Can’t Sideline Dancehall Music – Blakk Mexxiah
Afro Dancehall act Blak Mexxiah known in other circles as Gavana says nobody can sideline dancehall music since it has finally come to be accepted in the Ghana music industry. After a long struggle by dancehall artists to get DJ’s to play their songs during prime time radio, blakk mexxiah says Ghanaians have become familiar with the genre.
The impossibly charismatic artiste said this has become successful through the relentless efforts of some key dancehall artistes who refused to abandon dancehall for Hiplife. He cited the BASS Awards staged at the National Theater with a preceding huge concert at the Accra Sports Stadium as one high point of the growth of Ghana Dancehall music in Ghana.
Mexxiah described in an interview the early 90’s when both Hiplife and dancehall music were unfamiliar to Ghanaians “that was the Funworld days, x doe and his group were still struggling to name their genre, but I led a number of dancehall artists who were conscious of what they were doing”.
However, somehow Ghanaians accepted hiplife whole heartedly; Dj’s blasted more hiplife music than even high life music on radio. Hiplife artists received all the glory during the mid and late 90’ till now. During this time, dancehall music was relegated to the background “the Dj’s simply refused to play dancehall music on radio; at best they mixed it with reggae which has received its own share of isolation” he added that “unlike hiplife, our getting dancehall accepted has been rather a long struggle”.
He says most critics of dancehall music are ignorant of the genre and must not hasten to condemn what they are not educated about. He said as much as dancehall artists are to be blamed for their exclusion in mainstream music , “huge blame must be placed on radio presenters and DJ’s who hypocritically sideline dancehall music”.
Mexxiah is known to many dancehall music enthusiasts as talented poet musician with rich industry experience spanning his days with the late Mac Tontoh and the legendary Osibisa kete warrior’s band which toured the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.