Dancehall singjay Mr. Vegas has a lot to say about Minister Marion Hall’s decision to shift her ministry into Dancehall. The evangelist, who is formerly known as Lady Saw, announced last week that she will be releasing two Dancehall gospel songs next month, and will be going into the Dancehall space to win souls for God. Vegas, however, says no such genre exists and argued that Hall will have to reclaim her title as ‘Queen of Dancehall’.
“She come tell unno seh she a return to dancehall come sing dancehall gospel, nothing nuh name dancehall gospel,” he said in an online stream last night. “She a come sing dancehall… It’s either you a sing gospel or you a sing dancehall.”
He added, “She cya come back inna dancehall and nuh claim her crown… If God send yuh back inna dancehall, yuh a go end up be the hottest thing inna dancehall. God nah go mek you come inna dancehall and look like a eediat. God a go put song inna yuh mouth, God a go mek yuh have the biggest song dem…so that mean seh yuh muss claim back yuh crown.”
Dancehall gospel has been a subgenre referenced by millennium Jamaican gospel artistes like Papa San, Lt Stitchie (who also uses “gospel reggae”), DJ Nicholas and Ryan Mark. The music fuses Christian-based lyrics or messages with dancehall or reggae productions. Vegas, however, is not convinced.
He also counteracted Hall’s mission to win souls.
“Nobody cya come inna dancehall come win nuh souls,” he said. “Di Bible seh anybody fi come to God, a Him haffi draw dem to Him… Nobody cya save nuh souls or win nuh souls bout yah.”
Despite his arguments, he said he harbors no ill-feelings towards Hall, and described himself as a fan. His opinions, however, come as he feels that Hall is returning to a genre which she demonized upon her baptism five years ago.
“When mi did hear Lady Saw a cuss di music and a seh she used to work for di devil mi reach out to her off the air, send a message through a mutual friend and mi seh, ‘Mi need fi talk to sister because nuff things weh dem teach we a lie and there is nothing weh God seh we cya do nice, positive, clean music cause she have some nice music weh she still can come sing cause she have a lot of fans. Mi never mean no ill-will towards har.”
Mr. Vegas recalled his own experience of “going into the church,” saying he once thought of Dancehall as something negative.
“A few years ago I went into the church because I never waan dead and go a hell cause I did believe seh there’s really a hell waiting when you leave dah realm here… Everytime mi a sing mi music, mi always a seh a di last one dis… Hot Wuk, last one, Daggering, last one, Bruk it Dung, last one…
“One of the mistakes that I made, I did not study the Bible, I did not study the doctrine before I joined… When I go inna di church now and I announce seh I turn Christian… now yuh haffi live a certain way cause yuh nah only live fi serve God, now you a live fi please di people dem weh yuh announce it to. Once yuh step outta line yuh know seh you a get some backlash.”
He said he started doing his research and concluded that Dancehall isn’t the devil’s music, and that is when he announced his return to the space. This decision accompanied backlash as people labeled him a backslider, but he said dancehall music is diverse and doesn’t have to be explicit. For this reason, he said Hall could have baptized and remained in dancehall, instead of cursing it only to return to save souls and do Dancehall gospel years later.