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World Domination of Dancehall Devastation

World Domination of Dancehall Devastation

World Domination

Sounds: Souljah 1 & KillaFace

Early Juggling: Ferenzic Sound

Sounds provided by: King Harmony

Venue: WIAA

Promotor: Detroitreggae.com

Special Guests: Destiny, Simone, and George Straight

People mildly packed the WIAA on Labor Day Weekend to see Killa Face, dubbed as the Midwest Ruler, and Souljah 1 Sound straight from Bermuda. These two sounds, although not a great representation of "the world," delivered great music and demonstrated their djing skills.

Towards the end of the evening, Leslie began the Dub fi Dub Clash between Killa Face and Souljah 1. Killa Face, who appealed to the masses by calling

out and bigging up the Midwest, appeared to be the favorite of a clearly biased audience. Souljah 1, who appeared to be unthreatened, was said to have taken the clash hands down.

Most of the evening consisted of the crowd circled around guest dancehall queens: Destiny (who is planning retirement from the dancehall scene), Simone, and Diamond, Toledo?s Island Dancehall Queen, as the video light focused in on their acrobatic dancing. Also joining them was Cece, Cleveland's new Dutty Wine Champion and Destiny?s daughter, who is certain to take over her mother's reign. Her version of the dutty wine was her dance of choice, which upset some of the onlooker, sucking their teeth while ranting and raving, "Dat ah no dutty wine! Ah go-go dancing dat. Mak she guway wid dat!" George Straight later appeared and jumped in the dancing circle, joined by the Shotta's crew from Chicago who demonstrated the latest dances.

Recently, the dancehall scene in Detroit has started to focus more on the new dance craze that's been made increasing popular around the world by DVDs such as Passa Passa, Hot Mondays, Flanker Fridays, any many, many more. This craze has been criticized in some of the mainstream media as being silly, cheap, degrading, etc. Comments like these can be explained and dismissed because they are coming from people outside the culture looking in and written for people of the same frame of mind. But when asked to an attendee of the Labor Day dance who wishes to remain anonymous, if she had fun, she replied, "Dance nuh nice no more. Everybody a 'tan 'round an a watch wah a gwan in di miggle. People caan come out and enjoy demselves like we use to."

Is the Detroit dancehall scene becoming a mediocre imitation of these dancehall DVDs, or is it stepping up and becoming more "up to di time?" Is this a remark from an ole head that finds it difficult to accept anything new or is it an accurate observation and interpretation of the way most of the people in the scene feel? Also a newbie to the dancehall, scene invited by her daughter, expressed the same notion, asking if people standing around is what happens all the time, and whether if people actually dance with each other at these kind of parties. Surely nobody is stopping anyone from dancing with each other or even holding up the wall and (as they used to say) rubba dubbin?. Maybe it's the style of music that has changed. Maybe the sound systems are getting more requests and a stronger response from the dancing tunes than the culture and rub-a-dub tunes. Whichever the case may be, no one can deny the attraction to the middle of the dance floor, whether it is from the dancers themselves or the onlookers. It is a good idea for the sound men and women as well as the promoters to make efforts to see that everyone is having a good time and not just one group of people. But as the saying goes, you can?t please all the people all the time.




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