Ding Dong is reacting to his music being banned in a club in London.
History says that dancehall music is no stranger to being prohibited. Whether it’s on the radio, or at events, the genre has always seemed replete with socially controversial music that often does not meet bureau standards and is not family-friendly. In recent times, a legion of Jamaican artists was subjected to the new Broadcasting Commission policy that disallowed airplay of certain topics. As a result, many popular songs that were radio staples were no longer hitting the airwaves.
While members of the dancehall community have grown accustomed to certain sanctions being placed on music with a distinct level of slackness ( think of “Ramping Shop” by Vybz Kartel and Spice), instructional dance music artists like Ding Dong have long been exempted from this custom as his content is always palatable to the masses.
Interestingly enough, over in the UK, two of the Ravers Dancing King’s songs were reportedly banned in a random nightclub. The dancehall star took to Instagram to share a post that a fan brought to his attention through Instagram Stories. In the image, a note plastered on the DJ booth in the club warned, “No Playing Fling – Ding Dong or Ravers Gas – Ding Dong. These songs are banned!”
At first glance, many were bewildered by the memo, questioning why music suitable for all audiences could not be played at this particular venue. However, Ding Dong responded to the Story requesting answers himself and his Instagram post features a second slide with a screen recording of the English man’s response.
The fan half-jested that the reason was simply that Ding Dong’s music is “strong” before adding a more serious explanation that spoke briefly about how hyped people get when those songs come on. “Basically, you know the infrastructure in British clubs,” he began. “Everyone is hype, hype, hype. So, I’m guessing it’s one a dem songs there that get the crowd hype and they just don’t understand how it runs. They just think everyone is a hooligan.”
In the caption of his post, Ding Dong wrote, “Just imagine ur songs banned from the club because it gets ppl moving too hard.” Fans had mixed reactions in the comment section where many were amused by the reason behind the ban while others were deeply disappointed in the decision. “Them old ass buildings will collapse,” one commenter quipped. “Bro the song no have nothing to do with it. British man them just wild when them drink,” another opined.
In the featured and most popular comment, one fan suggested a boycott. “Jamaicans need to stop supporting these establishments,” they wrote. “Fact say you have to [ban] a Jamaican song from your establishment shows that your strongest [supporters] are Jamaicans,” another chimed. Head of Ding Dong’s label and his manager, Romeich, also added, “Rufff!!!!!!”
Ding Dong seemed to take it on the chin, making light of the situation with his post. It does, however, spark a larger conversation about dancehall music’s reception around the world. Could culture differences and being far removed from Jamaican dance culture be a contending factor in the genre’s commercial success?