VIDEO: Is Dancehall Being Stolen From Jamaica?

“Wi likke but wi Tallawah!” is a common saying in Jamaica.

Jamaicans are very resilient and determined people and this saying partially stems from the fact that the small size of our island has not placed a limit on what we can achieve and our cultural influence globally.

In fact many will agree that Jamaica is the ‘BIGGEST’ little country in the world.


Our culture has been heavily embraced and emulated by persons from all corners of the earth.

Dancehall, possibly the most popular music in Jamaica today can be easily heard around the world and has definitely impacted many musical genres.

Screenshot via Shabba Rank's Mr Loverman
Screenshot via Shabba Rank’s Mr Loverman

As a genre of Jamaican popular music that originated in the late 1970s, dancehall initially was merely a more sparse version of reggae than the roots style, which had dominated that era.

It has evolved greatly over the past few decades and over the years there have been many songs that have done exceedingly well internationally that contain strong elements of dancehall.

While it is pleasing to see dancehall music adapted and transformed by many in various ways across the world, sometimes the genre does not get the credit it deserves.

Recently a dancehall song by Rihanna titled Work was incorrectly labelled  as a “Tropical House Flavoured Track” by Rolling Stone, one of the world’s most popular cultural magazines. 

Many persons are seemingly of the view that Dancehall has become a victim of cultural appropriation. 


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