Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mek yuh laugh

I came across this commercial for Heineken (aka Dancehall's official beverage of choice from longtime) and it was just too funny not to share it with you all. So here it is, enjoy!

More Neptune madness...

I thought China Fabulous was the Paris Hilton of the Dancehall??

China Fabulous aka The Black Paris Hilton vs. Star Barbie

Sitings on Neptune

I came across this flyer from a party that was held last month and thought it was quite interesting. Dancehall celebrities have not only created flashy names for themselves that help to glamorize their image but some of them even try to emulate the images of American pop culture Celebs. However, Star Barbie in particular, also drew my attention because of her charitable work with "Butterfli Wings Foundation", a non-profit organization that helps with the educational financial needs for the children of Jamaica. Well done Star Barbie!!

Another Popular Cross-Over Term

Big up (noun) origin - Jamaican 1980s. singular and plural.

1. An expression of support or encouragement.
2. An expression of remembrance.

"I want to big up everyone who has shown me support over the years."
"Big up on that excellent performance"

by neochin Jun 17, 2004
Source: Urban Dictionary

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dem a Bleach! Still?

Blaming the bleacher
by Melville Cooke

Source: The Gleaner
published: Thursday | January 26, 2006

A young man in a skin-tight, long-sleeved white shirt and close-fitting jeans walked the rude boy walk in the opposite direction of the cars filled with people headed to work, school and such the like. His face was shining and many shades lighter than his hands; he looked very pleased with himself.

It was not, of course, the first time I had seen the 'Seaga face and PJ body', as one deejay put it, up close; and it was not the first time that I thought the bleacher is a glowing reflection of ourselves as a whole, whether we like it or not.

We must acknowledge, first of all, that people across all sectors of the society lighten their skins. It is not restricted to the poor ghetto dweller, as the stereotype of toothpaste concoctions would have us believe. The difference is that the skin bleacher who has access to more refined products is able to do it more gradually and evenly, hence less noticeably. Lightening the complexion over four weeks is a shocker; doing so over 12 months is almost unremarkable unless you have not seen the person over that length of time.

We should also realise that there is more than one way to bleach. There is also the reproductive method, in which people refuse to have children with someone whose complexion is as dark as or darker than theirs. They are, in fact, lightening their lineage, bleaching generation next, if you will.

Whatever the process and the eventual skin tone, the bleachers should be aware that there is one particular area of the body which the 'bleach cyaan reach'. Legend has it that the sun does not shine there either.


Still, instead of throwing barbs at the bleachers, we need to ask ourselves why such a high number of black Jamaicans, some dark and others not so dark, dislike themselves so much as to subject their faces to the equivalent of the National Works Agency workmen tearing the surface off the road through the Bog Walk gorge.

We have a tendency to reject and ridicule the most glaring representations of our national psyche and, much as the sexuality expressed in dancehall music is often criticised (yet the Gemini exotic club has expanded to Ocho Rios and Montego Bay), we do not acknowledge that the bleachers are us.

For is it not us whose eyes automatically flick towards the lightest person in the room? For is it not us who rush to pack the bags of the fair of skin at the supermarket? Is it not us whose voices transform when we speak to very light-skinned Jamaicans, in the courts and at the gas stations?

How can we blame the bleacher without blaming the preacher, who selects a hymn which asks 'are your garments spotless/are they white as snow/are you washed in the blood of the lamb?' How can we blame the bleacher without blaming the history teacher who starts the history of black people from slavery?

And how can we blame the bleacher without asking ourselves, and being very honest, would we notice them if their faces were not startlingly light?

Not just see them, but take notice.

It is often preferable to be an oddity than a nonentity.

Source: Daily Gleaner

At one time Bleaching or being The Brownin' was a big phenom within Dancehall culture, is it safe to say the madness has stopped? Or do you still see your one and two people with mix-matched extremities?

Shisha (Europe's Dancehall Queen 2007)


The 'Passa Passa' phenomenon
BALFORD HENRY, Observer writer
Friday, November 21, 2003

IT IS THE biggest thing happening on the streets of Kingston these days.

