Spragga Benz Says Afrobeats Is In ‘A Position Where Dancehall Was’

Spragga on Afrobeats - "I don't see it as a problem or a threat or nothing"

Spragga Benz
Spragga Benz

Spragga Benz weighs in on the ongoing debate about dancehall and Afrobeats. The Jamaican legend points out that the rise of the African genre posed no threats to the dominance of reggae/dancehall in the global music space.

Spragga sat down for an interview with The Lion’s Voice Network where he dishes on a number of topics including his Rastafarian faith, music, acting, and his upbringing in Jamaica. The meteoric rise of Afrobeats over the past few years has grabbed the attention of not just fans, but also artists across all major genres including hip hop/rap, pop, and reggae. We’ve seen artists like Justin Bieber, Drake, and Chris Brown tapping into Afrobeats for some of their recent hits. Similarly, we’ve seen a lot of big-name artists working with African-based artists.

Some stakeholders in the reggae/dancehall space believed that the rise of the genre comes at the expense of Jamaica’s popular music. “It’s a shift in a the musical arena definitely, it shuffle around,” Spragga said while noting that he doesn’t see the genre as a threat to dancehall. “It deh in a position where dancehall was, economically and even being pushed to the extreme but I don’t see it as a problem or a threat or nothing at all because it still derive from Dancehall just like many other genres of music derive from reggae and dancehall so a still we.”

Spragga Benz used the opportunity to urge his fellow artists in dancehall to get organized and get to a place where the genre demands the respect it deserves.

“We need to get ourselves organized as an industry still weh demand the respect weh others want,” the dancehall legend said. “The structures deh deh weh we can follow. Wi no have fi tek everything but you know we can take good parts weh work fi we and as me say we need an organization fi try set that so the upcoming youths dem understand tha trod deh.”

Like other veterans, Spragga Benz shared that 90s dancehall still reigns supreme due to its timeless sound and ability to invoke the right emotions when listened to.

Spragga is best known for songs like “Hunting,” “Machinegun Kelly,” “Things A Gwan,” “Do It and Done,” and “We Nuh Like.” Over the years, he has collaborated with the likes of Foxy Brown and recorded a slew of hits for veteran producer Dave Kelly of Madhouse Records.