Tue | Sep 21, 2021

Selling out reggae music

Published:Wednesday | May 2, 2012 | 12:00 AM


The Jamaican music industry needs to be rescued from the selfish, greedy and blinkered people who are steering it towards destruction and extinction. The industry was developed from the influence of rhythm and blues and jazz, through ska, rock steady and reggae.

Jamaica gave reggae to the world, but because of the blinkered vision of selfish dancehall selectors-turned-disc jockeys, our control and influence over reggae music will soon be a thing of the past.

If my memory serves me right, it was in the 1980s, just after the demise of Bob Marley, that the attack on the integrity of reggae music started. A popular disc jockey went overboard to bombard the airwaves with inferior dancehall music. Since then, a plethora of sound system selectors-turned-radio jocks have been spewing garbage over the airwaves.

Producers to blame

The producers are no better. They seem to have the strength of cash to produce infinite pieces of foolishness, and once they get votes of "sell off" and "dat gaan, my yout", their tone-deaf disc jock friends get copies sent to them for rotation.

We can't blame the mostly semiliterate and uneducated wannabe DJ youths for wanting a 'buss'. The fact that the producer accepts low-standard, off-key gibberish is not the fault of these youths.

It is no secret that other nations have come to recognise the gold mine we have created, and are now taking command of our music. They are now producing better-quality reggae than we are. They are playing more reggae on their radio stations, while our disc jocks put our good productions in File 13.

Instead of identifying and grooming the next reggae icon, we are busy fighting for the crumbs from off the dancehall table, while Gentleman, Matisyahu and Quique Neira are jockeying to take control of the world reggae stage.