Spragga Benz is speaking out against “Gyalis Culture” in dancehall.
The dancehall industry has long been plagued with womanizing practices and placed substantial weight on male sexual superiority. Historically, the genre has romanticized infidelity and encouraged males to philander and females to be accepting yet monogamous. While women have seemingly grown tired of the old narrative and have even countered it in modern dancehall music, it’s not often that we see men speaking out against the pressure that the dancehall community puts on male artists to be a “gyalis” by nature.
Well, it’s a new year and new beginning, and with that dancehall veteran, Spragga Benz has brought a controversial truth to his platform that is sure to upset the current stage that is the dancehall community but will edify those who seek a healthier spiritual regime. Taking to Instagram to debunk the notion that sexual conquest is the measure of a man’s power, Spragga shared a meme that any regular on social media would have come across before. “It’s poor spiritual hygiene to give everyone access to you,” the message reads.
In his caption, Spragga Benz elaborated on how the stereotype was designed to hold us back and hinder our spiritual development rather than aid in our ascension. “Overstand… I say We got duped to be gyalst … in reality a man who masters control of his sexual urges, his appetite and if he is Black and also reads with understanding is a most dangerous blackman,” he wrote. At first glance, a post like this coming from a dancehall artiste would be expected to garner scrutiny but on the contrary, the majority of the comments wholeheartedly agree with Spragga’s sentiments.
“Ah it dat! Tell dem nuh rasta…they are being duped,” one fan responded. “The Jezebel spirit is robbing these men of their essence and manifestation abilities to anchor their birthright and blessings into the 3D (physical realm)…and why most find themselves in unscrupulous situations in life….aka being salt.”
Gyalis Culture Been Part of Dancehall Culture For Decades.
The promiscuity narrative that has been spewed across dancehall records for years extends itself to a deeper societal issue that imprints on the youth of Jamaica. With some of the biggest influences in the industry promoting the counterproductive lifestyle, it sets in motion a perpetual custom that undermines actual growth under the guise of accomplishment.
The mandate to be a “gyalis” has permeated dancehall culture so much that even the artists who are married still sing proudly about their abundant sexual exploits with other women, Maybe in their real-life they honor their wives and would not dare step out of line, but on the track and to the rest of the world and impressionable youth, they are pushing a different agenda.
Spragga Benz has identified a deep-rooted issue that needs to be overturned in the culture, but many people question if the genre will even be recognizable when stripped of that characteristic. For as long as I can remember, dancehall music celebrated having multiple women like it was the most glorious achievement there is. Lest we forget, in the 1990s, Shabba Ranks bragged about his “tralier load a gyal,” Beenie Man labeled himself the “Girls Dem Sugar,” and these are renowned Grammy Award-winning artists. Today, the dancehall music catalog is replete with tracks like “Gyalis Anthem” by Vybz Kartel, “Gyallis Class” by Govana, “Gyalis Pro” by Alkaline and Sean Paul, and other similar titles.
We can’t change the stereotype that a man should have a plethora of women in his sex chamber overnight. However, a male dancehall veteran dismantling the longstanding theory is a step in the right direction. Do you agree that “we got duped” with the gyalis agenda in dancehall?