It seems like dancehall is taking over and becoming main stream than ever, many popular mainstream stars like Nicki Minaj, Drake and Major Lazer are making hits from the Jamaican born genre.
However, it seems like thats not the case for most Jamaican dancehall stars. The real fruits of the genre taking off are not really felt by the people who have been pioneering the genre for the past decade or so.
Artists like Mr. Vegas made hits like ‘Heads High’, which have been remixed a dozen times into popular smash hits, are still yet to enjoy the big break out of the dancehall genre as most of them do not receive credits for their music according to Mr. Vegas.
He told Ebro in an interview, “On the records that Jamaican artists are sampled, no one even sees their names,” he says. “If you were really into the culture and into the artists, at least you would have put some respeck on [their] names on the album.”
A few days ago Sean Paul also accused Drake and Justin Bieber that they “don’t credit where dancehall came from and they don’t necessarily understand it.”
That being said, it seems some of the top dancehall artists are finding their way in the gospel side of the music industry.
At the end of last year Marion Hall formerly known as Lady Saw unexpectedly announced that she will no longer go by her stage name ‘Lady Saw’ and wont be singing dancehall music, instead would be ‘answering her call’ to do gospel music, resulting in all her lined up shows being canceled.
Latest on the line up is Mr. Vegas. He is expected to drop an album titled ‘I Am Blessed’ named after one of his popular hit song, which also had a gospel vibe.
Vegas told Jamaica Observer the album will be his first gospel album and will feature tunes from different genres. “This will be my first gospel album and it will feature different genres of music. It will be appealing to all crowds and will be able to be played in dance sessions, just like the single I Am Blessed,” he said.
It is not yet clear if Mr. Vegas take on gospel music will be as permanent as those of Lady Saw or just a test of the ‘Holy’ waters!