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Let The 90's Be Your Guide

Shabba Ranks
The Dancehall entertainment industry in Jamaica has not been as vibrant as it was during the 1990s.  So much has happened to have made dormant, a vibe so exciting that it was contagious and left many concluding the Jamaican genre is dead.  But not so according to Ninja Man who was one colorful artiste during the era.  In an article posted on Ninja Man was reported to have said, "Dancehall is not dead" but "has deteriorated."  He further stated that "Josey Wales ah still de Colonel, Chaplin a still de Principal, Shabba Ranks a de Emperor, Yellowman and Beenie Man a King.  Shabba get two Grammy, Buju get one Grammy and Beenie get one Grammy" which could mean the titles are still unchallenged. When asked about his views as it relates to "Dancehall being locked up in jail" Ninja said, "no one artiste cyan mek dancehall guh a grung (ground) every six months a new artiste buss.."

Fingers have been pointed, harsh criticism, frustrated outbursts, and even outright disrespect have been hurdled at
Jamaican artists as a result of the failure to positively impact international audiences as the music is known for.  In retrospect, it might not have been a decline in the quality of music alone that caused the issue and places the blame squarely at the artists' feet instead, a collective decline in common human interest within the industry to see music flourish.  In the struggle, while competing remains a non-issue, strategy and tactics lost their target.

However through it all, a general perception among the industry has been, new year brings new hope' hence 2013 is expected to bring about hope. 

Luckily, in early 2013 that hope became a reality at the Grammys when  Ziggy and Damion Marley were invited to join STING, Popstar Rihanna, and Billboard's top artist Bruno Mars in a tribute to King Bob Marley.  Not very long after an important era, the 1990s, was reenacted on a major international platform, the B.E.T. Awards (Jamaica B.E.T. Awards) inspiring visions of the endless possibilities of this music.  The vibe carried through further led to other musical contributing elements to revitalize the local industry (10 most epic reggae/dancehall moments)  including the most current and talked about of them all, Tessanne Chin's ecstatic performance on NBC's "The Voice" competition.

The 1990's era in Dancehall is a monument, a guideline to the future.  The industry was driven so the music found fans.  Let the 90s be your guide from which to draw your assessment of the music's potential for the future. Take from it all the elements that made it successful and throw your support once again behind the music.  Talents are abounding, possibilities are endless and an environment conducive to greatness is created.  Young talented Jamaicans are ready to excel beyond the successes of Shaggy and Sean Paul.  The question is no longer when but who?

By: Sophia McKay