Yes! Dancehall has negative effects on youths in Jamaica. “Studies have shown that explicit lyrical music can impact adolescent sexual and violent behavior” (Crawford 2010). Dancehall music tends to contain explicit sexual content that continuously encourages violence and promiscuity in adolescents and even adults. This genre of music is a vital part of the Jamaican society economically and culturally but over the years has proven to be more negative than positive. Consequently, skin bleaching and oral sex has become predominantly acceptable for young adults. The practice of bleaching was long before dancehall but skyrocketed when the popular dJ vybz Kartel sang about it, it was promoted using dancehall as a medium. This negative influence can even be proven with the huge sales received from songs encouraging bleaching. The ardent attention received from “bleaching” dancehall songs had almost every school boy and girl toning their faces. Dancehall music can also be seen in the same light as alcohol, very addictive and linked to sexual activities. Oral sex was once said to be an American culture “only”. Now it has become widely accepted in Jamaica. Since popular artiste Kartel and many others encouraged this sexual behavior and praised it in their lyrics both young and old people began embracing it openly. The song “Freaky gyal” hit number 1 on charts which later led to adolescent girls piercing their tongues and men openly displaying their like and acceptance for oral sex. It has been noticed also that when people drink alcohol they tend to want to have sex, just like listening to dancehall music. Many would say they get high off this type of lyrics which mostly contains sexual content. Dancehall music has a way of plaguing the mind. I can attest to that, whenever I listen to dancehall music a certain vibe is felt which puts one in a certain sexual mood. According to an author, “lyrical contents of dancehall genre have the potential to impact the brain, and affect emotional behavior in humans, especially for the young people”. (Crawford 2010)
Popular dj Vybz Kartel before and after Bleaching
In dancehall today, if an artiste is not singing about sex it is about violence, it’s very rare when positive lyrics are promoted. The violent lyrics that these songs portray are very influential in the lives of adolescents. Some teens demonstrate the actual violent scenes portrayed in the musical content which increases the crime rate in Jamaica.” Gangsters nuh walk wid knife, only Ak’s and forty-fives”, song by artiste, David Movado Brooks is a prime example. This can be linked to teens going to school with knifes but later transferring to guns for protection. They are often a part of crews which is connected to gang violence. The lyrics which glorify the use of illegal guns and supports violent behavior contributes to the deterioration of our nation. Dancehall artistes needs to realize that they are seen as role models and their music has great influence in the lives of both young and old people. If they should lessen the violent and degrading sexual content in their music it would be safe to say a positive change will definitely be seen in the Jamaican society.
Our youth’s minds has been corrupted from the impact of dance hall.
Crawford AD. The effects of dancehall genre on adolescent sexual and violent behavior in Jamaica: A public health concern. North Am J Med Sci 2010; 2: 143-145.