Capleton, Jah Vinci make case for clash

By Aaliyah Cunningham
Observer writer
aaliyahc@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, November 22, 2019

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At the recent Red Bull Culture Clash, there were several heated exchanges between members of the Romeich Entertainment and Strike Force camps.

Shenseea, part of Romeich's aggregation, lashed out at Strike Force's Jada Kingdom. The latter released a 'dis' track, Sheng Heng, after the November 2 encounter at National Arena in Kingston.

The event also saw Strike Force's Chromatic being offended by a 'special' about his late colleague, selector Niko Chromatic. Despite the incidents, entertainers Capleton and Jah Vinci believe clashes are essential to dancehal, once they are for fun.

“Competition has always been a part of dancehall. Competition made dancehall. But it used to be just for fun, but in these times, I think they going overboard too much,” Capleton expressed to the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

The clash has existed in Jamaican music since the late 1950s when rival sound systems played 'specials' (exclusive songs) at dances, mainly in downtown Kingston. Singers Derrick Morgan and Prince Buster's memorable clash in the early 1960s, is best known of the early artiste feuds.

Clashes intensified during the 1980s through popular stage shows such as Sting. From Ninja Man vs Mad Cobra, Beenie vs Bounty, Vybz Kartel vs Mavado and recently Alkaline vs Squash, there has been a noticeable change in lyrical warfare.

“When yuh guh bring a man family into it, an' yuh go get personal an' yuh guh get derogative an' to di level where it guh get physical then dat cannot work. Wi used to dweet for fun, das why we have sound clashes,” Capleton elaborated.

Capleton (given name Clifton George Bailey III) has been in the music industry for over 30 years. He has offered a mixture of conscious and fiery tunes such as Tun It Up, That Day Will Come, Jah Jah City and Who Dem. His views are supported by Jah Vinci.

“Sometime it good an' sometime it nuh good. When two artiste a contest, people love see dat but yuh see when people mek dem personal feelings get involved, a deh so it guh bad,” he said.

Jah Vinci urges deejays to be mindful that the clash is all in good fun and there is no need to harm their opponent.

“People need fi know seh a di game an' people love the lyrics an' people fi know dem need fi keep it — lyrical an' not physical,” he said.

Capleton co-signed this thought.

“Man haffi jus' know seh is lyrical battle, suh it nuh haffi get physical and yuh don't haffi guh too deep. Dancehall is style an' fashion an' competition but all in good fun,” he said.

Jah Vinci (given name Kirk Rhoden) had his share of clashes during the infamous Gully and Gaza feud while he was a member of the Empire (Gaza) label. Tracks under his belt include Mi Feel A Way, Nobody Knows, Hear My Cry and Never Give Up.


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