Guest Post | Dancehall and Reggae to the World! But in Jamaica…?

EDITOR’S NOTE: For some time now I’ve watched with dismay the decline and rejection of Dancehall culture in Jamaica.  Middle and upper class sensibilities, along with the drive for “law and order,” seem intent on squashing the vibrant and important parts of our culture that don’t toe the line…whatever that line is and however arbitrarily … Continue reading

When A Dancehall Tune Was About The Cold War

the cold war - Source:

I think it was when I recently tuned in to DJ Autograph’s set on Miss Lily’s: Super Cat’s “Under Pressure” came on and, of course, I pounded my desk with delight.  Big big tune! I was bouncing along in my chair, singing along as I plugged away with some work when it clicked in my … Continue reading

[Untitled II]

Overlooking Kingston, Jamaica (2005); ; (c) Alice Clare

Ideas about responsibility – personal, local, community (however defined), global – have been on my mind a lot this year. The pounding in my head with all these things is intense…recently it’s intensified because of personal things but also because of the things going on in the news, both in the United States and in … Continue reading

Many Rivers to Cross…to Freedom

I’m probably breaking some “blogger rule” by posting so late…o well.  On and off for about a month Jimmy Cliff has been on my mind.  I don’t know why but I’m not complaining.  The song that stands out the most to me is “Many Rivers to Cross.” Written in 1969 it was included on the … Continue reading


On Monday night I saw the new documentary about Bob Marley as part of the 2012 DC International Film Festival.  So important is “Marley” that it was introduced by the Tony Gittens, founder and director of FilmfestDC.  Marley’s director and producers specifically chose Filmfest DC for a pre-release screening; the film had only screened at … Continue reading

An Old Man and An iPod Shuffle

I am halfway to bed but doing the usual lingering on the interwebs.  One last check of Facebook, I told myself…and I’m glad that I did.  My cousin posted a beautiful video showing how an elderly man in a nursing home reacts to music.  It’s a short video (a clip from the upcoming documentary Alive … Continue reading

Guest Post | Dancehall, Jamaica, and Me

Not long after I became an active tweeter a young lady using the handle @spyasamy started following me.  She immediately started interacting and soon I followed her.  It was clear that Yasmine loved Jamaica and Jamaican music and she really loved Jamaican superstar Sean Paul (@duttypaul).  It was heartwarming to see, and to honest, it made … Continue reading

Celebrate Jamaica: The Alpha Boys’ School

Growing up I didn’t know much about The Alpha Boys’ School.  I do remember Grandma making mention of it once as a music video by Leroy Smart played on the television.  She mentioned that he went to the school and that the school was known both for its music training and for the success its … Continue reading

Winston Riley Died

Without me knowing it at the time, Winston Riley was responsible for the deep falling in love moment I had with Dancehall.  It was a summer vacation and I was in New York…and not New York City but upstate New York.  Faaaar!  My cousin had a walkman and a cassette with Dancehall on it and … Continue reading

“Be Inspired!”

A simple but powerful two word command. Those were the last words tweeted by Heavy D, a popular rapper who was key to bringing Dancehall and Reggae music to mainstream America in the ’90s.  I was shocked to hear of his sudden death.  True, I wasn’t a fan but I do remember seeing him all over … Continue reading