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Shaggy Says Dancehall Is Overdue For Billionaires

Shaggy has proclaimed that Dancehall is long past due for the creation of billionaires, akin to Hip Hop, which has produced billionaires wit...

Shaggy has proclaimed that Dancehall is long past due for the creation of billionaires, akin to Hip Hop, which has produced billionaires within its mainstream era.

"Hip Hop is the only genre that has created 7 billionaires in 20 years," he declared during his keynote speech at the Island Music Conference (IMC) currently underway in Kingston, Jamaica.

"Hip Hop is about 50 years old and if we are talking about hip hop being mainstream it has only been mainstream for about only 20 years and it's within that time when you saw those billionaires which is a record number," he revealed.

Shaggy, who is Chairman of the IMC, emphasized the need for upcoming dancehall artists to equip themselves with knowledge and leverage available online resources to navigate the music industry. "The future is not Shaggy and Sean Paul, they ( new artists) are the future but they should be armed with the knowledge and the know how…" he said. "By coming to these things and by tapping into their devices…everything you do requires due diligence. There are tutorials on Youtube teaching these things. Information is easy. There is nothing that artists need now that they can't get. There are so many things to learn that are readily available online."

He added that dancehall creators need to recognize their value. "What we have to start doing is realizing our value and create a movement… Shaggy and Sean are not the future, I'm sorry, it is these young artists," he reiterated.

Shaggy, whose debut album Pure Pleasure turned 30 last year, highlighted the genre's unique "cool factor" that artists from other genres continue to tap into and maximize. He urged Dancehall artists to capitalize on this and be willing to step out of their comfort zones to achieve greatness

"If you're smart and have the work ethic and willing to take chances, those billionaires all made it doing this. We are the genre that has the cool factor and continues to have that cool factor and I tell you this because I have been doing this for 35 years and I go in all these rooms all over the world and I'm telling you when you go into a room, they want to be like you," Shaggy asserted.

He also reasoned that Jamaican artists have to be willing to endure discomfort to tap into the opportunities that will generate billionaire opulence.

"We need to recognize what we have and really put our best foot forward in trying to capitalize on it and trying to make it bigger and do not be scared of actually stepping out because you cannot achieve greatness without being uncomfortable. You only find your best when you are outside of your comfort zone, and you need to be uncomfortable to make that happen, I say it over and over everyday, you do not want to be the hamster on the wheel," he advised.

Shaggy continued: "If you're the smartest guy in the room then you are in the wrong room, always be around people that are smarter than you, who have achieved more than you who can teach you something and you can learn from them because no matter what room you are in and I have been in a couple of room with billionaires, sometimes everyday and there is one thing they don't have and that is the cool factor and that's what we have in abundance here. If we can take the cool factor and the talent we have here and merge it with some work ethics then we will be unstoppable."

Investors Are Slow

Shaggy also criticized financial institutions and investors for their hesitance to invest in Dancehall, a fetter that has delayed the genre's creation of billionaires.

"Some of these financial institutions and investors are slow to think, they are slow to trigger to think that they would come in and be a part of that because they may think that the music is not tangible but it's very tangible, culture is tangible. There is nothing that is sold without culture," he said.

"In Hip Hop when we see what Kanye is doing, a lot of that is culture and there is no bigger culture than this culture, so what we want is for financial institutions to stop looking at the music like it's not tangible. There are catalogues these days…the catalogues itself is tangible. We need a lot more of our financial institutions to get involved in the culture," he added.

The Right Team

The Mr. Boombastic singer further stressed on the importance of having the right team around an artist to complement them on their musical journey.

"No matter how good you are as an artist, no matter if you are at your peak, if the people around you are not sharing the same vision, you naw go mek it .it impossible. Everybody, the person who is your manager, the person who is your agent, the person who is your social media manager, they have to be pro. That means if the interview starts at 8, you haffi deh deh from 6 because we are dancehall, we do not have the privileges of every other genre," he shared.

He further reasoned that because Dancehall has such a small percentage of the market share, the genre definitely needs a superstar to force a paradigm shift.

"Our genre is like 2 % and number 10 in listenership. We have a small piece of the pie, you definitely can't have bargaining power with that unless you have a superstar that has superhero like talent, charisma, charm, work ethic, all a that inna one. Being a superstar is hard inno, you haffi remember that it is so hard to get to that level, they put groups together," he reasoned.

"Stars represent culture, superstars shift culture and there is always a culture shift, and it just takes a superstar," Shaggy opined.

"To find an artist that possesses all of these things, charisma, charm, work ethic, all a dem inna one and talent and can sing and can dance and can conduct interview and  can take over a conversation and full up a room inna one person, that's a hard find, they put groups together to do that so to ask one artist to do that is very tough."

The IMC, in its second year, will run until February 25.

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Frequency Gang : Shaggy Says Dancehall Is Overdue For Billionaires
Shaggy Says Dancehall Is Overdue For Billionaires
Frequency Gang
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