Negative effects Dancehall Music has on Jamaican youths.

Dancehall music has become a symbol of explicit sexual imagery and violence. Despite the positive effects Dancehall music might have on our young people, it has become more a pathway for moral degradation with our young people. Dancehall is a “style of Jamaican popular music that had its genesis in the political disturbance of the late 1970’s ad became Jamaica’s dominant music in the 1980’s and 90’s”, ( C.J.Cooper)

“Jamaican dancehall culture is commonly disparaged as a homophobic, homicidal, misogynist discourse that reduces both men and women to bare essentials: skeletal remain” (Cooper.C.J,July2000). Dancehall music as an art form has great influences on the youths. This can be seen where popular Dancehall artist Vybz Kartel song the song ‘Clarks’ the brand of shoe became an instant hit.Both male and female youths wanted to be in ‘clarks’. So if these artist praise violence in their lyrics wouldn’t it be inevitable that the youths would follow,due to the huge influence they already have on them? The youths, especially males believe that being a ‘bad man’, ‘hot skull’, and ‘chargie’ are good descriptions of themselves.It makes them feel like they belong because it has become the norm.Isn’t there then some self esteem problems with our youths? Popular Dancehall artist, Movado, coined the slang, ‘Gangster for life’ which resonated with the youths. They sought to illicit and imitate gangstas behavior. According a study done on The effects of Dancehall genre on adolescent sexual and violent behavior in Jamaica: A public health concern “19% male and 13% females demonstrated violence in schools, in their communities, and/or in their homes – 7% females and 9% males were taken to the Principal’s office; 3% females and 5% males suspended”(A.D. Crawford, 2010).In today’s society almost all of the Dancehall Artists are being arrested for criminal offenses. The most recent of which is Vybz Kartel being charged with Murder in 2011. Despite this, however it still remains the popular music, even with adults, then why are we complaining?

The glorifying of Guns in the Dancehall

Sexual explicit behavior among our youths influenced by the lyrics of Dancehall music is also evident. There is a higher rate of promiscuity and pregnancy. This has also aided in the increase of HIV/AIDS and STd’s infections. According a study done on The effects of Dancehall genre on adolescent sexual and violent behavior in Jamaica: A public health concern ‘Of the 100 respondents, 52% males and 58% females claimed to be sexually active'(A.D. Crawford, 2010).

Image showing explicit dressing that provoke sexual images in the Dancehall.

Explicit sexual behavior
Explicit sexual behavior in the Dancehall

Reference List

Brooks.S. Corporate Jamaica buys into Dancehall fashion. The star online. Retrieved March 14, 2012, from

Cooper,C.J Dancehall music, Encyclopedia, retrieved March 14, 2012 from

Cooper,C.J, (July 2000). Lady Saw Cuts Loose: Female Fertility Rituals
in Jamaican Dancehall, retrieved March13, 2012, from

Crawford.A.D, (2010 March).The effects of dancehall genre on adolescent sexual and violent behavior in Jamaica: A public health concern,North American Journal of Medical Sciences, Volume 2. No. 3, retrieved March 13, 2012 from

McLeod.D,(February 7, 2008).Cops to talk to DJs, The Star online, retrieved March 14, 2012 from

Msjamaica,(October 25, 2011). Vybz Kartel charged with another murder. Zimbo. Retrieved March 14, 2012, from

Tyson.E, (2008, April 6). Slackness and more slackness. Retrieved on March 14, 2012 from

Watson.J, (April 2, 2008). Dance Hall Music and Jamaican Society, Yardvybz, retrieved March 14,2012 from

Street Knowledge media (February 2009). Jamaica Eliminates Sex and Violence From Airwaves retrieved March 14, 2012, from


20 thoughts on “Negative effects Dancehall Music has on Jamaican youths.

  1. very interesting,yet we have university lecturers who study the effects of dance hall and pretend that this is a culture we should embrace. Funny how good conscious music does not get the kind of “forward” that negative music gets, funny how conscious music cant reach Number one especially in J.A.
    I wonder who is the real promoters of violence in music why does this sell so much especially in Jamaica. if you are fed with shit, it will eventually become you, since man is essentially what he feeds himself with.
    If we can use our airwaves to promote music that makes sence then we will have better youths. Peaple like Jenny Jenny surely is a let down because of the damn fool fool music mi hear she play some time cum on now ! the only sesible thing on jamaican radio now is Barry G. This new generation of radio disc jocks are full of shhhhhhhh……. it is so disappointing that we through intellegence out the door and think that beacuse you are bright that is intellegence. Man oh Man I am one disappointed Jamaica brother.

  2. thank you so much. This will do a great deal in helping me to finish my Literature Review leg of my Internal Assessment

  3. like this article its very in-debt. however, i wanna know is it safe to say that the dancehall culture also affects teachers

  4. your article is gonna help me greatly and give me some more inspiration in writing a research paper on the very same issue. well done. keep up the good work.

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