Simply the best - Crawford wants yearly selection of top songs, artistes

November 02, 2017
Shabba Ranks
Beenie Man
Minister Marion Hall, formerly Lady Saw.
Vybz Kartel
Kamal Bankey
Damion Crawford

Damion Crawford says consideration should be given to having an activity to select best songs and artiste each year.

Crawford, a former entertainment junior minister, said that while there is no need for any competition to determine the king and queen of dancehall, it may not be a bad thing to consider a seasonal title, based on certain criteria.

"I would love to see a programme to name the songs of the summer and for the Christmas season," Crawford said.

He pointed out that there is an annual carnival competition held in Trinidad & Tobago that is used to decide the king and queen for that period.

The issue of the Jamaica's dancehall monarchs has captured public attention since Beenie Man and Spice, widely regarded as the current monarchs of the genre, have been exchanging unpleasant comments over the past few days. Beenie Man said that Spice may be next in line for the queen's throne, but argued that she needs to do more to fill the seat left vacant by Lady Saw, who is now a Christian.

Spice, meanwhile, suggested that Beenie Man's hold on the crown may not be legitimate as the incarcerated Vybz Kartel may very well be the king.

Crawford, asked whether Jamaica should have a competition to crown the king and queen of the dancehall, once and for all, said it was unnecessary.




According to Crawford, the culture of dancehall is such that it demands that players are pitted against each other, but these days the willingness to compete has faded. Recalling feuds of the past, Crawford highlighted that current artistes no longer participate in clashes, and when they do "it is more physical than lyrical."

"There is too much quarrelling in the dancehall and we don't benefit from a quarrel without a clash," he told THE STAR.

Crawford argued that the dancehall community will "automatically shortlist the artistes and create an automatic competition."

Event promoter Kamal Bankay told THE STAR that the issue of dancehall king and queen would not be resolved by having a dedicated event.

"We have the Magnum competition, which is great. But what makes you king or queen can't be judged in a one-night concert," Bankay told THE STAR.

"Michael Jackson is called the King of Pop, but he didn't have a competition to determine that. The most clout that an artiste can have is demand by people all across the world. People refer to King Yellowman, Emperor Shabba, etc, because 'dancehall culture' is now global, and that's regardless of a title."

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