War of words as dancehall divisions erupt

The old saying that “united we stand, divided we fall,” proves beyond doubt to be relevant to dancehall music.

Dancehall music has become a battleground of hate speech, a war of words between artists, who are using obscene language to explore themes such as violence, jealousy and hatred.

“If there is unity between producers, artists and DJs, dancehall would grow to the extent that, in five years’ time, Zimbabwe would be a little Jamaica,” said DjJTempleman.

But there are divisions, with Winky D, in his popular hit Mofira Kureva, dissing the use of marijuana and then meeting criticism from many young people.

The division was widened by counter songs from Guspy Warrior, Ricky Fire, Seh Kalaz, Kinnah and Killer T, whose glorification of marijuana won support from ghetto youths.

There have even been incidents of bottles thrown at concerts. “A mob mafia support Mbare artists by throwing cans at artists from other communities,” said a disgruntled fan at a concert in Gwanzura. “Dancehall is targeted at youths. Most of them are unemployed and do not want to pay for shows, which causes a lot of trouble breaking through at concerts,” said music organiser Norman Jesinayo.

Artists sabotage others on stage too. In one incident, someone disconnected the microphone just as Freeman was about to sing. The crowd became restless and started throwing bottles

Songs of hate and violence continue to be released and young people pledge allegiance to one or other side in the divisions created by these artists.

“There has never been a genre that focuses more on hatred and violence than dancehall. Measures must be put in place to tame the genre,” said a music producer at Metro Studios.

Post published in: Entertainment

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