Following a post made by dancehall artiste Mr Lexx regarding the current state of the dancehall genre, the veteran deejay and reggae/dancehall singer Tanya Stephens debated why and if dancehall was failing internationally.
On Wednesday, Mr Lexx shared a tweet on his Instagram page in which he briefly addressed the Jamaican music industry. According to Mr Lexx, the afrobeat genre was far outperforming Jamaican music because the majority of their music was about positivity while Jamaicans were releasing music highlighting illicit activities.
“Afro beats genre is winning because 90% of their music is about feel good and partying while 90% of our current output is about violence, scamming and lewd uncensored sex,” Mr Lexx’s message read.
Responding to Mr Lexx’s statements in the comment section, Stephens urged him to stop positioning Jamaican music and afrobeat as two competing genres. Noting that their generation did not all make “feel good” music, the singer stated that the poor sales that new artistes face is because their audiences do not support them by purchasing their music. The artiste said this was unlike the Africans, who subscribed to what they liked. Stephens went on to urge Mr Lexx to stop acting like the standard bearer for Jamaican music.
“… Stop pretend you are standard bearer! Jeez! Why u a tun inna di ol artist dem weh never like WEEEEE????” Stephens asked.
Following Stephens’s response, Mr Lexx questioned if audience support was the only reason why afrobeat was ahead of dancehall. The deejay also expressed that unlike the current generation of artistes, Stephens did not glorify illicit activities or speak blatantly about sex. However, the These Streets singer highlighted that popular American rappers glorified crime in their music, but strong audience support made them successful regardless.
Stephens went on to say that dancehall could not be failing because everyone was not making the same kind of music that their generation did. Stephens questioned whether dancehall was truly failing by asking if Skeng or Spice were doing worse than their generation. The entertainer further stated that behaving like the generation that came before them was the worst thing that could happen. She also questioned if Mr Lexx paid any attention to the people who disrespected his music in his youth.
“…We are seeing older artists trying to instruct young kids on how to express themselves. When old ppl did a call WE trash, you did agree? I bet you not even spit in their direction. Back then, you could identify it for what it was,” Stephens said.
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