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October 1, 2009
Dancehall artist sings of poverty plaguing Jamaica’s ghettos

Correspondent Lisa Biagiotti reported on HIV, AIDS and homophobia in Jamaica for The Glass Closet, a multimedia project produced by the Pulitzer Center and Worldfocus. Lisa reported the signature story One island, two Jamaicas and a whole heap of difference with Micah Fink and Gabrielle Weiss.

Grace Hamilton, known as Spice, is one of Jamaica’s most prominent Dancehall artists. She and Vybz Kartel came under attack for their duet “Rampin’ Shop.” Not all of Spice’s songs are so sexually graphic. In the video below, Spice talks (and sings) about growing up in Jamaica’s ghettos.

Listen to the song Rampin’ Shop by Vybz Kartel and Spice that caused a culture war in Jamaica:




Jamaica works on get rid off Commies and works with Vietnam and Korean War Vets like me than you will be alright !!! Send Black Gestapo units to terminates Stalinist Commies today !!! As I writes , it will be done !!! I will process the Compensations !!! Today !!! Expect Good News !!!
Thanks for the Post Card and Contacting me !!! Jamaicans are good people !!! Well Respected !!! I went thru CUNY System and Have Master Degree in Security Management(United Nation Program )


As a lover of dancehall music my comment will be obviously in support of one side of the agruement. But that is okay because the Jamaica Broadcast Commission is also obviously bias when the band dancehall music for sexually explict language while soca, hip hop and rap music with explict language is played openly on the Jamaican airwaves and has never been written about by the people who are so called concerned about the “psyche of our nation”. Please note that these same people, and by that I mean uptown people, were opposed to Jamaica’s most recognized reggae artist Bob Marley until he was accepted international by white people. Dancehall has given creative people an avenue to express themself and also inter city or ghetto people an avenue by which to make money and move uptown if they so choose.


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This senario sounds very familiar! Right before the 2000’s there where statistics released in the US. We as black and Latino have the highest rate of hiv cases in the nation.

These statistics where released right after the epidemic of rappers releasing raps with sexually and violently explicit lyrics. Just like dance hall music.

We think,its just s song! Truth is music goes straight to our sole! So, the music along with the repetiveness of the music we are bound to be influenced by the song and vedio that ‘s being played.

Before we know it Jamacia will have a highest rate of sexually transmitted disease than Any other country as well as the highest rate for hive/aids…


I was surprised that very little mention of the particular dance craze known as daggerin’ was in the report. Dancehall both conscious and sexual in nature has been popular for years and is sometimes credited as a forerunner to Hip Hop music in the U.S. The corollary to Hip Hop music is also worthwhile as many have said that Hip Hop is dead because the same strain of ghetto life/sexuality/drugs that the Uptown crowd object to is the one that gets airplay here in the U.S. and as the Dancehall music that is played in the clubs. That said, Dancehall music as a whole is also blessed with many conscious and uplifting artists. I expected more depth from World Focus – I’m disappointed in this superficial story.

I would love a follow up story that discussed the language differences alluded to in this story. There is also a great debate in Jamaica over the recognition of Jamaican Patois as more then just an English dialect of the ghetto, but rather a language of it’s own to be embraced by this proud nation.


Very informative segment. I really enjoyed watching. Thank you.


this segment was fascinating but way, way too brief. I hope to see a longer report on this subject. A documentary on the social and cultural history of Jamaica would be welcome.


I was surprised to come across this since I don’t watch tv very often at home. I live in Portland and have been a fan of dancehall music for about six years and going. It’s music that I love from a culture that is beautiful and tragic because of the struggle people have to go through there. I would like to see more on this subject and world music in general. I would like to see a follow up piece, I think it’s an issue that many understand even in the States. Thank you and keep up the hard work.

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