Dancehall: Bob Marley and The Wailers Essay

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In 1807, slavery was abolished; however, Jamaica did not gain its full independence until 1962; and the days of slavery had taken its toll on the inhabitants of the island, resulting in anger and resentment. Even today, the remnants of racial, economic and social inequalities still remain. Instead of a rebellion, the poor fought authority through music. Music was one outlet in which this anger and resentment was expressed. Through this very music dancehall emerged (Hebdige, 26). Dancehall has many pseudonyms depending upon who is describing or researching it. Some say it is a culture, a style of fashion, a genre of music, or a lifestyle; while others refer to it as the spaces where popular dub recordings were aired by
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Dancehall blossomed into an entire culture in which music, politics, dance, sex, economics, and community collided. This in-your-face version of dancehall, with tendencies towards profanity, sexuality, and violence became known for its “slack lyrics” (Stolzoff, 200). With this radical transformation in lyrics came an equally radical transformation with the emergence of the female deejay, the dancer or dancehall queen, and a new flamboyant style of fashion. Female deejays and dancehall queens have become the innovators and role models to a younger generation. Through song, lyrical poetry, role-play, and a carnivalesque manner of dress, on and off stage, these women use dancehall as a medium standard of economic sustenance, cultural expression, and social protest. The purpose of this essay is to take a closer look at a few of these female deejays and performers and their contribution to the culture.
With equally raunchy and lewd lyrics as her male counterparts, DJ Marion “Lady Saw” Hall, emerges on the scene. Born July 12, 1972 in Galina, Jamaica, as a child, she sold fruit and raced wooden karts; however, at age 15, she would leave Kingston’s ghetto to become a recording artist. She first achieved critical success in Jamaica with her single, “Good Man”. She would become known for her “slack lyrics” with her single “Stab Out Di Meat,” which details her love of sex. When asked during a

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