secondly, the intense concentration on dancehall was a cause for concern. am i – a, to all intents and purposes, comfortably off white boy from london – really the right person to be discussing and criticising this music? shouldn’t it be done by someone who really understands it? why isn’t a guy sitting in kingston right now, writing up a storm – well, maybe he is and we’ve just not found him yet, or maybe he’ll turn up tomorrow. who knows, but i live in hope.
I emphatically disagree with all this, but these thoughts go with the territory, so fair play to Dave. (I’m not above them for my own stuff either, but that’s for another time…)
The idea that by writing about things, you are preventing other people from writing about them, doesn’t hold water in my opinion. Things are SHIT in the UK for any media coverage at all about JA stuff old or new at the moment and have been for some time.
As a punter I have to scratch around and get my half page where I can, and check out as much stuff online as I can as well. I know that everyone who’s managed to get their few paragraphs in print over the last decade has had to FIGHT to keep it for any length of time and that goes for Penny Reel, Kevin Martin, Greg Mario Whitfield, Stelfox or whoever.
There is nothing here – in France you can buy 3 magazines which are primarily about reggae – Dave Hendley gets 3 page articles on his experiences with King Tubby and unpublished photos in them. Here – you must be joking – maybe a review of a compilation in a dance mag or an occasional piece on a bashment artist in a hip hop magazine or a “history” article somewhere. And all of this, not on the back of the most innovative pre’s, the stuff which makes your brain fry, but probably as a result of Sean Paul (no dis to him) or Tanya Stephens getting a verse on someone else’s record.
This stuff needs as much coverage as possible to build up a head of steam, to create a commotion, a vibe, a buzz, generate some enthusiasm. That’s when a multitude of voices get the opportunity to take the stage… until the fashions change again.
And there are other voices out there – just check the forums or afflictedyard or whatever. But – shutting up ain’t going to help them, imo. Shouting, obssessively, from the rooftops, at every given opportunity, might do the trick.
We need a critical mass of mouthy fanatics right now.