Popular Spanish Town-based music selector Neako Fire has joined his compatriot Foota Hype, in expressing chagrin about the shabby appearance of some of the upcoming male artists who are being criticized widely for oftentimes turning up to perform at stage shows looking like bush robbers.
According to the selector, in a video which he shared on Instagram, the scruffiness of the artists which makes them look like vagrants, is a far cry from their predecessors who take pride in their appearance and ensure they maintain a refined, well-groomed look, which is characteristic of the Dancehall space.
“Dem new crap a Dancehall artist yah, first of all, di man dem not even have no image needa. Di man dem not even look like artist. One time yuh woulda si artiste an seh ‘yeh, artist a represent’,” he argued.
According to him, the artists appear to not be interested in the idea that when in public, they should dress for success.
“Now di man dem put on any ol clothes and gaw a road an guh pon stage show. An di man dem just bring demself anyway and di man dem a water down Dancehall yah, bredrin,” he said of the artists, whom he later pinpointed as those doing Trap.
“Memba seh SOJA dem done win Grammy aready fi Reggae music. Dancehall a sh-t house enuh. Dancehall a duncehall, a swear,” he said.
Neako also decried the tendency of the artists to all sing about the same topics over and over.
“Mi naw fight genes no yute ting or nuttn but dem yah new set a Dancehall artist yah, mi naw feel dem. As a selector, a swear to yuh. Mi naw feel dem. Caw dem naw do no bad song. Everybaddy a sing bout di same topic,” he said.
“Oonu memba when Aidonia sing Yeah Yeah… Popcaan- Party Shot like M-16’, yuh hol a vibe. None a dem song deh weh dem yah yute sing, nuh big like dem song deh. Mi know seh oonu know a nuh lie mi a tell enuh,” he added.
This is the second time this year since Neako has upbraided artists for carrying themselves like prison escapees, akin to the admonitions made by Foota Hype, who in late 2019 said that the upcoming artists were carrying themselves so poorly, that even the members of their entourages looked better than them.
In March, Neako had condemned those whom he said were walking “up and dung” wearing their pants with the waists at their knees whilst showing off their underpants.
“Oonu style disgusting man. Mi nuh like it… Oonu a teck up dis Yankee style. Wha happen to oonu cut off jeans and Clarks, dem deh stop wear?” he asked rhetorically, about the style made famous by Vybz Kartel has, who in 2010, single-handedly turned Jamaican youth from copying the attire of American rappers, even making a simple white t-shirt a huge fashion statement on the island.
Kartel had even made the rosaries worn by Catholic priests become the hottest fashion trend in Jamaica after he embedded a verse in his song Straight Jeans and Fitted, declaring that in regards to his peculiar fashion and style, ‘Mi rosary chain a di purest’, while sporting the adornment in the accompanying music video.
At the time, rosaries had sold out in Jamaica, so much so that even the Catholic Church had to write an article in the Sunday Gleaner’s magazine section, pointing out to the deejay that the name was simply rosary and not ‘rosary chain’. Some priests had even given accounts of young men constantly bombarding them with requests for rosaries as a result.
Historically, Jamaican artists have taken care to put a lot of thought into how they dress themselves, whether for performances or anytime they are in public.
In fact, their dress code is as critical as the quality of their performances. Beenie Man has always been on the list of the top dressers in Dancehall over the years, as have been Shaggy, Sean Paul, General Degree, Lady Saw and Macka Diamond.
Other artists have been known for their signature looks, among them Bounty Killer and Vybz Kartel for their monochromatic black and white tailored garments respectively, Dexta Daps for his suits and form-fitting jeans, and Ninja Man for his Met Gala-type garbs.