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I had a conversation on a social site with an educated Jamaican woman, who also happened to be an educator. She is convinced that patios (patwa) is a great teaching tool for students, she eloquently argues that there is data supporting her position that patios enables kids to learn English better. I disagree, let me hasten to say I am not an educator, and do not pretend to be one. I do have common sense. I believe if parents had the means to teach English to their children  at the pre-k level, these kids would arrive at the elementary level better off. The first four years are the formative years, children are like sponges, they soak up everything they hear and see. In the case of Jamaica, as in the case of African-American communities where many children learn Ebonics, children are at a disadvantage. I believe these children have to go through a debriefing of sorts, and what amounts to a re-orientation, to acquaint them  with standard English. It seem that for both teachers and students that time could be better spent, ie, learning a  legitimate second language.

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Even as my friend and I disagree on this issue, Jamaican dance-hall artiste, are complaining bitterly that they are being forced to water down their artistic talents by cutting  out  smut or even bleeped out smut. I mean really? The Broadcast commission have finally come to it’s senses, and is correctly protecting the airwaves from the corrosive garbage they peddle as music, they complain they are getting a fight. This is what happen when there is a lack of leadership. A society simply cannot maintain it’s viability if everyone is allowed to do what they want, my grandfather always told be even hell has rules. What these smut peddlers are saying is, that they are unable to communicate effectively using standard English and without the expletives-laden-tirades which passes for lyrics.

By the way real Jamaican artists have done so long before these charlatans killed the music.

The Clarendonians.


Toots and the Maytals.

Freddy Mc Gregor.Gregory, Issacs, Barrington Levy, Sugar Minot,

Dennis Brown. Millie Small, Susan Kadogan,Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis,Delroy Wilson.

Beres Hammond, Wayne Wade, Sanchez, Marcia Griffiths, Carlene Davis.


I could go on and on, and for those who continue to spread the lie that somehow this crap they now peddle is music, ask the average person on the streets which they would prefer, the music of yesteryear or what obtains today?People hardly dance anymore, they just stand around and look. Between the constant stop and start, the profane  yelling screaming, what passes for  dance-hall  is literally killing reggae music. The so-called Artists and their supporters are simply too blind to see it.

All the great ones who created the music, did so without the filth, no one should believe the lie that music must or should be filled with degenerative smut. Let them learn to communicate without the smut or find some other profession. The notion that they should be allowed to propagate that garbage on society is laughable it is an indicative of the deeper rot which is eating away at society.

8 thoughts on “Dance -hall Artists Complain That They Can’t Use Slackness.

  1. Hi I appreciate you starting a conversation about this topic. I wrote an e-book/digital music guide, with Fureus, owner of State-US Records in Duncans, Trelawny. Can I post a link?

    We feature many dancehall artistes (I use the American spelling in the book) and many, including Fureus are writers of conscious music. We also hope to be part of the conversation that Vybz Kartel’s and Michael Dawson created in their book, “The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto,” that dancehall is important as the parties are a way for people to create jobs and cash flow. Performers, food and drink providers, sound system and video – all contribute to the local economy.

    I’m still trying to understand patois but like to hear Fureus speak it and think it’s only natural for people in community to have their own slang and way of speaking to each other but it doesn’t replace being able to read or communicate with others in a standard way which is what language is about. Art and music (my opinion) is the way we communicate too on another, higher level.

  2. Thanks for the link Dona, I will take a read as soon as finish my response to you, I do appreciate that it is important that people be allowed to speak using whatever slang they chose. I am a huge fan of reggae music in all it’s forms, as I listen to it all day at work , in my car on the way home and listen to it on my computer sometimes using head-sets. My quarrel is not with the dance-hall artiste using patios (patwa) as the vehicle to deliver the music, in fact part of the lure of dance-hall is exactly the patwa vehicle that is used to bring it to the world.
    What innumerable others and I have a problem with, is what else is communicated in the music, profanity, sexually explicit lyrics, which are best suited for the bed room and crude sexual acts which leaves nothing to the imagination.
    My point is reggae artists have been able to communicate quite effectively to the world without the profanity laced murder lyrics today’s artists are insisting they cannot do without.
    It is indeed not true, and the broadcast commission must be commended for standing for the silent majority who are afraid to speak up because of fear from some in this industry.
    Dance hall did not start with these who today defame and deface it, it has been around since quadrille and ska, anyone who grew up in Jamaica and love music understand that the moniker “dance-hall-music”is just a new wrapper for an old product.
    Thanks for your response.

  3. Dear Mike,

    I wanted to give you the link to the FREE DOWNLOAD of our book:

    I’d appreciate any help you can give us publicizing our book. If you read the press release on the home page you will get more information about our intent. Yes, we understand as you say that “Dancehall” is just a new wrapper for an old product and reggae, dub, ska, etc. has had a profound influence on hip-hop and now dub techno. Pretty exciting. Also, reggae is being embraced by many countries and people all over the world which is quite exciting. Thanks for any help. I appreciate your blog and the work you are doing.

  4. I agree with your response as it relates to patois or more specifically Jamaican creole. The projected outcome ,by your so called educated friend ,by the use of such means to an end is just ludicrous, nonsensical and defies ratiocination , you have adequately addressed the point . There was a University of the West Indies educator and professor , whose name is irrelevant at this time , who was pushing the same thought processes as your educated friend , but beyond her seeming commitment was a financial gain , more students for the department’s faculty . With that said , I too love all the forms of reggae . I have always maintained that we are not in a utopian society , people have diverse views and their are mechanism in any society to address any abnormality that deviates from the accepted norms of the society , this the reasons for the broadcast commission, for which in a rear occassion ha

  5. ….rear occasion you have agreed an agency of the state . I am not against any forms of the music , its evolving . People will love traditional form and some will love gutter kind , time and place for everything . I dont think however that they should be played in the public domain , our children and persons who do not approve should not forced to listen .

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