Alluring women from all over the Corporate Area, vendors strewn along the sidewalk hawking from food to "high grade", the safest, friendliest atmosphere one could imagine for an area which only two years earlier witnessed the mass killing of 25 civilians and two members of the security forces.
The line gets longer and longer at Passa Passa.

It is the corner of Bread Lane and Spanish Town Road, facing the recently built Tivoli Court on a Wednesday night when uptown and downtown dance-crazy fans meet for the weekly 'Passa Passa'.

The weekly sessions, created in the trend of predecessors like the Rae Town oldies sessions, only started on Ash Wednesday night this year, but has grown by leaps and bounds since then.
World record holder for the most wickets in Test cricket Courtney Walsh (right) chatting with Wee Pow of Stone Love at Passa Passa.

As youthful entrepreneur Oneil Miles, who started it using his sound system, Swatch International, as anchor sound admits, even he is surprised by the sudden success of the event.

He attributes the overwhelming success to BET doing a video shoot there featuring dancehall stars Mr Lex, Wayne Wonder, and American rap acts Capone and Noriega.
Newly elected deputy leader of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party, James Robertson (left) hangs out at Passa Passa with Saleem Lazarus.

"From there on it just grew bigger and bigger with people from uptown who saw it on BET joining those from downtown every week," Miles enthused.

"People from all over come. Dem park dem vehicle or dem bike or dem bicycle knowing that nobody will touch it. People wear any amount of jewellery without fear. So it's good. We showing the country that it can go on yah so, so it can go on anywhere else," reasoned Carlton "Popcorn" McBridge, an elder in the community who has been involved in promoting music and sports events for years.
Carlton 'Popcorn' McBridge, one of the regulars at Passa Passa. (Photos: Joseph Wellington)

"A man can mash a man pon him corn and him doan even pay him no mind."

The session has won the support of local cable stations like RE TV as well as mainstream television's TVJ, which have brought it to the people and helped to encourage its growth.

It even has the support of police Superintendent Harry Daley, who is in charge of the Denham Town station. Daley fully supports the intention of the project, which is to create a social meeting place for sometimes politically warring communities like Tivoli Gardens, Wilton Gardens (Rema), Arnett Gardens (Concrete Jungle) and Matthews Lane, as well as to inspire increased economic activity in the area.

The police's main worry is that the session goes on until daylight, sometimes until eight in the mornings, creating traffic problems on the busy Spanish Town Road.

"The police would prefer that we end it by 6:00 am, as there are complaints from the JUTC about buses not being able to use the road, but the people want it to go on forever," Miles explained.

Popcorn recounted only one major road mishap in the history of the session, when a man who was dancing in the streets jumped onto a woman's car bonnet. "We joined together and fixed it," he added.

"It is the biggest thing right now," said Delroy Thompson, who runs the One Love Studio in Tivoli Gardens. "Nothing is going on on a Wednesday uptown so everybody comes downtown."

The biggest mistake this writer made in doing this piece was going to 'Passa Passa' much too early. How early? 11:00 pm. It was a virtual ghost town, except for the people drinking beer inside Miles' Drugs Enterprise, an affiliate of Miles' drug store on West Queen Street, which is operated by Oneil's family. The crowd didn't start appearing until about 1:00 am and even at 4:00 am people were still arriving in droves.

As Oneil explained, this is a deliberate strategy. Since he couldn't afford the time to split the session into two nights -- oldies and dancehall -- they decided to do everything one night, Wednesday.

They chose Wednesday, because it was the only night nothing was going on around the Corporate Area. For example, Mondays were "Hot Mondays" for Fire Links, etcetera on Hagley Park Road and Tuesdays were Ladies Night at the Asylum.

After settling on Wednesday, Oneil committed Swatch to playing every week with special guest selectors, including Tony Matterhorn, Ricky Trooper and the Stone Love, Metromedia, Travellers and Jam Rock crews.

They decided to accommodate oldies music until 1:00 am featuring the effervescent Bop "Alonzo Hawk" Campbell. At one o'clock, the younger Swatch crew, featuring O'Neil, Nicholas Smith (Nico Skill), Carl Shelley (Maestro), who actually gave it the name 'Passa Passa', Oliver Hopeton (Moody Mash) and Richard Campbell (Little Richie), playing until dawn.

