Dancehall Forever: How I Became Passionate About Reggae-Dancehall.

Damian Marley

Damian Marley at Crossroads KC.

Like most people, Bob Marley was my first introduction to reggae. His impact on music and viewpoint is on a whole different level. However, being in New Orleans really helped ignite my passion for reggae-dancehall. NOLA has long had a strong reggae scene.

The first time I walked into Reggae Night, upstairs at the Dragon’s Den, people’s lifeless bodies were being carried down the stairs from overheating. It was an intense scene for sure, but I knew it must be one heck of a party. The Wednesday night DJ sets spun by DJ T-Roy are about hot, sweaty dancehall mayhem. It was always great to see what gets the crowd hyped up. Those old school Buju Banton tracks would always get the crowd moving. “Good Body” always hit really well.

Thursday nights at the Blue Nile, also hosted by T-Roy) start out on the more chilled out reggae tip. The dancehall vibes get turned up at the party goes late into the night. I made it to the end of reggae night once. It wrapped up at 6 am.

Being a fan of reggae-dancehall can be conflicting sometimes. The lyrics can be uplifting, thought-provoking and positive. However, at times, the lyrics can be really slack, disrespectful and trashy. This can sometimes happen within the same song.

To me, a lot of the beats and production in reggae-dancehall seem much fresher than in other genres. Many artists freestyle their verses over the riddims, which is always great to see and adds to the energy of the song. It’s interesting to see what different artists do with the same riddim. How they put their own spin on the track and what lyrical themes they address.

Attending reggae nights in NOLA also sparked my interest in DJing reaggae-dancehall. It’s a lot of fun to mix and great to see how people respond to the tunes. You can listen to my mixes here.

The quality vibes created by reggae-dancehall are unparalleled. The energy and joy is so infectious and wonderful.

Here are some of my favorite tracks:

Pressure “Love and Affection”

Jah Cure “Sticky”

Vybz Kartel “Go Go Wine”

Richie Spice “Di Plane Land”

Collie Buddz “Come Around”

Mavado “So Special”

Buju Banton “Champion”



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