"A dancehall dilemma for Jamaica's dangerous days"

What's up in Jamaica right now is the murder rate.
Should the homicides continue at their current
pace�over 1,180 since January�Jamaica could
end the year with the highest per capita murder
rate in the world. What's that got to do with Shaggy,
Sean Paul, and other dancehall acts releasing
albums this fall? Nothing. And that's their and
dancehall's potential dilemma. Violence isn't new
to Jamaica; neither is dancehall's role as
escapism-cum-therapy. But when flamboyant
dancer Gerald Bogle Levy� virtually a symbol
of dancehall itself�was murdered in Kingston in
January, a line was crossed: The sacred realm of the
dance, outr� sanctuary from the harsh realities of
ghetto life, had been bloodied. More than ever, the
conscious, one-drop reggae that began dominating
the scene last year better fits the national mood.
Soothing or seething, roots had enough fire to
trivialize dancehall: The massive willie-bounced
while Kingston burned.~~Baz Dreisinger


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Sunday, November 13, 2005 12:56:00 PM  

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