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Communication Studies S.B.

Topic
Topic
The Influence of Dancehall Music on the Jamaican society

Name: Davian Litchmore

Teacher: Mrs. Dennis

Centre #: 100057

Year: 2010

Class: 123
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Acknowledgement
I would like to thank the following people who have assisted me in completing this

internal assessment. First and foremost I want to thank Jehovah God for giving me the

knowledge, strength, wisdom and courage to be able to undertake this tedious task. Also

my Communication Studies teacher Mrs. Dennis, who has been assisting me in

completing this IA. She dedicates much of her time to ensure that we complete the task at

hand well. I also want thank my friends and family for their help and their

encouragement. The persons mentioned above were my source of inspiration and they are

the reason why I have completed this assignment. Thank You!

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General Introduction
The topic I will be presenting in my portfolio is the influence of Dancehall

music on the Jamaican society. Dancehall music, a popular music form in Jamaica has

caught the attention of many individuals because of the influence it has on the citizens of

the country. According to Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, “Dancehall is a genre of

Jamaican popular music that was developed in the 1970’s, initially as a sparser and less

political and religious variant of Reggae”. Dancehall music is known around the world

but is played predominately in the Caribbean.

The reason why I selected this theme is that over the past nine months,

dancehall music has had many negative influences on the Jamaican society. It affects the

society in that it affects how we think, how we speak and how we portray our fellow

Jamaicans. It causes individuals to inflict wounds on one another and it has also

corrupted the minds of some teenagers by causing them to participate in many ungodly

activities. By focusing on this theme I can expose the negative effects of Dancehall music

on the society so that people can be aware and take drastic measures to prevent their

children and others from getting caught in the Dancehall trap.

This portfolio consists of three sections: The reflective, expository and

analytical sections. In the reflective section, I will produce two samples of my original

work, a journal entry and a poem which are related to the selected theme. The expository

section of this portfolio will be done orally and in this section I will be discussing a topic

derived from the theme and will be giving an explanation on the issues raised, challenges

experienced when exploring the theme. An evaluation will also be done on the effect of

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the source, context, channel, medium on the validity and reliability of the information

gathered. The analytical section consists of an analysis of the reflective section of the

portfolio and in this section I will analyze the dialectal variations, attitudes to language

and communicative behavior.

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Poem of Dancehall War

It had to come to this. I hate to tell you so

But I told you so.

The violence that people like me saw in dancehall lyrics was more a reflection of our

literary philistinism

The impact it has on the society is huge almost causing tribalism.

When one think of dancehall we think of music that inspires life

But dancehall in recent months is about sex, gun and things that cause strife.

The erotic content is driving most of our fellow Jamaicans insane

Listening and participating in immoral activities no doubt has caused their parents pain

Now the followers of the gun artistes themselves are shooting, stabbing up and beating

one another- not metaphorically or lyrically,

But doing so to their fellow Jamaicans literally, physically and actually

We must look at what has given rise and what has promoted negative Dancehall.

A solution is needed or else Jamaica will no longer be for one and all.

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It had to come to this. I hate to tell you so

But I told you so.

By: Davian Litchmore

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Journal of The Negative Influence of Dancehall Music on


The Jamaican Society
By: Davian Litchmore

Who is di biggest man?

December 26, 2008

Today was the big clash between the Gully God (Mavado) and Portmore Empire

leader Vybz Kartel. Many persons were present for the biggest even of the year,

STING. This confrontation was all about the two artistes throwing insults at each

other. The two artistes looked as if they were about to fight each other and the

patrons in the crowd were literally fighting each other. It was a horrible sight to

behold and many persons lost their lives.

December 31, 2008

Today is the last day of the year and Vanessa, who is my cousin called and asked

“Hey boy yuh nah go waterfront?” I said “yea man, call mi when yuh ready ok”.

When I arrived at the event everybody was enjoying themselves by singing and

dancing to the music being played. Things took a dramatic turn when a vehicle

playing a Mavado song had its windshield broken. By paying close attention and

listening I heard a teenager saying “Gaza we seh!!, no gully roun here”. It hurt mi

because dem coulda hurt di man cause a di song him listening to. This negative

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type of dancehall music is really influencing the people of this country and we

need to do something about it soon before it gets out of hand.

