VETERAN sound system selector Ricky Trooper says too much of contemporary dancehall sounds like hip hop and rhythm and blues. He is urging artistes and producers to return to the roots of drum and bass.
Trooper, whose real name is Garfield McKoy, made the comments at the Jamaica Music Conference last Sunday at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
"The state weh di music is in right now, 95 per cent of weh dem a produce is rubbish. Many of the artistes dem weh seh dem a run di place with a bag of noise is not Jamaican music they are into... A music weh nuh come out of Jamaica; rap and R&B," Trooper insisted.
Many dancehall acts, keen to break into the North American market, have fused their sound with hip hop. Some have had success.
Trooper was part of the panel, "Reaching The People: The Direct to Consumer Relationship", on closing day of the three-day conference.
He also said the sound system, critical to the development of Jamaican music, does not get the respect it deserves.
"The sound system culture to me was the beginning of Jamaican music. That was how Ska was born...We have more than 1,000 active sound systems in Jamaica an' a lot of the sound systems are making the young people's voice be heard out there. The sound systems deserve a little more respect. After all the festivals are over, the sound systems never over," Trooper declared.
-- Basil Walters