Got Rhythm?

Music and dance are in almost everything we do. Music, that’s for everyone. Dance, not so much.
When I say dance, I don’t mean the ‘hands in the air’ stuff. I mean the kind that leaves blood, sweat and tears on the floor. The kind that when the white people saw it for the first time, thought we were possessed by demons.
There isn’t a lot of traditional music like that any more. But music with a beat to drive you mad is still there.  And for the young and flexible, that music is dancehall reggae.
Let me explain.
There is a fine line between sensual and crass. In dance hall reggae, that line has been blurred and then crossed several times over. I could complain about it, but that’s not what this is about. The target audience is teenagers with sex on their minds, what’s wrong with saying it?
It’s dirty. The kind of dirty that makes that movie dirty dancing look tame. ( I don’t think it needed any help.)
Now, dancehall reggae is gyration and crotch rubbing. It should by all accounts be disgusting to anyone who is not a hormonal teenager.
But it is not. Because even the dirtiest- especially the dirtiest lyrics, are accompanied with a beat.
That beat, the percussion that has feet tapping on the ground, cannot be disgusting. Thousands of years ago, a few hundred miles from where I am typing this, our ancestors discovered music. That first instrument was a drum. And maybe for us, and for all those like us across the globe, the beat is inescapable.
A people stolen away centuries ago have found something that we are all in danger of losing. So grind on teens. If you listen hard enough it is the music of our ancestors.


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