‘Gyallis’ culture cancelled - More dancehall artistes tying the knot
"So man fi have, nuff gal and gal inna bungle."
The infamous words of Beenie Man's song may have been the desired way of life for many artistes in 1997, but in today's dancehall landscape, having multiple partners does not seem to be the aspiration for the new generation.
Aidonia, Konshens, Mavado, selector Tony Matterhorn, Razor B, Agent Sasco, Voicemail's Kevin Blair, TOK's Craigy T and most recently Ding Dong have all tied the knot, distancing themselves from the 'bagga gyal' culture and pledging their hearts and souls to one woman for the rest of their lives.
But, with much of the lyrical content coming out of the dancehall still promoting a polygamous lifestyle, the question of whether the recent spate of marriages are just for show or a genuine move by dancehall entertainers to prove they are more than what they present in their songs.
In an interview with THE WEEKEND STAR, dancehall artiste Razor B, who will be celebrating his 26th wedding anniversary this August, boldly stated that the 'gyallis days' in dancehall are over.
"All a di gyallis dem married, the last gyallis was Ding," he said laughing. "Dancehall artistes have been growing and maturing a lot. Our eyes are wide open. We realise say nuff Delilah deh a road and so when we meet a Mary we a hold on don't let go."
He opined that he didn't think it was an act.
Appreciate women more
"What's the sense in getting married and spending hundreds of thousands on a wedding if yuh nuh mean it? If it was that someone just run to a city hall or something just to put on papers, then that I could maybe understand. But to go public with your wedding and the time and effort you put into it? I can't see an individual doing all that just for show," he said.
The entertainer said that men in the dancehall are starting to appreciate women more, especially the good ones.
"Behind every strong and successful man is a good woman. I am happy to see these young artistes settling down, because a lot of people have dancehall artistes as the biggest dogs in the industry and that's not quite so. Congratulations to all those who got married and will get married because it's one of the greatest moves a man will ever make in his life," he said.
Dancehall artiste-turned-producer Esco, although yet to tie the knot, respectfully suggested that many artistes from the past weren't as smart as current ones.
"It's a whole new set of thinkers now, so with that you're going to see more educated decisions. You're going to see people who have more respect for money, business, marriage and family. Nowadays artistes have a team of people around them so there's a different level of influence," he said.
He added that whether or not the marriages in recent times are a fluke, people should respect the artistes' growth.
"When you look at the vibe between say a Ding and his wife inna da setting deh, you can see say it genuine. I mean if they were acting, it would be damn good acting. A man nah go create him whole life and shape him whole life around somebody that him don't believe in," he said. "But regardless of whether or not this is trial and error or these are steady steps we're making in the industry, they are positive steps and I think that people should encourage and give even a little extra respect to the artistes weh make dem steps deh," Esco said.