Dancehall and Crime

Dancehall and Crime

Jamaican music is one of the most diverse and in demand music globally, with Jamaican reggae and Jamaican dancehall leading the way. According to web definition, Jamaican Dancehall Music is the most popular Jamaican music genre over the last two decades and is a spin off of rock steady and other dub genres of Jamaica music. Dancehall now reaches the main stream of Jamaica. The lyrical content has moved from the regular political and social issues to other issues such as crime and everyday life. Jamaican dancehall music has actually been blamed for the rise in Jamaican crime due to its violent nature.

According to Crime is defined as the breach of a rule or law for which a punishment may ultimately be prescribed by some governing authority or force. Jamaica, like other countries, faces challenges with crime and violence. It has become a major concern as it has negatively impacted on the society. Joint and individual efforts have been made to combat this scourge. But how does Jamaican Dancehall music fits into the whole issue of crime and violence. This paper will discuss the view that Dancehall Music contributes to the high levels of crime and violence in the Jamaican society.

Jamaica has become vulnerable to crime and violence because of the lyrical content of its dancehall music which motivates youngsters to indulge in drug trafficking, illegal narcotics trade, murder, rape and high degree of immoral behaviors. The upsurge of Jamaican Dancehall music has institutionalized criminal behaviors, increased property-related crime by drug users and is underpinned by a steady increase in the availability of firearms.

Adding to the challenge, the need for material possessions as a sign of status and wealth; and expressions of violence as macho toughness are real issues which prompt young men, especially of working class backgrounds, to drop out of school and, ultimately, the education system. This has resulted in huge flows...

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