by Jodee Brown
One of Dancehall’s greats has become wary of the musical path taken by Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg) as Lady Saw recently took the popular American musician to task for his venturing into Reggae music.
In an interview published Tuesday in the Jamaica Gleaner, the ‘Queen of Dancehall’ voiced her disapproval of Snoop’s dabbling into the Reggae market. When speaking following her performance at Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records in late July, Lady Saw spoke about the implications for Jamaican Reggae artists who strive to achieve chart and commercial success internationally with overseas acts such as Snoop Lion infiltrating the market.
“Snoop, mi like yuh as a rapper, but low dancehall ting, low Reggae ting,” she told the Gleaner. “Mi no like yuh as no Snoop Lion. Weh yuh get lion from? Not your business, leave it alone.”
Snoop Lion’s foray into the Reggae industry has garnered positive results since the release of his debut Reggae album, Reincarnated in April. The album sold over 21,000 copies in its opening week, topping the Billboard Reggae charts in the process.
However, Snoop has received a litany of criticism from Rastafarians, most notably, Bunny Wailer for his alleged gimmick, suggesting that he has mocked their way of life.
Lady Saw says overseas acts have been able to capitalize on Jamaican music and its benefits because of the infighting going on within the local industry.
“We acting like children, puss and dog, crab inna barrel ting. Yuh ain’t going nowhere with all them behavior, wah kinda music yuh going put out?” she said. “It’s best we argue with Snoop than people arguing with me.”
Since the turn of the year, several overseas acts such as French Montana, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and other have been sampling Jamaican music in their song while the aforementioned Minaj collaborated with Busta Rhymes did their recently released version of the Twerk It remix entirely in patois.
Additionally, the Billboard Reggae chart has been dominated by American Reggae bands such as SOJA, Rebelution and many others in recent times, with little presence from Jamaican Reggae albums in the top 10.
“I see foreigners taking over the music. It’s not our music anymore,” Lady Saw concluded.