In a turn of events in the entertaining space, young dancehall artiste Kraff took to social media to shed light on a shadowy aspect of the industry – the exploitation and mistreatment of emerging talents by older artistes and selectors.
Kraff’s impassioned video comes in response to a statement by veteran dancehall selector Tony Matterhorn, triggering a discourse that exposes the trials up-and-coming stars face.
See the article containing the statement from Tony Matterhorn Below:
In a TikTok live session that resonated with fans and industry insiders alike, Kraff aired his grievances against the darker side of the dancehall scene. The artiste lamented the lack of support and recognition from veteran artistes and selectors until young talents blossom in prominence.
He highlighted a recurring theme of young artistes navigating treacherous waters, facing financial exploitation and disrespect from those who should be guiding them.
In addition, Kraff did not mince words as he detailed the financial hurdles placed before aspiring artistes. He pointed out the practice of forcing young artistes to wait for “big” artistes to finish recording before they get studio time, even when they were there before, effectively sidelining their creative process.
Even more concerning is the disclosure that some producers demand exorbitant fees, up to $100,000, to record on their riddims. This economic strain extends to music video production and promotion, putting a heavy financial burden on the shoulders of emerging talents.
A power dynamic often emerges once a young artiste’s song breaks out. Kraff unveiled the unspoken expectation that these emerging talents are indebted to the veterans for their support. He painted a vivid picture of how elders demand young artistes to feel submissive as if they should kneel before the established names in the industry.
The analogy of people wanting a share of the crop from a farmer after refusing to nurture the seeds illustrates the unjust expectations placed on young artistes.
The emotional toll of the industry’s exploitative practices was another point in Kraff’s impassioned plea. He highlighted instances where veteran selectors publicly criticize and belittle young artistes for minor mistakes, often witnessed during their first big performances. Kraff condemned this behaviour, stressing that constructive criticism should be private and respectful rather than a means to tear down emerging talents in front of a global audience.
Kraff’s candid revelations have given voice to a culture of fear and silence that has permeated the dancehall industry for years. His call for veterans to step down from their pedestals and embrace a culture of mentorship and genuine support challenges the existing norms and demands introspection from all stakeholders.
His rant was without a filter as he said some veterans should “Suck their mothers” and went further to say that he wants to “kill off” some of them.
See a video of Kraff’s rant below:
Tony Matterhorn, whose comments catalyzed Kraff’s outcry, responded with a mixture of defensiveness and challenge.
He stated that he told the youths to respect the selectors around them and not selectors in general. He also threatened to show Kraff how “bad” he is if he validates that his “suck yuh mada” disrespect was for him and his mother, Miss Maggie.
See a video of Tony Matterhorn’s response below:
The dancehall industry has long been a fertile ground for artistic expression, cultural reflection, and the celebration of life. However, as with any creative field, the music business has its controversies and challenges.