Ever since Bounty Killer and Beenie Man lit up American producers Swizz Beats and Timbaland’s Verzuz platform with their history-making clash back in May, fans have been calling for another dancehall matchup. And one of the faves seem to be a Sean Paul/Shaggy clash. But that is not likely to happen.
Emphasizing that he was “mad proud” of Beenie and Bounty Killer, Sean Paul, “di gal dem skillachi” said in a recent interview that he simply was not interested.
“Me and him [Shaggy] have spoken. He asked me about it and I told him ‘No bro. I ain’t going up’,” Sean Paul told DJ Epps. He added, “I like to watch Bounty and Beenie and Snoop and DMX and many more who went that way. For me this whole thing is weird, this whole online thing. I like crowd. It gives me more juices up here when I see them. It ain’t battling, but I just don’t like it.”
His dismissal came towards the end of an interview in which he labelled the dancehall clash culture “slavery mentality”.
Elaborating on this, Sean Paul said, “I start realising that this [clash] is a negative energy. It not really benefiting me, it just getting my mind against my own people.”
Addressing the slick, oft-repeated slogan, ‘Do it for the Culture’, he said that he was always proud when people used that phrase, but he has come to the realization that in every culture, there is positive and negative, and too often, in dancehall culture, it is the negative that rises.
“Over the years, I’ve been kinda sussing out in the brain about why I feel so weird sometimes when I see and hear a clash … yeah it’s exciting , but is it always exciting in a good way? There is always this feeling of horror or terror when my DJ or sound system was being beaten up, and it hurt me, and mek me as a fan feel angry. So when yuh suss it out in yuh brain, this don’t feel right to me yuh nuh, even though the energy is crazy,” the multiplatinum selling dancehall artiste said.
He made a link between the clash culture and the inability of dancehall music to progress. “It come a point where I recognise it as the reason why the music is not going forward. Our fans are divided. When I put out a song with Alkaline, his fans will say, ‘Yow, Alkaline a di man’, but they don’t say a thing about me on the record, or about DJ Frass production. Other producers will say, ‘it alright’.”
For the Grammy-award winning deejay, who has collaborated with the likes of Beyonce and Sia, music has a spiritual aspect to it which he feels is summed up by Capleton when he chants, ‘Music is a mission not a competition’.
Sean Paul said that “music is supposed to be a joyful noise unto the Lord” and emphasised that “clashing each other is just Willie Lynch syndrome dividing and ruling us still to this day”.
His concern, Sean Paul said, is that, “We perpetuate these things over and over to the next generation so much so that it’s all some of the younger players know. This leaves space for people to do our music and call it their own without giving us the proper props we deserve and keep kids who are not even doing music in a divided state of mind. Time for us to work together and build and storm the world like we should because we are that dope.”
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