December 7, 2009

Mi glad mi glad! I am literally jumping for joy! The government finally intervened

by having a meeting with the two gunlord deejays Kartel and Mavado to try and

promote peace between themselves. It did deh pon all tv and mi was glad to see di

two a dem holding hands and laughing. They even went as far as to tell the

Jamaican people that they should not be destroying themselves and that they will

try and promote clean, up building music that will empower us. As Jamaicans we

are all hoping that they will abide by their words and continue on the right path,

but it sounds too good to be true so we will have to wait and see.

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Daggering Postpone?

January 26, 2009

Yes jus it is just a few weeks after the Christmas holidays and I went back to

school to start preparations for CXC. School finished early and I took a bus to Half

Way Tree for my extra class. While on my bus I saw another bus carrying school

children playing ‘daggering’ music and the school children were participating in

immoral activities. It got even more dramatic when a policeman pulled over the

bus and imprisoned both the conductor and driver and called in the parents of each

child. It was all over the news and di pickney dem disgrace dem family especially

dem mother and father. Mi cover mi face in shame. Mi sure now the authority ago

do something bout dis music and weh it a do to di mind of the people dem.

February 7, 2009

No one was expecting this but this was the headline of all popular newspapers in

Jamaica, “Slack songs banned”. The Broadcasting Commission has banned all

“daggering” music and violence songs which require ‘bleeping’ on all radio and tv

stations. The government even took one more step by ordering all the bus

operators to remove all tinting from their buses so as to see what is happening

inside. They also banned the bus operators from playing music in the buses. Most

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of the bus operators don’t agree with the strict measures taken but if they do not

abide by these laws their vehicles will be impounded. Today at school it was the

topic being discussed the most and I even had the chance to hear the views of Mrs.

Downey, my favorite teacher on the topic. I asked “Mrs. Downey what do you

think about the steps taken to ban these gun and explicit songs?”, she said “Well

Jared, I could not have heard any better news. The filthy songs being played on

out public transportations and our radio are degrading our society and drastic

measures needed to be taken”. I am glad the government finally took a step in

removing all dirty contents music from our airwaves.

September 20, 2009

A whole heep a artiste a complain seh dem a lose nuff money because dem cyan

get nuh air play. One artiste even went as far as to say that he cannot provide for

his family again because of the step taken by the government. But I believe these

artistes are not doing enough to support the government. Di slack and gun music a

destroy di country and a cause we pickney dem to fight, destroy and ruin dem self.

I have to wonder why the artiste don’t sing and promote clean and wholesome

lyrics that people can enjoy and get motivation from. These artistes are just selfish,

it is not about Jamaica anymore but it is about making money.

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Rationale of The Reflective Pieces’

♣ Inspiration- I thought it best to write the poem and journal entry in the first

person narrative to vividly convey the selected theme. Using the first person

narrative allows the reader to see and feel the writer’s feelings about the theme of

the poem and journal entry. In other words the reader will see through the writer

eyes and thus the information will feel more personal believable. In both pieces

the writer narrates his personal experiences and how he feels towards the theme.

This is why narration is crucial as it enable the reader to grasp the influence of

dancehall music on the Jamaican society. Writing the poem in first person

narrative conveys a maximum amount of thought and feeling in the fewest and

most carefully chosen words.

♣ Target Audience- Both the journal entry and the poem is very easy to relate
to and understand and therefore can be read by those who have experienced the

negative influences that dancehall music can have on our society, more so our

teenagers. The journal and the poem cater to those who are emotionally inclined

as they can feel what the writer is experiencing.

♣ The Situation/Context- I am writing in the context of the negative

influences of dancehall music on the Jamaican society. Teenagers especially have

become involved in fights and have displayed immoral behavior as a result of

these lyrics. My first piece was a poem which shows us the feelings and emotions
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of a young teenager called Jared who is clearly upset with the negative influences

of dancehall music on our society. The journal entry was geared at a young boy

who is displeased about the negative influence that dancehall music has on his

society and so he puts all his inner most thoughts, feelings as well as experiences

in writing. He eventually becomes more pleased as the government took measures

to try and prevent dancehall music from corrupting the minds on persons in his

country.

