Ding Dong says that time has come for the Jamaican government to “free up dancehall.” The Jamaican deejay also explains how fans influence artistes to release badman songs rather than more conscious music.
How influential is dancehall, and are the positive influences enough to force the government of Jamaica to grant the reopening of the entertainment sector? Dancehall entertainer Ding Dong discussed the topic at length as he journeyed on icy roads on his way to a performance overseas.
During his rant, broadcast via Instagram LIVE, Ding Dong questioned the Andrew Holness-led party about the decision to reopen almost all sectors of the island except entertainment. There have been numerous attempts at controlling the spread of the Covid-19 since March 2020, with curfews and nationwide lockdowns being two of the primary methods employed by the government. The administration now relies on education on proper sanitary expectations, social distancing, and vaccines as the main combatants for stopping the virus. This comes as the government expresses that the country cannot survive another lockdown in fears of an economic meltdown.
Ding Dong commented on dancehall taking the hit for the spread of the virus and a spike in crime rate, which saw well over 100 murders within January.
“Uno can’t say dancehall a create the violence inna Jamaica. Uno fi stop use dancehall as the scapegoat now,” were his instructions to the powers that be.
The entertainer pointed out that inequality is one of the main causes of violence on the island. “Uno affi free up nightlife and entertainment business because a lot of people make money from the entertainment business…inna Jamaica. And dance is one of our biggest tourist attractions. I know most people don’t want it to be tha way de,” he commented.
Ding Dong stressed that there are already systems and restrictions in place by the government that event organizers have to adhere to before they even consider throwing an event. These include permits granting the actual event to be held and for recorded music to be played, a move that benefits the government through the fees associated. Ding argued that the cost imposed by the government is then added to the cost for the venue, promotion, and equipment to bring the event to life. There have been additional rumors hinting that only certain approved events that adhere to covid protocols and accept only fully vaccinated individuals will be able to proceed after February 11. Ding has made it known that dancehall was never made to be caged.
As for entertainment not getting the green light for a full reopening, Ding Dong draws a contrast to the large groups of people who gather in supermarkets, among other public areas. “These are the same persons who come to the parties,” the “Rich Walk” deejay pointed out. “Certain measures wa go fi one, make it go for all.”
Ding also gave his stance as it relates to music being a personal expression of the artiste’s feelings and emotions while not being influential to the general population. He rubbishes the notion by pointing out that those entertainers would not have fans if that was the case.
“A lot of artistes are not creative enough to say certain things where the streets can understand wa you a say without saying it. It’s like saying something but not saying it directly,” he explained.
Ding Dong also credited himself with being the main influence behind artistes like Teejay, Shenseea, among others incorporating fun and dancing into their careers. The Nannyville Gardens native shares that fans should also shoulder some blame for the type of music entertainers release.
Using himself as an example, he explains that he has made conscious tracks while he is predominantly known for dancing songs. Sadly, those conscious tracks have never gotten the same level of support as other tracks he has done.
“Nuff a uno don’t look pon it if the man dem sing conscious songs,” he said while using a hypothetical situation of his traveling disc jockey getting more love for thuggish inspired track versus something preaching positivity. In light of this, he feels parents should also be held accountable for what their kids consume daily since some entertainers are simply looking for a way to survive and grow their craft.