“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
How Dancehall Music is influencing Youths
The ongoing warfare between Vybz Kartel and Movado is contributing to the rise in the glorification of the gun, prostitution and illegal activities geared at supplementing the “get rich quick” culture that the music espouses. Many cerebrals, journalistic and scholastic pundits are hinting the violence endorsed by the music produced my Movado and Vybz Kartel is inculcating the young men in Jamaica to turn aggressive and lethal mediums to deal with their differences.
Music has an intense and fervent effect on the emotions and value system of the listener. Music have lead to revolutions due to philosophical and profundity of the lyrics spouted by the singer. There are many inspirational quotes that have been coined from the lyrics of music. Music is a form of therapy. It is soothing and generate levels of emotions and hormonal changes in the listener that improves his or hers mood. Music reinforces social identity. Music cements cultural ideologies and gives birth to new cultural indices. Music influences the changes in perception of values and morals of the emerging generation. Music changes precepts in any society. Artistes are the purvey ors of musical ideologies. Artistes have the greatest ingenious weapon to transform, improve and destroy the social fabric of any society.
This is a prime example how music impacts the psychology of young people and changes their world views and aspirations. When I was younger my dream car was a BMW. This dream was shared by most individuals within my age bracket. Fast forward today and one will realize that the dream car for most young Jamaicans is now the multimillion Jamaican dollars, Range Rovers. What brought about the new craze for Range Rover when previously most Jamaicans considered the vehicle an ugly, over priced commodity? Movado and Bounty Killa bought Range Rovers and Jamaican youngsters’ immediately decided that their ultimate mode of transport will have to be a Range Rover.
Movado talks about his Range Rover in his lyrics and has consequently magnified the validity of the vehicle as an artifact of social upliftment and financial optimality. Movado hints that the elites are envious of his success because he has bought a vehicle that many Jamaican aristocrats cannot (or rather will not) purchase. Young men are under the impression based on the expository of Movado’s lyrics that one needs to drive an expensive car, have flashy flamboyant spendthrift and promiscuous lifestyle to be worthy of recognition and importance.
Additionally the music reinforces notions of classism, contempt for the elites and politicians and cements the importance and right of the ghetto youth to ascendancy and grandiosity. Current dancehall music heckles the politicians for their exploitation of an illiterate and vulnerable Jamaican populace. The dancehall music portrays the dreams of the ghetto youth. Dreams of success, financial freedom and economical independence, ability to provide for family and social liberation are evince by the lyrics of artiste such as Chase Cross, Movado and Vybz Kartel. The ghetto youth aspiration is to amass sufficient wealth in order to improve his navigations and positions of the socio-economical frontier.
Sociologist and health care experts are citing that the misogynistic tunes and lyrics of the dance hall are contributing to the rise in promiscuity, unwanted pregnancies including teenage pregnancies and the transmission of venereal diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Dancehall Music encourages women to have sex indiscriminately, without hesitation and with whoever is available. The music disintegrates the concepts of femininity by implying or blatantly contending that women are mere objects of sexual gratification and orifices for male genitals. The lyrics of songs spouted by Vybz Kartel reduce the importance of women to mere sex objects citing that they should fulfill the sexual expectations of men and have children. Dancehall rarely validates and promotes the need for education of our women and for females to be liberated from archaic notions of femininity. Dancehall music pays little respect to women. This evident even among women who are dancehall artiste such as spouting lyrics that evince feminine beauty, desirability and significance are calculated based on how gymnastic they are in bed or how much of a socialite and fashionista she is.
The indices of Dancehall music have always been epiphenomenal of the Jamaican society. The artistes that are the conveyors of dancehall music are from the ghetto: young men who have not had a grandeur life and who are rebelling against system that represents the impecunious, derelict and depressive environment. The music is essentially gives the unfortunate a voice in society. The music grants them an avenue to vent their frustrations, intentions and aspirations. The music serves as a message. A message sent in a form that affords the sender some iota of freedom to vent his distress and disgust.