It has me quite troubled; Dancehall, which has become the most popular music and culture in the Jamaican society is still not accepted entirely by the middle and upper class social groups. It has extended across the globe via the Internet and has contributed significantly to the GDP of the country, but why does there seem to be a blatant disregard for this particular music and culture? This was quite recently observed at the Rio Sports Gala and Awards ceremony on October 14, 2016 where Spice’s performance was cut for some, still, unknown reason. The actual performance is not what I call attention to, at the moment, but the back and forth pointing fingers series that occurred after. Through social media, Spice expressed her regards to the issue stating ‘I’m not bashing these lovely dancers who I love dearly, but they were dressed in short shorts and bra top on stage wining and a skin out. Girls wining on man back it up and all, but I wore a dress and it was inappropriate…Or is it because I’m not from ‘uptown’, it wasn’t OK for me to sing my own song but they could dance to it? I wonder what they expected me to sing …‘ Prior to the event however, as the producer of the event Lenford Salmon, noted that Spice was one of the artistes the athletes wished to see perform. He also asserted that it was Spice’s DJ that was the issue as he was unaware of whether or not the CD, to be used would work. Spice, later noted that these were all lies as the DJ played straight from his laptop and did not use any CD. While these were taking place on one hand, Spice’s performance itself was facing criticisms from persons around the island, as being inappropriate for the event. But the fact is the audience asked for SPICE so why not expect SPICE in all her forms and the only way we know she cooks up a show?
Maybe, I share this view given my history of growing in a lower-middle class environment but I can’t seem to see it otherwise. Spice’s performance involved her most recent songs-‘Panda‘, ‘So mi like it‘ and ‘Indicator‘, all of which she edited in a way to fit her audience. Note to Spice: It obviously made no sense you performed in a ‘clean’ manner because it was still considered to be slackness. The performance needed some seasoning: pepper, garlic, onion as well as some Maggie All Purpose. The nationwide criticism via social media has shown us that the Victorian Age, where women were considered agents of piety, is still lingering and the culture of the lower class is not considered culture. It has also hinted to us, that even through embracing their objectification to statues of sexual lust through the patriarchal system women are still being scrutinized with such regards. But if Dancehall is then not considered culture, and culture is generally the way of life of a people…is this implying that the lower class are not considered to be people to the ones who govern and exploit them? Such an irony here when Spice tries to add the seasoning and everyone retaliates, but slave masters have been doing it for centuries and even after freedom it’s still a strict code of the Jamaican morals and values.
Duhaney, N. (2016, October 18). We didn’t cut Spice’s set:Organisers claim innocence after artiste’s shocking outburst. The Star. Retrieved from http://jamaica-star.com/article/news/20161018/we-didnt-cut-spices-set-organisers-claim-innocence-after-artistes-shocking
Francis, K. (2016, October 18). “Hypocrites” says Spice after Gala saga. Irie FM. Retrieved from http://iriefm.net/hypocrites-says-spice-gala-saga/