By: Sophia McKay
The entertainment industry in Jamaica has not been as vibrant as it was during the 1990's era. So much had happen 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 is one colourful artiste during the era. In an article posted on yardflex.com 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 relate 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 been hurdled at
Jamaican artistes as a result of the dormancy but in retrospect it might not have been a decline in the quality of music which places the blame squarely at the artistes feet but instead, a decline in common human interest in seeing the industry flourish. In the struggle, while competing remain a non issue, strategy and tactics lost it's target.
However through it all a general perception among the industry have been with the coming of a new year, 'new year, new hope' hence 2013 another new year was expected to bring about hope. 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 artiste Bruno Mars in a tribute to King Bob Marley. Not very long after and important era, the 1990's, was put on display in a major international setting described here as the (Jamaica B.E.T. Awards) moment recreating visions of the endless possibilities of this music. The vibe carried through further lead to other musical contributing elements that revitalize the local industry (10 most epic reggae/dancehall moments) including the most current and talked about of them all, Tessanne Chin's NBC The Voice success.
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 90's be your guide from which to draw your assessment of the music's potential. Take from it all the elements that made it successful and throw your support once again behind the music. The talents are abound, possibility endless and environment conducive to greatness. Young talented Jamaicans are ready to excel beyond the successes of Shaggy and Sean Paul. The question is no longer when but who?