ARTICLE: "DANGEROUS" DANCEHALL REGGAE AND CARIBBEAN TREATY OBLIGATIONS Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2012 Connecticut Journal of International Law
Connecticut Journal of International Law

ARTICLE: "DANGEROUS" DANCEHALL REGGAE AND CARIBBEAN TREATY OBLIGATIONS

Spring, 2012

Connecticut Journal of International Law

27 Conn. J. Int'l L. 321

Author

by Andrea M. Ewart, Esq.

with contribution by Kimberly R. Villiers

Author

Excerpt



Introduction



Jamaican dancehall is a genre of the reggae music form which has disseminated from the small Caribbean island to become popular around the world. Similar to American hip-hop music, and indeed a precursor to that musical genre, dancehall reggae can be thought of as poetry chanted against a backdrop of rhythmic, catchy beats. Unlike, however, the reggae music made popular by such artistes as Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and Third World, which has provided melodic backdrops and inspiration to African national liberation struggles through chants of peace and love, dancehall reggae has increasingly become associated with violent, sexually-demeaning, and sometimes homophobic lyrics. 1 Particularly distressing to many persons is the gun talk genre which appears to be devoted to "the celebration of guns and the street credibility and power derived from them." 2 "Oil up all a de gun dem, keep them shine and [crisp]," goes the first line in one such example by Shabba Ranks. 3 "Real badman neva afraid, we got bombs and guns and hand grenade," says Vybz Kartel in another example. 4 Mavado, in yet another example, chants "Run up inna mi gun and bwoy face pon tar." 5 The lyrics to these and other songs and their suggested link to violence have led a growing number of Caribbean governments to refuse entry to Jamaican dancehall artistes and to ban their performances within their countries.



On June 8, 2010, upon arrival in Trinidad & Tobago for a performance, the artiste Ding Dong was ...
 
 
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