Overseas acts claiming a piece of the Sting pie
While dancehall is rooted in Jamaican culture, several artistes across the Caribbean Sea are making sure they get their piece of the Sting pie.
Though donning referee colours, St Vincent-based artiste Sita did not pull any punches when calling out fellow dancehall diva, A'mari.
"I am thoroughly just relieved and blown away by my own performance."
Referring to her call out of A'mari, she told THE STAR, "It was important because Amari went underneath one of my posts that was made by MC Nuffy. Nuffy made posted a video, and A'mari commented 'boring'. I said, 'No, you want my attention, we'll take it.'"
The Sting-first-timer told THE STAR that though she is happy to gain recognition in her second home, she would never want to disrespect Spice by claiming the title of 'Queen'.
"At the end of the day, Jamaica is dancehall, and dancehall is Jamaica. And for me to come and say 'Oh, me ago be the queen of dancehall', to me that is me disrespecting Spice and all of her efforts and all of the other artistes from Jamaica who have worked hard to make dancehall what it is. I would much more prefer to say the cake is there and I don't mind taking a piece of the cake."
She said that she adopted dancehall as her tool because of her upbringing. "I think because I grew up in a Rastafarian home and my family used to listen music from Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, and what caught me was the expressions. The expressions are so raw compared to soca music which is our culture," she said.
Similarly, Guyana-based up-and-comer Negus shared that his love for Jamaican music was inspired by the Worl' Boss himself, Vybz Kartel.
"I love the culture, and when it comes to dancehall music, this is the home of dancehall and reggae, so that's the music I like. I listen to a lot of Vybz Kartel. Gaza me represent. So the things you can do in Jamaica, you can't do it nowhere in the world, so a me second home this away from home."
He told THE STAR that though he has been steadily grinding away behind the scenes, he is happy to make his Sting debut on his first trip to Jamaica.
"Jamaica nice! Nuh mek nobody fool unuh. For me, as a Guyanese, that's history, so we do it like a mystery."
Unlike her contemporaries, Shanel Allen from Edmonton, Canada, told THE STAR the dancehall influence in her home has always been astronomical.
"I knew who Bennie Man was before I knew who Jay-Z was," she shared, laughing.
"It's cool to be a part of a show that I was watching as a little child."