This is exactly what has led to the late hours. Older people come up to 1:00 am to hear Hawk's vintage records, while the teenagers start rolling in at 1:00-2:00 am to hear the latest dancehall.

In fact, the period between one o'clock and two o'clock is known as new music hour, when the selectors introduce the latest releases slated to make the local charts, and record producers line up to get some air time.

Things have now reached the stage where they are thinking of employing a team of hometown security personnel for safety as the lines stretch further and further down Spanish Town Road.

"You know Friday night was the first time I played in Rema for seven years," O'Neil said as he watched the proceedings.

"Only the police can mash dis up now," said one unnamed vendor who was among the dozens busy capturing some of the economic opportunities the sessions have triggered.

As Popcorn explained: "It is a chance for them to make a living and enjoy themselves at the same time."

But, most of all it is a chance for the rest of the society to see that communities like Tivoli Gardens, Denham Town, Arnett Gardens and Wilton Gardens, which are commonly referred to as being volatile can actually have fun and try to earn a dollar in peace and harmony and without a shred of political evidence.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Etymology of "biebifaada" and "biebimada"

Baby mama
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Baby mama (also baby-mama and baby-mother) is an African-American Vernacular English term used to describe a mother who is not married to her child's father. The term is included in the Oxford English Dictionary as baby-mama, where it is defined as, "the mother of a man's child, who is not his wife or (in most cases) his current or exclusive partner".[1]
The term originated in Jamaican Creole as baby-mother (pronounced "biebi madda"), with the first printed usage appearing in the Kingston newspaper the the Daily Gleaner in 1966.[1][2] Another Daily Gleaner use dates from November 21, 1989.[2] Peter L. Patrick, a linguistics professor who studies Jamaican English, has said of the terms baby-mother and baby-father, "[they] definitely imply there is not a marriage—not even a common-law marriage, but rather that the child is an 'outside' child".[1]
Baby-mother and baby-mama had entered wide use in American hip-hop lyrics by the mid-1990s.[1] The Outkast song "Ms. Jackson", released in 2000, was dedicated to "all the baby mamas' mamas". American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino released a song entitled "Baby Mama" in 2004. Planet Earth, an album by Prince released in 2007, featured a song called "Future Baby Mama".
Originally, the term was used by the fathers of children born out of wedlock to describe the mothers of their children, but the term is now in general use to describe any single mother. However, since entering currency in U.S. tabloids, the terms baby-mama and baby-daddy have even begun to be applied to married and engaged celebrities.[1]

^ a b c d e Turner, Julia. (May 7, 2006). "A Brief History of Baby-Daddies." Slate Magazine. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
^ a b Patrick, Peter L. (1995). Some Recent Jamaican Creole Words. American Speech, 70(3), 227-264. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
Categories: Articles to be merged since March 2007 | Slang | African American culture | Jamaican culture | American English | Parenting

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dancehall Scene in Japan

...And it seems as though they understand the lyrics too.

Genesis of the Sound

Celebrating thirty-five years in the Dancehall entertainment business,
Stone Love Sound has made its mark as the pioneer and immortal sound in Dancehall.

Relevant or Irrelevant

How do you feel about what happens in the streets between rival artists and do u feel it has any impact on dancehall? Does the rivalry affect Dancehall music and its culture? Post your opinion and tell me what you think?

Monday, November 26, 2007

On Neptune...

Dancehall plays on the psyche and manifests itself in behavioral terms, which is when the transformation occurs. This transformation allows the patron to embody that of a celebrity figure once they enter the dance hall-- totally removed from reality, it becomes such an illusion that the fantasy will ONLY end when the dance is over. For many, it’s like going through that wall like Alice in the movie “Alice in Wonderland". Therefore, since Neptune is the furthest planet from Earth, I imagine that this is what a dancehall celebrity feels like when they enter the dance regardless of whether or not the reality of their situation is good or bad. As a result, the Dancehall scene has been able to catapult the everyday individual to a status of popularity and fame, who some refer to as Ghetto Superstars or simply Dancehall Celebrities.

