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Young Dancehall Music stars not ready to join Dancehall King ‘Club’ - Coveted title still elusive for many entertainers

Some debates will last forever, including who has what it takes to lay claim to the coveted throne as 'king of dancehall'.

In an interview with THE WEEKEND STAR, popular artiste manager Richard Roach expressed that despite the rise of new stars, there still only remains an elite few worthy of ruling the dancehall kingdom.

For him, the king must have anthems, be able to perform, have longevity, and mass appeal.

His candidates are Yellowman, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Vybz Kartel, Shabba Ranks and multi-grammy award-winning artiste Sean Paul.

"Dancehall has a constant changing of the guards but a king comes with a certain status. People would want to proclaim a lot of these younger ones as king but let's be logical, a king's contribution must be unquestionable, they must be respectful and respected, and they have to maintain a certain standard in terms of their output," he said.

"With Yellowman, his records show that he was a pioneer; he did things a lot of artistes in his time had never done. He was animated and he embraced the slackness which characterised dancehall. With Beenie Man and Killer, they brought a lot to the table and in terms of longevity, they've been holding this for decades.

Shabba Ranks had anthems and he had mass appeal and Sean Paul, because of his international success, cannot be left out of the conversations."

Roach also suggested it would take much work for current artistes to lay any claim to the throne, as one of the kingly qualities missing is the ability to perform
on stage.

"There are artistes who can't perform to save their lives and if you can't perform, you can't be king. For those who have been named whenever this topic comes up, they are consummate performers. They not only hold their own in the studio but they have the ability to move crowds at any event," he said.

"The performance aspect of the craft has deteriorated significantly. That is a big criteria to join the 'king club' and I don't think the new bangers have it and it's for that reason they will have to remain princes. I don't think the stalwarts can be dethroned."

Sting conceptualiser and industry insider Isaiah Laing said a king cannot rule forever.

"But right now dem young yutes yah, even though dem bad inna dem own right, affi just gwaan be prince," he said. "Nuff a dem can't perform and dat alone make dem can't come close to the crown. Dem need fi hone dem craft and wait dem turn.

Nothing wrong with being a prince. Nuff a di artiste dem whose name call as king, were princes. Dem stay inna dem position, put in the work, and wait dem turn."

Giving a list of his own, Laing said the only new millennium artiste he believes can challenge the likes of Kartel and Yellowman is Aidonia.

To him, the JOP boss has been steadily putting in the work, building a fan base, and has earned the respect of many, has acquired some hits, and has learnt how to own the stage.


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