I recently had a great conversation with "The Grammy Kid" Shabba Ranks regarding the current state of the Dancehall/Reggae music business and he made the perfect analogy. Shabba said that despite the alphabet having equally important letters A - Z, everyone wants to be A! According to Shabba this is where the problem lies, deteriorating the overall strengh of the music industry.
The ace DJ said confidently that there is nothing wrong with representing the other letters of the alphabet. Artists have different talents and should therefore understand that their input is equally needed for the industry to grow. "You can't spell words with just the letter A.....you need B, C, D and E artists," the legendary deejay declared. Therefore, the industry can not exist with just A caliber artists, a fact that holds true for other genres of music. The key is for artists to identify their letter and stick to it! The obsession that artists constantly have to prove that they are "de man" has subliminally sent the message that if they are not on top, their existence is irrelevant in in the industry.
Moreover, I would say this theory holds true for the sound clash arena. It's great to strive to be in the "A" class, but one must acknowledge that not every sound system can be number one ('de man'), Never-the-less, the number one sound system can not compete against itself. Therefore, contenders must exist regardless of rank. Such sounds are equally important to the sport and bring diversity to the arena. One should identify their class and strength and be the best they can be in that class. Involvement of all classes is important for the industry to grow. What it all boils down to is one knowing their role in the sound clash arena!
Big up to Shabba Ranks for the Reasoning!