Following from the latest episode of Nightly Fix with Walshy Fire, where Walshy began to argue that a third popular genre of music was emerging in Jamaica. We thought that we would research this topic and see what the possible candidates for this third genre of music could be, obviously citing the example of the music of Protoje, Chronixx and Koffee as one of the possible candidates for this emerging third genre.
So to begin this search for this emerging third genre, we thought it was only right to start with the example mentioned by Walshy Fire in his interview with Nightly Fix, that being the music produced by Protoje, Chronixx and Koffee, which for the purpose of this article we are referring to as ‘Roots Dancehall’.
‘Roots Dancehall’ as Walshy Fire summarises in his argument, is music that combines elements of the two current genres of music (that being Reggae and Dancehall) and spins them into a completely different sound, take Koffee’s ‘Raggamuffin’ or Chronixx’s ‘Likes’ for example, both clearly having distinct dancehall influences but still maintaining a strong connection to the roots of Reggae.
Looking at this music, it is very easy to see similarities between what we have termed ‘Roots Dancehall’ and music produced by artistes in the 90s and 2000s like Capleton, Buju Banton and Sizzla.
With their dancehall reggae fusion sound combining elements of their Rastafari faith alongside the traditional uptempo dancehall sound as well as elements of the sounds of Reggae.
Take the iconic ‘Murderer’ from Buju Banton as an example, Buju combined elements of the consciousness and instrumentation of Reggae with the uptempo sound of dancehall to create a genre classic.
So this idea of a fusion genre existing between Reggae and Dancehall is far from a new concept, but that does not make the argument for this being a possible emerging genre weaker, artistes like Koffee, Chronixx and Protoje are continuing to build on this sound.
Take Koffee’s ‘Toast’ for example although being further away from the traditional dancehall sound of Buju’s ‘Murderer’, Koffee comes with an lively uptempo beat that wouldn’t be alien in dancehall, which features similarly to Buju’s ‘Murderer’, Reggae instrumentation, she then combines this with a positive message similar to Buju. Koffee has experimented and come with a different sound on this track, but it does not differ massively from the steps that Buju took away from traditional dancehall sound on his album ‘Til Shiloh’.
Perhaps the hottest genre of music in Jamaica right now is Trap Dancehall, with artistes combining traditional dancehall sounds with a heavy American trap music influence. Combining some of the themes and sounds of trap and making them uniquely Jamaican.
With one of the hottest deejays in 2018, Rygin King being one of the main proponents of Trap Dancehall, it is easy to see how far this music has come since it’s emergence predominately in Montego Bay, in 2017. Since then it has become one of the hottest sounds in Jamaica and established a thriving scene in Montego Bay. Even spurring some of the dancehall heavyweights like Aidonia to try their hand at Trap Dancehall.
American influence is nothing new in dancehall, but the emergence of a whole new sound that is heavily inspired by popular American music is something that dancehall has never seen to this extent. With many of the hottest artistes in dancehall predominantly recording this music, including Squash, Chronic Law and Rygin King.
The combination of the themes and sounds of Trap and the lyricism, delivery and sound of dancehall has created a genre of music that in many ways differs and mirrors it’s American counterpart, with the similarities in content being obvious but the similarity in sound being a lot different with Trap Dancehall favouring much slower beats than that seen in the chart topping US Trap songs.
Rhythm, Blues & Dancehall
To get a feel for Rhythm, Blues & Dancehall, look no further than Dexta Daps’ 2017 album ‘Intro’ with standout tracks like ‘Owner’ and ‘Mi C Mi Bed N Miss U’.
Dexta Daps is really a shining example of this ‘genre’ in his recordings combining both the traditional elements of dancehall with the tempo and style of R&B.
But this music does not only exist within the recordings of Dexta Daps, with Jada Kingdom being another shining example of this sound boasting tracks like ‘Love Situations’, ‘Unwanted’ and her latest single ‘Business’ as shining examples of a combination of traditional dancehall themes with R&B style and delivery.