Sound Clash by Carolyn Cooper
Jamaican Dancehall Culture at Large

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Megawattage sound systems have blasted the electronically enhanced riddims and tongue-twisting lyrics of Jamaica's dancehall DJs across the globe. This high-energy raggamuffin music is often dissed by old-school roots reggae fans as a raucous degeneration of classic Jamaican popular music. In this provocative study of dancehall culture Carolyn Cooper, Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, offers a sympathetic account of the philosophy of a wide range of dancehall DJs: Shabba Ranks, Lady Saw, Ninjaman, Capleton, Buju Banton, Anthony B, Apache Indian. She demonstrates the ways in which the language of dancehall culture, often devalued as mere 'noise,' articulates a complex understanding of the border clashes that characterise Jamaican society. Cooper also analyses the sound clashes that erupt in the movement of Jamaican dancehall culture across national borders.

About Carolyn Cooper

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Carolyn Cooper is a professor at the University of the West Indies. She is the author of Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender, and the 'Vulgar' Body of Jamaican Popular Culture.
Published September 15, 2004 by Palgrave Macmillan. 368 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Although Jamaican dance-hall music exists as a subculture in the U.S., its rhythms, its outrageous and funky performances and its brash DJs rule much of the musical culture in Jamaica.

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