'Tis the season for dancehall rivalry

Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter

'Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also the time when word-throwing and diss songs among dancehall rivals seem to intensify.

Somewhat of a stalwart in the clash game, dancehall artiste Ninja Man says dancehall rivalry "Is one of the greatest part of the music, but you have to keep it on a positive level and give good competition whether you win or lose."

He continued: "You have negativity 'cause you have artistes that take it personal. If you are not a positive artiste, you will let out nothing but negativity."

As for his career, he says the clashes that he has been involved in over the years have done quite a great deal for him.

"Every time mi murder a deejay pon the stage, mi get a bigger stripe," said Ninja Man, who has been in clashes with acts like Super Cat, Merciless, Papa San, Vybz Kartel and Shabba Ranks.

Ninja Man added that Bounty Killer and Beenie Man have been rivals for most of their careers and it has also helped to keep them relevant in the industry although they mainly clash via their songs.

Isaiah Laing, promoter of Sting, also believes that rivalries benefit the industry.

"It put the industry on an edge, but it makes the artistes put their A-games together," he said.

Even in cases where persons lose, he says they are also winners as their names are still on the lips of many persons. Laing even made reference to the Vybz Kartel and Mavado clash at Sting in 2008 where "both of them came out on top, and their prices skyrocketed worldwide."

He added: "Sting is the platform for dancehall rivalries. Once you go to Sting and do well, you put on your pot for the following year."

Newer to the industry, Iyara says, "Rivalry helps, but when they bring it to a violent level, it don't help it there. Beenie and Bounty have been rivals and it keeps their careers current."

While he does not have a specific rival, he says he will lyrically attack anyone who insults Alliance leader, Bounty Killer.

"I don't have a main rival, but the fact that I say Alliance, Bounty Killer rivals are my rivals. A so Deva Bratt did get him face kick off. Him neva diss me, him diss Killer. Him haffi pass me before him get to Killer but him neva so good," he told THE STAR.

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