Dancehall Forum – Highlights

“Dancehall promotes racial hatred… and blacks are the victims.” 

“Many of our social ills may be traced to the free reign of dancehall in the society.” 

“Civil society and organisations have not zeroed in on the destructive potential of dancehall because the elite are not affected.” 

“Large companies exploit people by using dancehall music to attract them and entice them to buy their products.”
– Ava Auset

“Dancehall reflects what is going on, but often, we choose to ignore it.” 

“Sometimes, we are so engrossed with the melody and rhythm that we forget to listen to what is said.” 

“Sometimes, we can miss a potent message when we are sidetracked by the words’ 

“In order to correct the negative impact, our energy should be focused on education and socialisation.”
– O’Dayne Plummer, Advisor, Anglican Youth Fellowship, Church of The Holy Spirit, Cumberland, Portmore

“Art is supposed to shock, be controversial and convey a message.”

“All popular music was decadent at some point.” 

“Nothing is wrong with music, it’s what you do with it.” 

“We need to equip ourselves with the right tools to analyse it. If you condemn it, you cannot understand it or get the right outcome.”
– Dr. Dennis Howard, Ethnomusicologist and General Manager, Radio Services – RJRGLEANER Communications Group

“Dancehall is a culture. It affirms a certain group of people and many artists are embracing this.” 

“The Church does not want to say ‘It’s dancehall or gospel.  The Christian must help to affirm values that liberate, inspire and uplift.” 

“The Christian wants to make the culture a more humanizing place.”

“The Church has integrated the music of popular artists in its worship. There is a difference between conscious music and music that degrades women and the humanness that God has bestowed on us.”

“When art begins to create a counter-cultural movement in our country, that’s when we have a problem.” 

“You can’t remove the music and resolve the ills by condemning it.” 

“The objective is not to condemn the artists. It’s about ideas, who we are and what we about. Ideas can contend.” 

“When you condemn, you close your mind. Instead, you can critique and offer alternate values.” 

“The Church has to help find a solution that will not be debilitating to the society.”
– The Rt. Rev. Robert Thompson, Suffragan Bishop of Kingston

“Art creates alternative realities.” 

“The artists’ lyrics are sometimes their way of negotiating certain issues in a way that they could not address otherwise. The artists may be venting…purging themselves.”

“A fever is a symptom, but if it is not regulated, you can end up with a serious problem.” 

“You have to expose your children to certain things under controlled conditions. We find it hard to control our kids, but want the world to conform to what we want.” 

“It is not Vibes Cartel who should be the role model for our children. It should be us. We have to take control.” 

“We have to constantly ask ourselves what is the appropriate modality.”
– Clyde McKenzie, Cultural Analyst and Music Producer

“What are the society’s standards? Should we not have a baseline standard?” 

“We must be careful about correlation and causation. It has not been found in studies globally that the music causes violence. However, you don’t ignore a fever.”

“We can choose what we celebrate… I challenge the Church to engage in the dialogue in communities to help solve the challenge.”
– Imani Duncan-Price, Moderator