Cobra praises current dancehall stars
Veteran dancehall artiste Cobra says that while the '90s era of dancehall cannot be duplicated, he appreciates the direction in which today's dancehall stars are taking the music.
Speaking with THE STAR following a stellar performance at the recently concluded Reggae Sumfest, the entertainer said there are some new artistes who are representing the true essence of dancehall, and that, he believes, outweighs the ones putting out mediocre content and riding on the wave of social media.
"Hats off to the majority of the '90s dancehall deejays - Buju, Bounty, Beenie, Shabba. A we set it. Back den, yuh haffi go hard fi be current, and that's why you even hear Masicka come out and say him bad like '90s dancehall because it was just rough. We come from the heart, and it was more pain, more gutter," he said.
"Not putting down the entertainers of now, because yuh have some weh really a do di thing, but back den, there wasn't any social media, no YouTube, no WhatsApp, nothing, so artistes did have be more creative. Now with social media, some of the things that the artistes try to create a buzz don't work. Dem tuning in to too much negativity, and that help tear down the music sometimes."
The deejay added that although he has been relatively quiet on the music scene, he has been watching the developments, especially on the local market, from the sidelines. He said he has noticed that one of the biggest problems facing entertainers today is that many of them get caught up in the stardom, and their craft suffers as a result.
With that said, Cobra believes deejays of today need to focus more on music.
"Love the music, and put the hype below your career and the art form of music. The hype can come after," he said. "Me love the direction the music a go in, but me just want the youths dem fi stop watch the hype and market demself properly."
After more than a decade of not performing in Jamaica, the deejay returned to the Reggae Sumfest stage with a vengeance, delivering what many considered to be one of the hottest performances of Night Two of the annual festival at Catherine Hall, St James, on Saturday. The deejay took patrons back to the beloved '90s era with hits such as Flex, War, Cellular, Press Trigger, and Take Him.