Carnival puss, dancehall dawg

May 01, 2017
Heavy vehicle coming through, move out di way! Revellers at the Jamaica Carnival road march bump and grind away on Sunday, April 23.

Bwoy, dem seh puss and dawg no have the same luck and every year when mi look pon the dichotomy between carnival and dancehall it a blare out louder!

It come in like the Noise Abatement Act is just for one class of people while the 'other class' get fi 'dash out' with impunity!

Mi no have a problem fi 'dash out' sometimes ... let your hair down and free up the assets. But it cannot be that it is only good enough for the  'uptown' people while  'downtown' people a get a fight.

I saw a video circulating with a man pointing a gun at motorists and brandishing the firearm openingly in the streets of Kingston on the same carnival Sunday in the vicinity of one of the soca after parties.

All now mi no hear no big uproar and furore bout this man and the drama he caused on our nation's road by wielding his firearm at motorists! Mi see less than that happen inna dancehall and is like Jamaica out fi stop keep because of it!

Dancehall and the dancehall space is not without its problems but if it good fi di goose it fi good fi di gander! How come carnival start from breakfast party, to whole day road party and den dem get fi have all after party? 


Yet when a dancehall promoter fi get a permit for a couple of hours is a big problem. The police are sent to lock off dancehall parties but sent to serve, protect and reassure the uptown carnival folks!

It no look good. Our motto can't say "out of many, one people" yet we a denigrate we own culture to bring in those of other people!

Of course carnival sweet like sugah and mi love dress and di party dem but in an era of "equal rights" we must be mindful of the message that we are sending to our nation's citizens.

Mi wonder if a dancehall promoter would ever get a party licence to shut down the streets of Kingston, with four bands and thousands of people a dance to Kartel, Popcaan and Alkaline?!

Or even some Tifa, Spice and Lady Saw?! The economic value of one should not trump the other because everybody haffi eat! Carnival provides economic benefits and so does dancehall.

One set can't just palaver in the streets while the other is being subdued with pepper spray and disrespect.

Some may argue that carnival is just once a year while dancehall is year round but the principle is the principle and that's the point. The hypocrisy blatant bad! No daggering in dancehall but people can 'skin out' a carnival pon di road!

I want to be able to enjoy both spaces because mi like di tings dem. Soca mek mi feel good and dancehall have a vibe. We can't put down a genre and a culture that has brought us fame and world acclaim for that which isn't ours.

The same way tourist come fi carnival dem come fi Sumfest too! One ting the dancehall/downtown can tek a page outta the carnival/uptown book is how dem united and supportive of each other.

When carnival season everybody crawl out and ram up every party and buy every expensive costume! When a Reggae Month, God bless the few who know about the events or even care to know!

Unity is strength and unless we all come together dancehall/reggae/downtown ago always a watch from the sidelines like bredda dawg!

Tek care a unnu nice clean self! Luv unnu!

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