Editorial: Unfiltered Artist, Dancehall Cabals & Press Button Producers

Thursday, June 9, 2011

By Sherman Escoffery
Editorial view by writer. to voice your opinion email author or leave a comment.


There are times that I don’t mind dining on my own words, and that was what I had to do the other day, when I mentioned to a few friends, that I thought the career of Wayne Marshall was over, and he should retire to the kitchen and maybe consider being a house husband to his wife. I was horrified and felt like my email box and ears had been violated by a god awful song I had received called “Swagging”, it brought back horrible memories of a song from 1985 called “Rapping Fresh” -a really embarrassing attempt at a rap version of Red Dragons “Hold A Fresh” -that I was forced to sell in my uncles record shop.  About A week later, I received another song by Wayne Marshall called “Good Ole Wife” and I had sit down and eat my words about Wayne Marshall being finished, but it did crystallized a thought that I had not fully put in perspective; most Jamaican artist and producers do not have any filter or any true sounding board for a lot of the music that they send out. 

The opinion of someone that you are paying to promote or play your music is no longer valid as they don’t really care and just wants your money.  A publicist is not the person who spends the day spamming people email boxes and facebook pages, with your paid write ups from the same local tabloid; by an unnamed writer, re-tweeting praises that are actually done by one person with many aliases; at your behest, and getting your song on some made up chart, when your song is not even available for sale at a single digital retail store. That person is just one of the leeches that are bleeding you while conning you into the deception stardom. Ask yourself, how has your career or music done financially in the last three month since you hired the person I just described. Ask yourself if these people who are always massaging your ego have ever told you that you have a mediocre or bad song. Every great artist has had bad songs, from John Lennon to Bob Marley, what makes you so special that every one of your song is Shatting, Shelling and Maad?

Gather the Cabal and start beating the pots

I recently hinted to a so called producer that his new songs that was sent to me, needed to be mixed properly, his reply was how much of a gangster he is, that I was bad minded vagina and how broke I was.  He then got his little cabal together-which consisted of his laptop publicist, a dancehall mattress masquerading as a VJ, and another producer, whose entire vocabulary consist of about twenty word total-to start name calling and making up lies on the social media which we were interacting -as if that is going to make the poor audio on his song sound any better.  This seems to be a lot artist and producers defense mechanism to combat anyone who don’t massage their ego and tell them how wicked their songs are. They are allergic to suggestions or criticism in any form, but thrive on praises from their little cabal of bloodsucking yes men as they pleasure each other.    

Do we lack talented Artist and producers in Jamaica given the avalanche of noise that dominated all the Dancehall social media and Jamaican Airways? No! I do not think so, but the people who spend time to do a good song are not encouraged, when they see the noisemaker putting out a song or more every single week and their little Cabals beating the pot cover and screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” Even good artist who are actually moving some units and have a steady tour schedule get nervous and start believing the hype and are tempted to get on the hype bus to nowhere.

We need to get behind good music and bear in mind that it takes time for a song to build.  Busy Signals “Step Out” was out for over two years before it blew up. By the time the Seanizzle produced Rum & Redbull started to get some traction outside of the dancehall market, it was abandoned in the dancehall amidst the stupid argument that Beenieman had cheated Future Fambo. Who gives a crap! It was a good song and we should have supported it if we liked it, but for some reason, Jamaican people have an amazing talent of finding a bad minded reasoning  to pulling the rug from under each other, as any form a success seem to be materializing. 

It is not enough to become relevant, it is how to stay relevant and evolve to a higher level than you currently are. If an artist is changing managers faster than the seasons in the year, it is highly probable that there is something wrong with that artist. How many good artist have we seen remain in second gear hit after hit, never to see third or fourth gear? It is not bad mind or being unlucky, it is lack of organization, constantly working with the wrong people and sometimes lack of proper work ethic. Chris Blackwell put $4000 pounds into the hand of the Wailers without a contract in 1972 & they returned with 2 completed alums and the rest is history, how many people could put $500 in the hands of most of today’s artist with the expectation of getting back a single dub plate?

Producers need to start producing and stop being record button activators that records anything the artist feels like saying. If more time is spent making quality music to sell, instead of churning out bad music to giveaway, most producers will become associated with a consistent sound or production that people will actually look for, with high expectations of a particular sound or vibes, just like how they use to look to Dave Kelly and Madhouse records. We should support good producers when they bless us with good music, we see producers like Seanizzle and NotNice making great strides musically, but we need to come down on them hard if they start to buy into the hype and try to pass off noise as music, so that they will constantly hold their own music to a higher standard and keep dancehall vibrant with music that people will love and not be infatuated with for two weeks.

P.S. We need to take the H out of Shelling and get back to Selling music.

11 Songs including 5 rhythms and a throwback song I am feeling right now

(01)Rebel – Cherine Anderson & Danielle
(02)Keida -75
(03)Crazy over You- Sizzla
(04)Love Oh Love – Chevaghn
(05) Could a Runaway- Delly Ranx & Gappy Ranks
(06) Good Ole Wife /Matrimony Rhythm – Wayne Marshall
(07) Keep It All/Winners Rhythm – Wayne Anthony & Spice
(08) Nuh Talk Too Long/Hungry Dawg Rhythm- Beenie Man
(09) Don’t Gi Weh the Things/ Jah Army Rhythm – Buju Banton
(10) Wave/ Party Vibes Rhythm- Shaggy
(11) Fu Man Chu - Desmond Dekker

Sherman Escoffery is a Music Consultant, Music Producer and host of Jamaican MRI 
(Musical Reasoning Interactive) on E2onair.com  Email: Blazetv@gmail.com    Twitter.com/JustSherman

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