With a career that dates back to the 1970s, Professor Nuts says this has always been a problem.
“I notice dat from day one. Mi nuh know if dem check seh comedian artiste a fool. We can create more impact than many controversial artistes. We impact the crowd wid lyrics,” he said.
Generally, he says the comedic artistes are often overlooked.
Fair share of respect
“We are not treated fairly because we are not creating any form of animosity. We don’t get that fair share of respect. It’s just the mind of the people,” Professor Nuts told THE STAR.
While they are being overlooked, he says comedy is necessary, based on the current state of the society.
“It is relevant. It is needed with all the wickedness going on. We need more fun and laughter in dancehall where we can alleviate everybody stress a little,” he said.
Also labelled as comedic artistes, Patrick Gaynor from Twin of Twins says other more controversial acts are taken more seriously based on the hardcore nature of their material.
“The problem is a subconscious one, in terms of the people. People get taken seriously by others through dem background which is legitimately hardcore,” he told THE STAR.
In the underground, he said Twin of Twins has beaten the stereotype but on a commercial level they are yet to reap a high level of success.
“We never set out fi do comedy, but a labelling drop we inna da corner deh,” he said.
While they have been classified as comedians, Gaynor says it takes a high level of intelligence to do comedy.
“Comedy is a type of work weh only intelligent people can do. No fool caan do dat. No fool caan talk to a crowd one on one. Twin of Twins has been doing work that marvel a lot of people and were invited to Harvard University for a lecture in 2007. That was never taken seriously,” he said.
Gaynor explained that they were scheduled to leave the island on the Saturday before the lecture but his son Zion died days before and they were forced to cancel the trip.
Dancehall artiste Mad Anju, who promises to make his return to the music industry this year, says he has also been labelled as a comedian.
“People will stereotype you. I will do a song but I never intend for it to be humorous, but based on how I express myself they think it’s comedy. You have to be careful or you will get labelled,” he said.
He explained that the core dancehall supporters are sometimes drawn to and give more support to hardcore lyrics.
“I guess they (comedic artistes) get kinda pushed aside. Maybe it’s because the disc jocks are being led by the demand of what the hardcore listeners want to hear and, in turn, they feed the people with that,” Mad Anju told THE STAR.
He also said corporate Jamaica is very hypocritical because they “support the same artistes weh dem claim seh a mislead the youths,” instead of some of the cleaner acts.
Writer: Sadeke Brooks