♣ The Purpose of The Pieces - The reason why I chose to write a poem is
because poetry gets to the core meaning. Looking at prose through poetry can be

like examining narrative under a microscope, poetry expands ideas and it is fun

and will attract the attention of many individuals. I also chose to do a journal

entry because journal writing allows us to deal with the issues in our life in a more

perceptive manner. Journal writing provides you with an anchor in your daily life.

In the journal, you are free to write what you want without restrictions, to truly

address the issues in your life without fear of criticisms. By exposing the audience

to the pieces I am showing them the negative impact Dancehall music can have on

them so that they will be better able to choose their choice of songs correctly.

Analytical Section
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(Analysis of journal entry)

The analytical section requires us to analyze one of the reflective pieces and the

piece chosen was the journal entry. The journal entry is about a young teenager called

Jared who has seen the negative influences dancehall music can have on the Jamaican

society and is very concerned about the welfare of his fellow Jamaicans. From the journal

entry I will analyse language registers, dialectal variations, attitudes to language and

communicative behaviors.

Language registers refer to the variety or kind of language appropriate for a

particular situation. Language registers can also be used to refer to the distinct level of

formality and informality of a text. In the journal entry the short conversation between

Jared and his cousin called Vanessa was in the informal register. This situation required

an informal register because they are cousins and are acquainted with each other. The

formal register was also identified when Jared used Standard English in a conversation

with his teacher Mrs. Downey. The main factor which affected the register was that Mrs.

Downey was a teacher and Jared was a student. Since Mrs. Downey was the main

authoritative figure Jared had to use Standard English.

Dialectal variation is the term used to describe the change in the different forms of

language used based on context, situation and time. The dialectal variations that were

present in the journal entry are acrolect and basilect. Acrolect (Jamaican Standard

English) was used by Jared due to the formal nature of the situation. Jared was

conversing with his teacher and since she was the main authoritative figure he had to use

acrolect. An Example of this was when he said “Mrs. Downey what do you think

about the steps taken to ban these gun and explicit songs?”. Jared also used basilect

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which was appropriate due to the informal setting as he was talking to Vanessa, his

cousin. Their conversation did not require them to speak Standard English. An example

of this can be seen when he said “yea man, call mi when yuh ready ok.”

Attitudes to language refer to how people feel towards a certain language and this

attitude can either be negative or positive. From the journal entry we can clearly see that

Jared was not biased towards any use of dialect spoken. When writing the journal and

conversing with his peers he used basilect. For example when he was writing he used

basilect as this evoked certain emotions. He also used basilect when talking to his cousin

as the situation required the use required an informal language. In the case of the short

conversation between Jared and his teacher, he used Standard English when he asked her

about her views on the steps taken to ban all forms of explicit music. The situation

required a formal language because his teacher was the main authoritative figure so his

attitude to language was a positive one. His teacher in reply, gave her views in Standard

English. It thus can be seen that the attitude to language was a positive one because the

writer appreciated the use of different language and used each language when the

situation required it to be used.

Communicative behaviour is the term used to describe non-verbal communication

and what they mean. In the journal entry we see where Jared was jumping for joy after

hearing that the two artistes had ended their feud. By doing this he is communicating

non-verbally that he is happy and is hoping that the two will continue to be friends.

Another example was when he covered his face in shame when he saw the children

participating in immoral activities. He is communicating non-verbally that he is disgusted

and he felt ashamed of what he has just seen happening on the bus.

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Conclusion

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The theme The Influence of Dancehall Music on the Jamaican society has been

adequately explored. In the introduction you have seen where Dancehall Music was

explained and how it affects our society. In the themes rationale an overview of how

the theme would be explored in the reflective, analytical and expository was given.

My first piece was a poem which shows us the feelings and emotions of a young

teenager called Jared who is clearly upset with the negative influences of dancehall

music on our society. The journal entry was geared at a young boy who is displeased

about the negative influence that dancehall music has on his society and so he puts all

his inner most thoughts, feelings as well as experiences in writing. He eventually

becomes more pleased as the government took measures to try and prevent dancehall

music from corrupting the minds on persons in his country. An analysis of the journal

entry was done where registers, attitudes to language, dialectal variations and

communicative behavior were looked at. The theme was appropriately examined and

was aimed at gaining readers appreciation in order for it to be recognized.

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