In a very recent conversation with a veteran dancehall artist (who will remain anonymous), an interesting point arose. With this point, I was really left feeling sympathetic and at the same time embarrassed to know that I too have played a role in veteran artists not getting their fair rewardds.
The reasoning started out mellow and was centered on Jamaicans not recognizing and/or crediting artists who paved the way. What sparked the conversation was Bounty Killer recently being crowned "Number One Dancehall Icon of All Times." Although the veteran artist speaking to me had nothing against Bounty Killer and today's top dancehall acts, he viewed Bounty's crowning as a disrespect to those mastering the craft long before him. He admits that Bounty's reign has significance, but does not surpass many of the greats. He summed up Bounty's crowning as "a lack of respect" for the contributions of the elders.
He went on to say that not only should the government, citizens of Jamaica, and today's s top artists be blamed, but that all members of the sound system industry MUST share the guilt. They play a key role, as the role models of the youth and the players of the music, he explained. Radio jockeys play a role as well and have done their fair share of killing our respect also. But the soundmen disrespect us "face to face." In a loud angry voice he said, "You and the rest of the sound man dem are willing to pay nowadays artists a ton of money for dubplate, but when it comes to the veteran dem, you dis them by offering them small money for timeless music!"
And so the dubplate argument began! There came a point when I had to shut the fuck up because he was 100% right. Yes, I had to shut the fuck up! ALL soundmen (myself included) have indeed done our share of not respecting the contribution of the veteran artists, especially when you look at it from a dubplate angle. Just think about it, top dancehall/reggae acts charge $600-$1500 for their hit songs....songs that in most cases last for a couple of months if you are lucky. Nevertheless, soundmen are more than willing to pay such prices. However, when it comes to the voicing of veteran artists, Soundmen bawl broke. On an average, soundmen are only willing to pay about $500 tops for dubs from a veteran artist, far less then what they are willing to pay for nowaday's two month, displosable dub material.
As true as this practice of soundmen not financially respecting veteran artists is, I could not find a way to justify such actions. When you think about it, it's senseless to spend more on dubs that last for a shorter period of time. So why are soundmen willing to do so?
Give me your views please...
The veterans feel soundmen don't rate them, which I think may not be the case.