Throughout 2014, music lovers have seen a sharp increase in hardcore sexual content and imagery within Dancehall, with the likes of Alkaline, Demarco, Ricky Carty and J Amsterdam pushing boundaries with eyebrow-raising material to gauge interest from fans. One legendary artist is sick of this growing trend.
Barrington Levy, singer of classics such as Broader Than Broadway, Under Mi Sensi and countless others says he is tired of the X-rated nature that the genre has taken on and thinks it has damaged its credibility.
In an interview published in the Jamaica Observer on Tuesday, Levy said, "I see where the music business is taking a turn for the worst. It's going in a direction where we are losing it."
"These people have no morals anymore. Are we going to do anything for money? I never came into the music business just to sell records. I thought I would just sing for the love of it."
In another interview with the Jamaica Gleaner, Levy was more solutions-oriented, pointing to a lack of positive influence as the reason why young artists choose to ratchet up the shock value in their musical content.
"They are surrounded by a lot of hotheads that cannot steer them in the right direction," he said. "People are talking about them and their songs, but not in a good way. As entertainers, we need to always set a good example for the future of music.”
"Surround yourself with good people, people who will lead you in the right direction, people that will help you make good career choices that will ensure longevity and international success."
Dancehall has long contained specks of raunchiness and hardcore sexual content throughout its near four decades of existence, with artists such as Lady Saw and Vybz Kartel bringing said content to the forefront and becoming all-time greats as a result.
In 2014, however, X-rated content has reached another level and sparked much conversation within the Jamaican music industry, with Alkaline and J Amsterdam boldly speaking on topics of anal stimulation and giving oral sex respectively, to Ricky Carty’s infamous music video for his song, Gyal Tek It in which he had sex with a woman on camera while performing the song.
Meanwhile, Levy is set to release a new acoustic album with variations of his biggest hits. He is currently promoting his new hit single, Rosie.