This week we have decided to focus on something a little different for this segment of dancehall icons. Instead of focusing on an artist, we have decided to focus on another very important part of the dancehall scene. The dancers. This week focusing on the legendary Bogle.
Bogle, born Gerald Levy on the 22nd of August 1964 in Trenchtown, West Kingston. As a child he appeared on Louise Bennett’s television show ‘Ring Ding’ and in the 80s danced on the Saturday evening television programme ‘Where It’s At’ both of which were broadcast on the Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation (JBC).
Bogle would later go on to cite Louise Bennett as one of the most influential people in his career, as he was truly inspired by her support of the arts in Jamaica.
The name Bogle came from Levy’s admiration of the Jamaican national hero Paul Bogle. Bogle would also go on to be known under a lot of different names including ‘Mr Wacky’, ‘Father Bogle’, ‘Dancer Bogle’ and ‘Mr Bogle’.
Bogle began to come to prominence in 1992, with the self named ‘Bogle’ dance, which led to a series of hits endorsing the dance including Buju Banton’s ‘Bogle’ and Ninjaman’s ‘Gun Bogle’.
(Obviously being an article on Bogle’s legacy as a dancer, we have to include the instructional videos)
The success of Bogle’s dancing then lead to an international tour, which included an appearance on the infamous UK music programme, The Word.
The ‘Bogle’ Dance remained popular throughout 1993 and further releases supported the dance including the release of the ‘Bogle Mania Xterminator Versus Junjo’ which featured Capelton, Tumpa Lion, General T.K, Yellowman and Shaka Shamba.
Following the success of the Bogle dance, producers began to create new riddims with his dance moves in mind.
His dance moves led to claims that he helped to launch the careers of a number of artists and fellow icons in dancehall, including Junior Reid with ‘All Fruits Ripe’ and Frisco Kid with ‘Tink Mi Nice’. With artists often aiming to make songs that would be easier for Bogle to dance to in the hope they that they would become popular with Bogle and he would have them played whilst he was dancing, effectively helping to break the song.
By 2000, Bogle had launched his own career as a performer, with memorable tracks like ‘All Dem Deh’ and ‘Weddi Time’ which featured Voicemail and Delly Ranks.
Being an article on Bogle we thought it was only right to include an entire section on the incredible dances which he brought to dancehall and some of the songs these dances inspired.
The Willie Bounce was named in honour of Bogle’s friend and fellow Black Roses Crew member Willie Haggart, who passed away in 2001.
Elephant Man- ‘Willie Bounce’
Elephant Man recorded songs for Bogle’s dances throughout his career, with potentially the biggest being the hit single ‘Willie Bounce’, which was sadly released following Bogle’s passing.
The Wacky Dip in many ways is quite a similar dance to the Willie Bounce with an added dip for complexity.
Voicemail ft. Ding Dong- ‘Wacky Dip’
Featuring a young Ding Dong on this track, Voicemail released an incredible tribute to the ‘Dancehall Master’ with Wacky Dip , uttering the powerful line “Mr. Wacky is gone, but his dancing lives on”
Inspired by the fictional character Steve Urkel from Family Matters, with Bogle reenacting some of the dance moves that Urkel had to brought out on Family Matters, giving them his own dancehall twist.
Mega Banton- ‘Urkel Dance’
This track by Mega Banton recalls the Urkel dance which at the time was one of the biggest dance moves in dancehall.
Beenie Man- ‘World Dance’
With the dance demonstrated perfectly in the video, the World Dance was another Bogle classic that inspired this Beenie Man hit in 1995.
Row Di Boat
Another Bogle classic, this time with a quite self explanatory title as this dance just mimics the action of rowing a boat.
Beenie Man- ‘Row Di Boat’
Another Beenie Man hit inspired by a Bogle dance, with Beenie Man shouting out ‘Father Bogle’ as the greatest dancer of all time on the track.
Gully Creepa referring to the movements of someone in the Gully trying to hide from the police, getting down low and watching how they move their feet.
Watch Chris Brown and Usher show off their finest ‘Gully Creepa’
Elephant Man- ‘Gully Creepa’
Another Elephant Man track looking back on one of the iconic moves brought to us by Bogle, unfortunately again created following his passing.
Introduced in 1999 by Bogle and also known as (L.O.Y) Lords of Yard.
Sadly, Bogle passed away in January 2005 at the age of 40, but as Voicemail said “Mr Wacky is gone, but his dancing lives on”, Bogle remains an incredibly popular figure not only in dancehall but in music across the world, with Rihanna being spotted bringing out the original ‘Bogle’ dance in the video for ‘Rude Boy’.
Although Bogle passed away over 13 years ago now his influence is still felt in dancehall with Bogle having a huge influence on the path of dancehall in the late 1990s effecting the whole sound of the music due to the popularity of his dancing, with many of the artists he worked with closely like Elephant Man going on to having incredible careers following their work together. Bogle is to the truest scene a dancehall icon, his creativity and flair is still felt in dancehall today and I am sure it will be felt for many more years to come.
Some of the incredible tracks created for, inspired by or danced to by the icon, Bogle