time is not counted from daylight but from MIDNITE

By now you should know that I am not too much into hype music -except as a tool for venting- but when I am in my mellow mood I revert to the things and music which I love and the best example of the music I like is that of the band Midnite.
The hypnotic vibes which is like energy transfusion is nothing short of astounding. If you have had the chance to take in a live performance you would understand exactly what that feels like. The stage performance will encapsulate you and take you away!
Unlike other more commercial Reggae musicians, Midnite's focus is the music, not the appearance or the hype. They stay true to ROOTS music, this is their weapon of choice; Babylon will crumble.
If you ask most people in the Reggae business only those truly dedicated will know this band and they have been releasing albums and performing for more than 12 years with their first official release in 1997.
If you, like I was, are longing for some good music without all the clutter this is your tangent to leave the perpetual and predictable. And if you can, go see them live.


Going International

The decision to make reggae/dancehall artistes into international stars and to make them profitable is nothing new, and the results are usually the same. From Bob Marley to Elephant Man, we’ve seen this time and time again. This habitually happens after a star has bloomed, not one that is cultivated. The music which makes an artiste a star in the dancehall community is from such artiste’s experience but when the attempt to duplicate such success after an artiste is signed to a commercial/international label the prospects of continued success dwindles.

Why? Because the authenticity is no longer present, the music now becomes formulated; meant to be commercialized, not for those who appreciate the underground and exclusiveness of the music and culture but for the wider audience. It is no longer by us so we tend to think it is not for us, therefore, without our endorsement the popular audience ignores it.

Music made by people looking for overwhelming success through record sales is researched and precise; it is intentional, not spontaneous. Because dancehall artistes usually depend on performing rather than record sales, transforming the music to achieve the opposite becomes very difficult. The occasional crossover of an artiste (and a song) first depends on that artiste success within the original community, “crossover” occurs after this accomplishment. Consider the success of Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Elephant Man, and Junior Gong or even Shaggy, their successful crossovers required the initial approval of the dancehall community. Their songs usually filter through the channels from bottom to top, not the other way around.


The Reggae Business

Lately I have been listening to a lot of reggae, not dancehall, and I have missed out on a few things. However, I have also learned a lot. Reading all the news about the current situation (you know the situation) with the cancellations and turmoil facing Reggae artists and Jamaica as a whole, made me think that this is completely our fault, not theirs. From the government of Jamaica to the artists to the blogs and record labels, we are to be blamed. For too long we have imported everything and exported nothing, for too long we have depended on others and not ourselves, so, now we are threatened with boycotts and cancellations.

What are we to do? Invest. Invest in ourselves, our products, our creativity and our. That way our fate will be in our hands, we will control our destiny.

Looking at the food shortage in Jamaica (and the Caribbean) one can see that we are volatile, whatever happens aboard, particularly you know where; we feel the brunt of the pressure. You know that old saying if America sneezes Jamaica catches a cold; well do we need more examples than that which is currently manifesting itself!

I am not against globalization, I am just for equality. The stagnation of Jamaica rest on the shoulders of our government and its people. We prefer to market and exploit the north shore resorts so that a few will profit than to promote agriculture which will benefit the entire population and region. There is no possible reason Jamaica should be importing such things as carrots or cabbage when the ones grown there are much healthier and beneficial. However, since we signed on to all those global contracts, the people should buy Jamaican; this practice is performed in other countries and is celebrated as patriotism. Why not Jamaica?

Dancehall, or should I just say reggae, we have come too far to be stopped now. People protesting or calling for cancellation will never stop true lovers of the music from loving or listening to the music or from paying to see their favorite artists perform. However, if you are a commercial artist you will have a monkey on your back. Your hopes of the MTVs and BETs sadly will be terminated.