Dancehall, in the world today, is generally considered the music out of Jamaica, the cross between Hip-hop and Reggae. Although, much of the mainstream Dancehall music is still being distributed and aired out of JA, many of the Caribbean of the islands are producing and dancehall distributing their own; which is simply widening the variation of the music. However, this item isn’t on Dancehall music in the Caribbean most importantly but alternatively a small piece to share with about the music on the island of St. Kitts.
The federation of St. Kitts is somewhat small, yet the talent of its people is certainly humongous. St. Kitts has was able to compete in global markets in many ways simply using their culture alone. Although I can’t discuss the origin of Dancehall on the island, I can discuss its highs and its lows from the past to now. As we date back to September 2003, local DJ, Dj Rinch started the idea of opening a recording dojo which he called Yard Tune Production located in the ever blessed Green Valley, Cayon. He began his respectful dojo with a computer mike and a computer in his bedroom as practice while he furthered his knowledge on the art of recording and beat system. He’s got worked with some of the popular names we know today like Bamboo sheets B, Shakal, Highlight, Simba, Tv Jungles, Jahfire, Ashkinaz and Ballikup. 12 months after the creation of Yard Tune, a similar project was returning on the reverse side of the island, the creation of the record label Ghetto Shanty which was by far a significant stepping stone for Dancehall Music on the Rest of the world Side of little St. Kitts.
Ghetto Shanty Records a. t. a GS Records or simply Ghetto Shanty is a small recording label in St. Kitts with its dojo located at Crab Hillside, Soft sand Point. The founders of the label were Keithroy Joseph otherwise known as (Kunta) and Jermaine Woodley otherwise known as (Artikal). In February 2005, they produced their first riddim called the “Midnight Riddim” which was voiced by many of the young and enthusiastic vocalists on island. Some of these vocalists include Bamboo sheets B, Chronical Family and Sp’s Finest, but it also spread beyond little St. Kitts and headed right over to Dancehall Central, JA where it was also voiced by Jamaican artists like Message & Gabriel. These two labels were models for many persons on the island; they inspired them to make new labels and studios of their own.
Now as the years elevated, more and more persons are joining the local music industry. The island’s citizens also placed it upon themselves to start a show that exhibits local vocal skills talent to create “Kittitian Idol”. Now, it’s not all fun and glee in the music sector because it has seen its downs. Indeed Ghetto Shanty was getting a lot of highlight for their music but in turn some legal suggestions were brought against them because of content that were used in their videos and the sometimes shocking themes that their songs were portraying. SKNVibes local News Service did an article called “Graphic and sometimes shocking Local gang videos surface” which was geared towards the Ghetto Shanty group. In the article they mentioned some of the sometimes shocking lyrics preached in the Viral Natural Music Videos.
Lyrics sung in the “Bring It on Medley” and “Dis Riverside- Sucide” done by the River Side Crew, an affiliate of the Ghetto Shanty Records Connection was met with negative opinions, as crime was on a rise. It was only obvious that these viral videos and songs would be stopped. But this did not, go down well with the local artists, in fact they felt like the officials were actually quelling the music as it was their way of life and the lyrics were their only tool for expression. Nevertheless, because of raids and a close eye on individuals who were a part of the Ghetto Shanty Connection, members slowly began dispersing and doing their work on a down low.