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This is BrukOut! Seani B discusses the controversial Ishawna

NOT SCARED: Ishawna's Equal Rights has sparked controversy within the circles of dancehall music

CONTROVERSY IN any form of music is nothing new. The shock factor has always meant that you become a topic of conversation, and as they say, there is no such thing as bad press.
Within the dancehall and reggae circles the theme of “slackness” and sexually graphic content has been prevalent since the seventies.

The more “experienced” readers who have been around for a while will remember the Trojan Records series “Tighten Up” which pushed the boundaries back in the day.

The nineties saw the likes of Shabba Ranks bring sex to the digital dancehall revolution and more recently Gage, Vybz Kartel and Alkaline amongst others have broken down any censorship guidelines and told it as it is.

It seems to be very much “on trend” at the moment, and dancehall veterans like Bounty Killer and Sizzla have been very vocal in airing their strong views of the seeming immorality that seems to have swept Jamaica in their typical unapologetic manner.

Dancehall has never been squeaky clean to say the least but certain subjects were always frowned upon. Shabba had a massive hit in the ‘90’s with ”Dem Bow”, but in 2017 that record has no relevance for some.

The new school artists and some of the tracks I am receiving at the moment have a new level of slackness that I've never seen and heard before. Some of your favourite dancehall songs have raw uncut versions that have frightened me at times.

Even with their steadfast stance this has not slowed down the pace of some of these records. However, Ishawna has taken it to a new height. Dancehall is unquestionably male dominated and never has the dominance been challenged in this way.

Her track “Equal Rights” which is on the Ed Sheeran “Shape Of You” beat has been the most talked about element of dancehall in the last three weeks. It celebrates the desire of receiving oral sex from a female perspective and breaks the silence from female artists and fans alike.
This has not gone down well in the male circles, with some sound system owners refusing to have the track played on their set and there are also online opinion pieces from the likes of Ninjaman and countless “commentators”.

I spoke about this on my BBC Radio 1Xtra show, giving context to the debate, and I was not ready for the avalanche of messages that it threw up. It is a real divider!

Some may read this and think "really?" - I have to raise a coy smile as I type this because it is all real!!!! This isn't WWE wrestling. The response, reaction, backlash or how ever you want to describe it is very real.

Those outside of the dancehall bubble may not fully understand the issue, but culturally this is a bone of great contention.

Ishawna has said that she feels she has the right to sing about anything she likes and in 2017 this should not be an issue. Check her twitter feed and you will see she is not alone in thinking this – she has the full backing of the ladies across the globe. Kiprich has made a “counteraction” version (which he calls a “correction to the song” which basically lets people know exactly why he is against this as well as the funny Noah Powa skit where he mimics Bounty Killer reacting to hearing the song.

Personally I don't see what the fuss is about. If the male artists of this world are allowed to say certain things with little or no backlash I think everyone needs to calm down and be sensible regarding the Ishawna tune.

I’m sure she has expressed I'm sure what many women feel and in 2017 and with so much bigger and more damaging things happening in the world, I think people need to put this recorded piece of material in perspective.

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