Barrington Levy blasts increased level of hardcore content in Dancehall

Internationally acclaimed Reggae singer, Barrington Levy points to a lack of guidance as the reason for increases 'shock value' methods employed by young Dancehall artists in their musical content.

Internationally acclaimed Reggae singer, Barrington Levy points to a lack of guidance as the reason for increases ‘shock value’ methods employed by young Dancehall artists in their musical content.

by Jodee Brown

Throughout 2014, music lovers have seen a sharp increase in hardcore sexual content and imagery within Dancehall, with the likes of Alkaline, Demarco, Ricky Carty and J Amsterdam pushing boundaries with eyebrow-raising material to gauge interest from fans. One legendary artist is sick of this growing trend.

Barrington Levy, singer of classics such as Broader Than Broadway, Under Mi Sensi and countless others says he is tired of the X-rated nature that the genre has taken on and thinks it has damaged its credibility.

In an interview published in the Jamaica Observer on Tuesday, Levy said, “I see where the music business is taking a turn for the worst. It’s going in a direction where we are losing it.”

These people have no morals anymore. Are we going to do anything for money? I never came into the music business just to sell records. I thought I would just sing for the love of it.”

In another interview with the Jamaica Gleaner, Levy was more solutions-oriented, pointing to a lack of positive influence as the reason why young artists choose to ratchet up the shock value in their musical content.

“They are surrounded by a lot of hotheads that cannot steer them in the right direction,” he said. “People are talking about them and their songs, but not in a good way. As entertainers, we need to always set a good example for the future of music.”

“Surround yourself with good people, people who will lead you in the right direction, people that will help you make good career choices that will ensure longevity and international success.”

Dancehall has long contained specks of raunchiness and hardcore sexual content throughout its near four decades of existence, with artists such as Lady Saw and Vybz Kartel bringing said content to the forefront and becoming all-time greats as a result.

In 2014, however, X-rated content has reached another level and sparked much conversation within the Jamaican music industry, with Alkaline and J Amsterdam boldly speaking on topics of anal stimulation and giving oral sex respectively, to Ricky Carty’s infamous music video for his song, Gyal Tek It in which he had sex with a woman on camera while performing the song.

Meanwhile, Levy is set to release a new acoustic album with variations of his biggest hits. He is currently promoting his new hit single, Rosie.

Jamaican YouTube sensation, Rosie to feature on new single

Rosie1by Jodee Brown

Rosie, Jamaica’s latest YouTube sensation, will once again seek to capitalize on her new found fame as she has joined forces with Dancehall star, QQ on a new single aptly titled, Tutty Gran Wine, according to reports Wednesday.

Since an interview of her speaking on the recent flooding situation at her Kingston 13 home went viral last month, Rosie has won the admiration of countless Jamaicans by coining phrases such as ‘Tutty Gran,’ ‘Call Di Contractah’ and ‘We Need Justice.’ A remix of Rosie’s interview, done by Kevin ‘DJ Powa’ Hamilton was done shortly thereafter, garnering her instant popularity as she did a number of television and radio spots while also voicing dub plates for numerous disc jockeys within a matter of days.

Now, Rosie will make a foray into the music industry as she has teamed up with QQ to create the Tutty Gran Wine and record a single by the same name. QQ, known for his recent hit single, Ghetto Gal posted an Instagram video late last week, showing Rosie in-studio rotating her head as she talks about their new song.

QQ recently confirmed to the Jamaica STAR that collaboration between he and Rosie was in the works, “I thought it was something that I could do with her so she could get some earnings and bring some longevity when the clip gets old.”

According to QQ, the move is similar to the infamous Dutty Wine which became popular in 2006 but will allow Rosie put her own spin on things.

“I know it’s going to be very soon ’cause the aim is to keep it relevant. We don’t want to wait till it’s played out,” QQ told the STAR. “The public can expect something fun and something they can enjoy. I think this song is giving her justice and she a get her shine.”

Rosie appears to be following the footsteps of another Jamaican YouTube sensation, Clifton ‘Cliff-Twang’ Brown, who became famous for his Nobody Canna Cross It interview and later recorded two singles: Wat If Mi Frass and Education Is The Key in an attempt to build on his fame.

Like Cliff-Twang, Rosie made an appearance on this year’s Reggae Sumfest bill as she opened for the ‘Queen of Dancehall,’ Lady Saw during Dancehall Night on July 25.