(A.I.M Inc.): What is Island Pop? That’s the question on the lips of industry insiders. Is it a genre, a fad, or a just a ‘flavor’? Seasoned musicians say it not a genre. Record executives respond by saying: It’s selling like hot bread. Dancehall purists say it’s not new, its still dancehall. None-the-less, the benchmark trendsetters (19-year old teenage listeners) are adamant: Change is good.
The hottest songs in the streets of Kingston today are miles away from the classic dancehall sound. Artistes like Rihanna and Sean Kingston have found success by swinging those Caribbean accents on R’n’B and hip hop flavored tracks. Other artistes finding their way in this ‘genre’ include Serani, Demarco, Voicemail, Tami, Tifa, and even hard-core DJ Vybz Kartel. Then there are songs such as the 2009 summer smasher ‘Holiday’, or Richie Loops 2010 hit ‘My Cup’. Notice something?
As generations come of age, change is inevitable. Some fear change while others embrace it. Even in Jamaica we have had our share of genres and forgotten sub-genres driven by the generation gap – OUR MUSIC has changed from Ska to Rocksteady to Reggae to Dancehall.
And now, a new type of music is emanating from Jamaican streets and studios. Will it stick around? You decide. Razz and Biggy’s new mix tape entitled ‘Island Pop’ brings the musical arguments in this new phenomenon while still managing to keep a high energy dancehall vibe.