Every week resident FADER selector Eddie STATS runs through dancehall riddims and other artifacts from the ghetto archipelago.
Having just gotten back from Kingston, I can tell yah firsthand that dancehall is not what it used to be, even what it used to be three years ago. People still go out at 1:30 or 2am but the days of dances that run through to the next morning are mostly gone, replaced by mainland style venues shut down at 2. Monday is no longer the night to go out, and although mid-week street dances like Weddy Weddy Wednesdays still run, they’re just not the same--even the immortal Passa Passa is in a place of on-again-off-again hotness. Likewise dancehall fashion is not as competitive or creative, and for first time I can remember since I started following Jamaican music there’s no riddim that is THE sound of the moment. But as with one drop explosion ca. 2005 the dance craze of the last few years that saw choreographers and selectors becoming rock stars in their own right hasn’t disappeared, it is just maintaining at a simmer-down level til people are ready for the next wave. So basically instead of 20 dances dominating the scene there are only two at any given moment. At this given moment those two are the Sweep and the Daggerin. More on daggering later but for today check out the Self-Defence riddim (from Skatta, the genius behind the Coolie Dance among many other hot riddims), which spawned the Ele single “Sweep” as well as vocal trio Voicemail’s version on the phenomenon over an exclusive Daseca beat. Voicemail also seems to be owning reggae video outlets right now with the Jay Will produced medley “Get the Money/Gangalee”
which combine a 90s throwback tune and their answer to Fire Links’ Drumlane riddim in one clip.
Self-Defence / Sweep Blend:
Skatta, "Self-Defence Version"
Macka Diamond, “Robbery”
Jigsy, “Bad Mind”
Jigsy, “Sign Off”
Cecile and Saw, “Nah Wear None”
Elephant Man, “Sweep”
Daseca, “Sweep” Version
Download: Ghetto Palms Self-Defence/Sweep Blend
There is one important sociological point that needs to be addressed regarding the second of two tunes on the Self-Defence by Jigsy. The vocal intro is a sample of JLP Prime Minister Bruce Golding justifying his statement that he could never award a place in his cabinet to a homosexual on the BBC show HardTalk. This thing has been circulating like mad via Facebook and was just begging to be made into a "bun out chi chi tune" like this (or a YouTube mash up called “Bruce Nuh Fren Fish" if Jigsy didn’t do it, somebody else surely would. I include it here in its entirety along with the video clip of the original exchange just for the purpose of documenting the current (and eternal?) mood in Jamaica, NOT to promote discrimination against anybody of any orientation—no hatemail please.