In Jamaica news, Jamaican artistes seem to be the cool element of the day for American artistes, be it Pop, Rap etc. In a time when there are concerns about Jamaican music and the direction it is taking or lack of direction; the recent international exploits of Jamaican artistes just cements the point that Reggae and Dancehall are here to stay and are getting back the global appeal they had before.
Last year’s Grammy Awards show featured Damian Marley, Sting, and Bruno Mars among other artistes doing a tribute to Bob Marley. Though there were many criticisms about that tribute; one thing was for sure it gave Jamaican music an international boost.
Fast forward to 2013 and the Black Entertainment Television (BET) awards show had a segment for Reggae and Dancehall music which featured performances from Dawn Penn, Chakka Demus and Pliers, Beenie Man and Elephant Man.
Beenie Man and Elephant Man were both beaming from the performance when they returned home to announce that the owner of the BET network loved their performance so much that he suggested, including a Reggae/Dancehall segment in the show every year. A few months after that BET’s 106 and Park had a Caribbean Day tribute; where they dedicated the entire show to Caribbean Day.
Of course Reggae and Dancehall music dominated the show. There were music videos from Rihanna and Kevin Little to represent other Caribbean islands but as far as the live performances went; only Jamaican Reggae and Dancehall acts were represented by the likes of Wayne Wonder, Beenie Man and Mr. Vegas.
Additionally, Beenie Man’s “Memories” was sampled by rapper Kanye West who also featured Agent Sasko on another track on his newest album. Beyonce also featured MR. Vegas on one of her tracks for her newest album and Selena Gomez did a sample of Buju Banton’s Champion.
With all those recent developments, I think it is safe to say Jamaican music is en route to once again become a global force.