Some Dancehall fans have taken issue with Whap Whap artist Skillibeng’s declaration of himself as the greatest Dancehall artist of his era.
In an article published last week Thursday in British style magazine The Face, it was reported that Skillibeng, who was being interviewed at a studio in Brooklyn, New York, had made the pronouncement a day before his performance at the Rolling Loud show in that city.
“I’m the greatest Dancehall artist of my era…. That’s what I am. I’m just doing my job. And I’m good at my job,” the St Thomas native is quoted as saying, during the interview, which also included a fashion photoshoot.
In August this year, Skilli had reiterated that he did not consider himself a Trap-Dancehall artist, as he had been labeled by many, but purely a Dancehall artist.
However, as for being the greatest of his contemporaries, while some several commenters expressed agreement, others, including therockstvrlondon, who responded on The Face’s Instagram page, were not in agreement.
“I disagree 😂 strongly he’s over hyped same flows on everything dry n endless gun talk gibberish,” he jeered, while rochella added: “I’d have to disagree as long as Poppy still around.. but he’s definitely entitled to feel that way given his success.”
Skilli’s supporters like karlkhani, in expressing agreement with his ‘designation’ replied: “Esyde rule the earth 🔥🔥 facts”, while notdanielle added: “A fi chu (true)”.
“He’s not lying,” was the declaration from maddeostlie.
In the article, the author had stated that Skilli had ‘snickered’ when the topic of Trap-Dancehall was broached, and that the Crocodile Teeth artist had pointed out that: “Just because these tiny little changes are being made, it doesn’t mean it’s not Dancehall. It’s an evolution of the music.”
While declaring himself a Dancehall artist in August, Skilli had said that he was “not a person who focuses on making Trap Dancehall sound” but was rather a “person who likes making music” and incorporating different sounds in his productions.
“People say my sound is Trap, so I am not going to really argue with anybody, because there is more people out there; there’s just me here. So, if the people are saying it sounds like Trap, that’s what it’s gonna be for now,” he had explained.
In January last year, during an interview with Seani B on BBC1 Xtra, Skilli had also addressed criticisms being made by Dancehall purists, who were of the view that Dancehall-infused Trap beats had watered down the genre.
The St Thomas native had said that while he had accepted the term Trap Dancehall: “at di end a di day Skillibeng nuh really go after Trap Dancehall. Mi go after good music…”
In addition, the Morant Bay High School old boy had also said that the type of genre he chose on any given day to indulge in depends on his mood at the time.
“Today mi will feel like mi fi sing a souls, tomorrow mi feel like mi wi jus kill seventy people pon a riddim, tomorrow is a whole gyal vibe, di odda day is a weed vibe, even di same day. Mi jus like fi be optimistic, nuh body nuh fi know wah me a forward wid…,” he had explained.
The St. Thomas native had also said that the Trap Dancehall sub-genre was good for the music as: “kids inna fi wi era nah go have a good time listening to dem parents set ah music…”
The 25-year-old had also argued that there was nothing inherently wrong with fusing music genres, or experimenting with ‘foreign’ sounds, as he had been doing.
“We haffi ah buil new sound and new music fi di people dem, straight. so nutn nuh wrong if we mix Dancehall wid a Hip Hop beat, because di biggest platforms been ah tek weh fiwi style and use it how dem waah use it,” he had added.
Earlier this year, Bounty Killer had said that artists who have never recorded any Dancehall or Reggae songs in their lives, ought not to be labelling themselves as “Dancehall artists”, but should brand themselves as being of the genre which they exclusively voice under, for example, Trap.
The Warlord had argued that while foreigners embrace the country’s genres, some Jamaicans were depriving children of the music of their forefathers as he was hearing more Rap, Trap, Afrobeat and Drill than Reggae in Jamaican parties.
“Di type a music weh you do, you are dat type a artiste. Suh if you are doing Trap you are not Dancehall artiste. You are a Trap artiste – inna Dancehall…Trap is doing its thing and it’s making its mark. Si Skillibeng guh a England guh deal wid it wicked… Suh wi just hope it sustain and continue to grow and build…,” Bounty had said.