miller posits that what is important is for Jamaica to preserve and educate the upcoming generation on the history of Jamaican music, and embrace the change, as it is inevitable.