Dancehall has always been associated with a culture of violence, which is contributing to the occurrence of criminal activities and spiralling crime rate in Jamaica. As such, I am deeply concerned about the growing and noticeable bickering between popular dancehall artistes Vybz Kartel and Beenie Man, and the potential re-enactment of something similar to the Gully versus Gaza crisis in 2009. The implications of such bickering are far-reaching and may become damaging to the people of Jamaica.
According to a Star reporter (Henry, 2010), "The deejay, Beenie Man, expressed feelings of being 'dissed' and disrespected in Kartel'sDancehall Hero song, in an interview aired December 14 on Nationwide 90 FM's 'Ragashanti Live'. Further-more, Beenie Man feels that the lyrics in the song are directed at him." This may seem futile; however, it has the potential to create mayhem in the country, and, therefore, requires immediate attention.
Dancehall is seen as a patriarchal space where the hunger for dominance among popular deejays has become infectious and virulent. If not monitored carefully, conflicts between dancehall artistes will result in a flare-up of violence in the Jamaican society, which often requires the input of the Government and security forces. Conflicts in dancehall predominantly result from one being 'dissed' lyrically or physically by another artiste.
In 2009, the Gully versus Gaza conflict rained turmoil in Jamaica. Several dancehall supporters who aligned themselves with respective alliances were killed and homes were destroyed in defence of one's alliance. In my opinion, it was a bloody year in dancehall. We do not want a repeat of this. We do not want any more war! Nowadays, Jamaican youth are like machines as they are easily led and directly influenced by dancehall culture and artistes.
Therefore, it is time for Beenie Man and Vybz Kartel to stop their petty bickering before it escalates into something beyond their control. Youth on the streets cannot be tamed. They call themselves 'Bad Man' and they will kill for their 'Daddy'. So, listen! It is time to stop the foolishness, and let's end 2010 and begin 2011 with peace, love, and happiness in the music industry.