I-LOVE-DANCEHALL MUSIC!!! Although no part of me is of island decent it must be my African ancestry. Now I’m not a dancer but whether I’m in a club, a house party, a wedding or even a department store! If I hear that horn and those fast rhythms and heavy bass my body automatically “wines!” and I know a lot of ya’ll out there know what I’m talking about!
A lot of times though we get the phrase “Dancehall” confused with “Reggae” when talking about the origins of Hip Hop music. Reggae is not a root of Hip Hop it is in fact the rhythms of Dancehall, the chants of the Deejays, and the dance of the listeners that are (partly) the root of Hip Hop music. “Dancehall” which originated in the late 1970’s got its name from the “Sound Systems!” or groups of Jamaican Disc Jockeys and engineers who played at the local “Dance Halls” in Jamaica. It started in the 1950’s where Sound systems would travel party to party with their sound systems. This would be the precursor to the DJs now here in America and the UK.
The sound would emerge as Deejays would sample old reggae music, speed it up and chant over the rhythms(Just like Hip Hop). As music like Disco and Funk was changing the world, in Jamaica those who couldn’t go the high scale clubs that played American and European music would frequent the “Dance Halls” of the inner city where sound systems played “Their” music (Just like Hip Hop) Back here in the United states We began facing the same problem as inner city youths wernt able to frequent the “Hot Spot” clubs of the day. Low and behold a Jamaican, named Clive Campbell who immigrated here with his parents when he was 12 seen our dilemma and immediately thought of the legendary sound system crews from back home. Now going by the name “DJ Kool Herc” he used those techniques and sampled American music instead, speed it up and chanted over them creating what we now call Hip Hop music. As time went on the “Chanting” duties of the Deejays went to the hosts of the party or the “Emcee” Those emcees then went from boasting about the Deejays to boasting about themselves becoming “Masters of Ceremonies”
LIST OF WEST INDIAN MCs:
Heavy D (RIP)