International dancehall artiste Shaggy is not a fan of how much dancehall is changing. According to the It Wasn’t Me hitmaker, “We’ve tried to fix something that is not broken”.
He made the comments when he appeared on The Breakfast Club. Shaggy along with Spice were guests on the show, promoting their hit collab Go Down Deh when they asked their opinion on the evolution of dancehall.
“If you ask the average DJ that’s on a global scale what kind of dancehall will move a party, they’re gonna tell you it’s 90s dancehall, and the difference between current dancehall and 90s dancehall is the beat,” Shaggy responded.
“So we’ve actually tried to fix something that wasn’t broken,” he said to which his hosts and Spice agreed.
He pointed to the influence of the 90s dancehall beat which he says created an entirely new genre of music. “Reggaetón which comes from dancehall, if you listen to Reggaetón which is a billion dollar industry, they’re still on that dancehall beat. The beat itself, the Reggaeton beat is called ‘Dem Bow’, which comes from Shabba Ranks, Dem Bow, and they’re still on that,” he said.
He added; “Afrobeat is kind of a spinoff. In Africa, I used to go to Africa and played at stadium every year, it was like clockwork-Uganda, Kenya, the Congo. Most of what was played in Africa at the time as their main music was dancehall, so Afrobeats is kinda from dancehall, and inspired by it,”
Overall, Shaggy said the new era dancehall has removed something that is integral to the genre itself-dance.
“The beat itself, they’ve taken the dance out of dancehall. If you listen to the new dancehall now, the style that they’re on, it’s kinda like a trap fusion dancehall. You go to a dancehall party people stand up and they’ll sing these lines, it’s like a sing-along, more so than a dance along.”