Dancehall in St . Kitts: The past, Present and Future

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Dancehall, in the world today, is generally regarded as the music out of Jamaica, the cross between Hip-hop and Reggae. Although, a lot of the mainstream Dancehall music is still being distributed and shown out of JA, many of the Caribbean countries are producing and distributing their own; which is simply dancehall widening the diversity of the music. However, this item isn’t on Dancehall music in the Caribbean in particular but instead a small piece to tell about the music on the island of Saint. Kitts.

The federation of Saint. Kitts is somewhat small, yet the talent of its people will probably be humongous. Saint. Kitts has were able to compete in global markets often simply using their culture alone. Although I can’t share the origin of Dancehall on the island, I can share its altitudes and its lows from the past to now. Even as date back to May 2003, local DJ, Dj Rinch started the idea of opening a recording studio room which he called Yard Tune Production located in the ever blessed Green Pit, Cayon. He began his simple studio room with a computer mic and a computer in his bedroom as practice while he furthered his knowledge on the art of recording and beat collection. He’s worked with some of the popular names we know today like Bamboo bedding and sheets B, Shakal, Highlight, Simba, Tv Jungles, Jahfire, Ashkinaz and Ballikup. Twelve months after the creation of Yard Tune, a similar project was coming opposed to this of the island, the creation of the record label Ghetto Shanty which was by far a significant stepping stone for Dancehall Music on the Western side Side of little Saint. Kitts.

Ghetto Shanty Records a. okay. a GS Records or simply Ghetto Shanty is a small recording label in Saint. Kitts with its studio room located at Crab Mountain, Remote Point. The founders of the label were Keithroy Ernest sometimes referred to as (Kunta) and Jermaine Woodley sometimes referred to as (Artikal). In February 2005, they produced their first riddim called the “Midnight Riddim” which was voiced by many of the young and enthusiastic performers on island. Some of these performers include Bamboo bedding and sheets B, Chronical Family and Sp’s Finest, but it also spread beyond little Saint. Kitts and headed right over to Dancehall Central, JA where it was also voiced by Jamaican artists like Voicemail message & Gabriel. These two labels were models for many persons on the island; they inspired them to make new labels and studios of their own.

Now as the years developed, more and more persons are joining the local music industry. The island’s citizens also placed it upon themselves to start a show that includes local vocal talent which is sometimes called “Kittitian Idol”. Now, it’s not all fun and glee in the music sector because it has seen its downs. Indeed Ghetto Shanty was getting a lot of focus for their music but in turn some legal accusations were brought against them because of content that were used in their videos and the very revealing themes that their songs were portraying. SKNVibes local News Service did an article called “Graphic and very revealing Local team videos surface” which was directed at the Ghetto Shanty group. In the article they mentioned some of the very revealing lyrics preached in the Viral Do-it-yourself Music Videos.

Lyrics sung in the “Bring It on Medley” and “Dis Riverside- Sucide” done by the River Side Crew, an affiliate of the Ghetto Shanty Records Connection was met with negative feedback, as crime was on a rise. It was only obvious that these viral videos and songs would be stopped. But this did not, go down well with the local artists, in fact they felt like the officials were actually tea party views the music as it was their way of life and the lyrics were their only tool for expression. Nevertheless, because of raids and a close eye on individuals who were a part of the Ghetto Shanty Connection, members slowly began dispersing and doing their work on a down low.

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