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Dancehall takes flight with Red Bull Culture Clash – Strict ban on expletives, gay-bashing

Billboard-charting producer Jah Snow Cone is excited about this weekend’s Red Bull Culture Clash and says it “shows that dancehall has come a long way”.

“It is a good look and excellent promotion for Jamaican music and culture. And the fact that Red Bull, which has hosted it in various cities internationally, is bringing it to Jamaica this year, is even more reason for me to be excited,” he shared with The Gleaner.

Snow Cone said that the clash would not allow the use of expletives and anti-gay rhetoric, practices that diverge with more traditional showdowns between rival sound systems.

“You can’t play certain kinds of songs. So nothing about gays, for example. People haffi just play. But yuh done know, a music we seh. We no deh yah fi bash nobody,” declared Snow Cone, who is part of the Do It For The Culture team, which is led by Grammy Award-winning producer and Jah Snow Cone’s mentor, Salaam Remy.

“Yeah, man, Salaam deh yah already,” he disclosed, agreeing that “special guests will be flying in”. But, of course, Snow Cone didn’t give any hint as to who those persons are.

Other members of Do It For The Culture are sound system owner Jack Scorpio, dancehall star Spragga Benz, disc jockey Bambino, and Disco Neil.


Snow Cone chuckled when quizzed about the number of dubplates his team has already cut in preparation for tomorrow’s clash.

“We cutting a fairly good amount,” was all he would say, shying away from specifics. “Everybody cutting a lot of dubplates,” he added, but cautioned that while having an arsenal of ‘specials’ is good, what is even better is knowing when to use them.

“It’s all about timing. Man can have nuff dubplate and it don’t make no difference. But then again, you know that people a go mek talk and bun out who dem fi bun out. Even the promo dem is a good feel. I know that it’s going to be special,” he reiterated.

Snow Cone revealed that some teams are in full promotion mode and have even secured their crowd. “Mi hear bout couple vanload a people wha some man send in already. We nah really a go hard, but mi like the energy,” he stated.

The Jamaica-born producer, who lived in the US for a while, acknowledged that Red Bull must be spending millions to make this happen.

“But it’s all about promotion for their brand. Yuh haffi spend money fi mek money. Dem actually a gain. It’s a good thing that Red Bull is doing and I wish that more of our local (Jamaican) brands would follow suit,” was his appeal.Snow Cone, whose international credits include the Applause rhythm, which featured Sean Paul’s Temperature, and also a European hit with Ring Ding for the Jam-British trio, LOC, pointed out that the Red Bull Culture Clash is a win-win situation. “It doesn’t matter who wins this clash because the culture is already the big winner.”

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