Dancehall superstar Sean Paul found himself in a spirited dialogue on Instagram with a follower, who told him that it was his own ineptitude at clashing was the reason why he doesn’t support lyrical battles in Dancehall.
The debate erupted when the follower, seemingly displeased with Sean Paul’s recent comments on the lyrical clash between Jada Kingdom and Stefflon Don, told the Grammy-winning artist to mind his own business and accused him of undermining the value of clashing, as a cop-out.
“You don’t clash because you’re terrible at it. It’s another part of our culture. To each his own. Si people business? Leave it alone,” the commenter ordered.
However, Paul defended his perspective on why he thought clashes were damaging to the Dancehall genre, while asserting that the follower knew nothing of his abilities. He added that that his years of experience in the industry granted him a unique insight into the matter.
“U doe kno me u ungle (only) si mi. Cyah tell mi weh fi talk bout pon mi page. I doe like clash an I doe like how dem woman yah sound in the battle. I kno both a dem an jus doe like it… U never spoken on anything els I’ve done here so I’m not understanding why u come here now? U care about clash. I care about dancehall an reggae an the positive parts of the culture. Like us being the 1st nation 2 fight apartheid on record an also influencing so many other forms of musical genres. Dat is it. Bless,” Sean Paul replied.
The exchange quickly escalated into a heated back-and-forth as the undaunted commenter, among other things, retorted that Dancehall topics were not limited only to songs about fighting injustice.
“Not telling you to do anything. Giving my opinion on what you said. Your page, but inviting of public comment so you must expect not everyone will agree with you. Reggae and Dancehall are not only about fighting apartheid. It’s also about the urban current reality of a people’s existence. I’m sure you know this. Respects sah,” the follower noted.
Nevertheless, the Dancehall icon, known for hits such as Temperature and Get Busy, insisted that competition and hostilities associated with clashing were unhealthy and that the cheers from patrons during lyrical battles were no validation of an artist’s competence.
“I do kno this an I doe like that part I feel it’s negative. An I doe feel the need 2 validate my talent by clashing someone in my own genre 4 people 2 judge my skill whom most have never written a song or performed on a stage. Makes no sense 2 me. An yes I are correct it’s a public platform so maybe now I’ve stated how u feel u can go back 2 leaving me alone like uve always done. Blessings,” he replied.
The two finally reached common ground after the commenter told Sean that he had been a fan of his from the 1990s, and that he had only chosen to stridently give his opinion, since this was the one time that he strongly disagreed with the deejay on a topic that was dear to him.
“I’ve been buying dancehall since cassette days. I mean original Sonic and Dynamic Sounds cassette not bootleg. I go most dancehall stage shows. Ninja Man was one of my favourites back in the day and that was because of the clash culture. Beenie, Bounty, Kartel Movado same thing. So just as I love sound clash, I also appreciate the DJ clash part of our culture If Fully Bad never clash I wouldn’t even know him,” the follower stated.
“So this topic is a big one for me and I felt like sharing my views. Lawyers clash in court everyday till one win. I’ve been buying your music consistently since Deport Them. Still a big chune. So can say I am a fan from long time. Mostly I agree with your posts so I don’t comment. This one though, I don’t agree with your stance and I also feel strongly about supporting the clash culture so I started my position. Anyway, keep it burnin,” he added.
In calling the truce, Sean Paul said that his love for clashing died when he saw a man get stabbed during an argument over the 1990 clash with Shabba Ranks and Ninja Man.
“Blessings my G. It’s good 2 dialog. The love u have 4 clash I can’t feel because I saw man get stabbed over the Ninja Shabba clash when I was a teen an I thought it rather crazy. I also thought back 2 Bob Marley music an thought how jamaica has changed an I wanted 2 B the change I wanted 2 see in this world so I took a stance. The fact u like my music is very appreciated also so respec fi dat,” the St. Andrew native stated.
“I hope one day u can see that the parts of our culture dat actually help 2 sustain an build our genre an spread our music an culture an ultimately make money 4 our country also need attention… If artists clashing made that much money we would B the biggest sellers of music an streamers in the world. I can tell u I’ve bin ther. The numbers are ther 2 look @,” he added.
Sean also told the follower that there was a huge disparity between the positive and negative aspects of the Dancehall culture, which was even more reason for clashing, which he himself gravitated to as a youth, to not be promulgated.
“An the positive side of our culture need full couragement right now, because it unbalance bad. Simply said 2 much a one ting no good fi di oda. As an elder in the music who has accomplished many things 4 the genre I have 2 care. So a stated my stance,” he stated.
Added Sean Paul: “Good dialog bro. I ovas weh yah seh cause I liked artists clashing @ one point it’s very exciting. But when I saw the physical violence it changed me. When kids learn 2 ride a bike they most times want 2 go fast because it’s exiting. But thers danger in it. So someone responsible has 2 remind dem. An I feel 2 B that voice of reason. Hope u get mi. Blessings bro keep supporting our music same way we as artists Deff doe take it 4 granted.”