Dancehall; Daggering & Rampin’ –The Debate Continues
The Coalition for the Preservation of Reggae (CPR) music in association with Zync TV New York Links, on Thursday, March 5, held a panel discussion titled - Could Dancehall be the ruination of Reggae and by extension, the Jamaica brand? The discussion was held at the Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, New york.
In recent weeks there have been spirited and passionate debates in Jamaica over songs like Rampin’ Shop by Vybz Cartel and Spice, which many see as encouraging deviant sexual behavior among the country’s youth.
The discussion sought to explore reasons for the ‘seemingly’ out of control lyrics and equally attendant behavior and discussed ways of bucking the disturbing trend.
The consensus among panelists and audience members was that while the artist’s creativity and ability to express them—need to be preserved there needs to be some form of control. The idea of censorship, however made some nervous.
Sharon Gordon of CPR who moderated the discussion reminded the audience that the move by the Jamaica broadcasting commission in banning so called “Daggering” songs was aimed at protecting the Public space. “Daggering” songs are banned from the airways and public transport in Jamaica.
The panelists were Anthony Turner, freelance journalist; Cristy Barber, V.P. of Marketing at VP Records; Carter Van Pelt, radio personality, Columbia University's WKCR 89.9FM; music producers John “FX” Crawford & Ed Robinson and Sharon Hamilton Pearson of the organization, People of Black Heritage – a community based group.
Jamaica's Consul General in New York, Geneive Brown Metzger was also in attendance. In her address the Consul General expressed her support for The Jamaica Broadcasting Commission’s ban on ‘lewd’ lyrics and welcomed the debate on the matter.
CPR will document its findings and forward a white paper to the office of the Prime Minister, the Minister, of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports and the Jamaica Tourist Board.
CPR is the brainchild of Sharon Gordon, accomplished media personality and promoter and her partner Carlyle McKetty. Zync TV is headed by Eion Saunders.
News Report by: Andrea Daley, freelance writer and newscaster based in New York. Report was a part of the Gil Bailey Newscast, March 7, 2009.