What is Dancehall Culture?

Born out of the late 1970’s in the urban communities of Kingston Jamaica, Dancehall music became the social and political voice for the historically marginalized people and disenfranchised youth of the ghetto, beset by abject poverty. Known for its deejaying of raw lyrics over various riddims (Jamaican patois for rhythm-an instrumental version of a song accompanied by a heavy baseline and pattern of drumming), Dancehall music defined a new form of reggae music that became a compelling form of Jamaican pop culture. Nonetheless, it was through this music that a whole culture developed, embraced and identified with, by its people. Everything from fashion and the latest trends, to what car to drive to the latest dance moves was influenced by Dancehall. Dancehall dictated popular culture in Jamaica and popular culture in Jamaica dictated Dancehall. It wasn’t too long until this popular new art form was able to leave the shores of Jamaica and became an international phenomenon, with followings as far as Canada, England and Japan, to name a few.

The international influence of Dancehall is undeniable. Recognized as the predecessor of Hip-Hop music, Dancehall’s influence gave birth to a multi-billion dollar industry within America’s pop culture. It was during the 1970’s, a Jamaican born dj by the name of Clive Campbell aka Kool Herc, introduced New York’s South Bronx to a Jamaican tradition of rhyming lyrics over reggae, funk and disco records. Herc’s technique of combining turn-tables and mega watt sound systems, sometimes plugged into the street lights at block parties, brought about a type of music that would revolutionize music entertainment within the urban community for generations to come. Likewise, how Dancehall set the trends and ideas for the lower economical class of urban Kingston, Hip-Hop did the same for the inner city youth of the South Bronx. Hip-Hop Icons such as Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaattaa and groups like Public Enemy used their music as a medium to convey the social injustices of the under-class and the necessity for a unification of the oppressed people. Nonetheless, just like Hip-Hop evolved, so did Dancehall, some feeling that at as it became more materialized and braggadocios, it moved further away from its message.

The materialism associated within the Dancehall culture comes from the daily reminder that within the economical struggle of the have-nots, you are essentially no one until you can show that you can afford the finer things in life. Image and validation by your peers became just as essential as any other necessity for survival. However, as fashion in dancehall transformed from its rootsy beginnings inspired by Rastafarianism’s conscious political movement, so did its display of fashion trends. The wearing of long skirts and turban
wrapped heads by its female supporters took a drastic transformation from one polarity to the next. Vividly illustrated, verbalized and displayed, dancehall started to unravel a plethora of controversy regarding its visual message and so called slack lyrics. This new wave of flashy garb or sometimes x-rated garb, by its female following, some say put forth by the
misogynous lyrics that exploited women, gave way to an evolution in Dancehall that is present today. In exchange for a more bold and salacious appearance, icons such as Dancehall Queen Carlene Smith became the poster child for the female dancehall image in the early 90’s. Women became increasingly uninhibited and less conscious of being too revealing in order to compete for the lime light or video camera. Females formed various crews or dancehall posses that would try to rival other crews in fashion, dance and status in order to seek attention, recognition and fame within the Dancehall community. This central idea behind the materialism and boasting became the defining line in understanding the fa├žade that tends to collides with the reality of the Dancehall world. Perhaps, the reality of ghetto life can be so daunting and bleak, that the ability to manipulate your mind to live out an illusion rather than reality becomes sort of like a prescription for everyday life.

For some, however, Dancehall has become very lucrative and a means of financial upward mobility. It is this sort of economic opportunity that Dancehall has been able to bring to the forefront for many Artist and inner city youth with talent seeking a way out of the harsh realities of the ghetto. Since its beginning, the keeping of Dancehall parties has allowed many investors and supporters to profit from its existence. In Jamaica and Jamaican communities abroad, promoters, media, Deejays, Sound systems, hair dressers, dress makers, restaurants and politicians etc have all benefitted from some level of participation in the Dancehall Culture.

So, in essence the term Dancehall doesn’t only adhere to the definition of a genre of reggae music, but symbolizes an institution of culture, dance, music, media, community and politics woven into the social fabric of its global arena.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Dancehall Chronicles