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This time of year I find myself listening to thousands of chunes (or actually listen to 3 seconds of thousands of tunes) to sort out the current state of JA music and be able to recommend some gems from the last year to you people.
I find a lot of wicked tunes this way, but I also have to suffer hearing thousands of variations of the same lyrics. I tell you, I feel physically ill when hearing another war tune. Second on the list is definitely the daggering tunes. Their not that as many but they are 5 times as stupid. After being through all those thousands of tunes I feel I’m going to puke if I hear another war/daggering tune. You can’t overdose on dancehall music, but you can certainly overdose on dancehall lyrics. It seems that about 90% are war/daggering/sex. Include dance tunes in general and there are 5% left dealing with other topics. Such as sex.
I have to start giving more respect to artists coming up with lyrics outside these topics, because that’s inventive as hell with todays standards. The traditional riddims is another matter. Sure there are a lot of lame rasta tunes, but in general the variation in topics is decent.
They say Vibes Kartel is the best lyricist in the dancehall business, and terms of technique that might be true, but in terms of topics and content he is nowhere IMO (now a loöt of you got real upset, post your comments to the left!). There are lot of better DJ:s. First and foremost Assassin (and he’s good with the technique too) but old veterans Sizzla and Buju are not far behind. Considering amount of tunes released Sizzla keeps an impressing standard, and has always done so. Degree deserves a mention too for his originality and humor. Even Beenie for coming up with new ideas outside war/daggering/sex every once in a while.
So, every now and then I have to remind myself that just because it’s dancehall the lyrics doesn’t have to be unimaginative and stupid.
It is possible to perform powerful reality lyrics with a message over dancehall riddims. And I do this by playing Bountys Look.
It is possible to perform entertaining and funny lyrics over dancehall riddims. And I do this by playing Assassins We Have Gal Long Time.
It is possible to perform uplifting and positive lyrics over dancehall riddims. And I do this by playing Sizzlas It Cost Nothing. 20 times in a row.
You see, it can be done!
Riddim origin information: Artist: Pat Kelly Song: If It Don't Work Out Producer: Year: Label: