Dancehall artists seem to be torn on the issue of trap-dancehall. While some believe that the new subset of dancehall is just part of the necessary growth of the genre, some veterans believe it is too divergent from its roots.
One veteran artist, Elephant Man, has made it clear that while he is not against the new emerging trap dancehall or other variations for that matter, he remains focused on the old-school style of dancehall. That energetic style that he’s become synonymous with has been infused into his latest track, “The Prettiness Fi Me.”
Elephant Man spoke with the STAR and explained that he’s chosen to stick to his style because he’s hoping to help spread some positive vibes and energy to the fans. This is especially needed in light of the pandemic, he added. That’s also why he waited until this month, December, to drop the track on the Giggy rhythm.
The rhythm samples Steelie and Clevie’s classic 1991 Giggy rhythm and Cassette Jones produced the track.
“When you go to a party and hear the rhythm, you know this is a sure banger; and this is one of the rhythms weh stand up in our dancehall culture,” he added. The rhythm also brings back positive memories for fans, which could help them enjoy the track even more. As he described it once, the rhythm drops, “everybody get mad, so that’s the idea of bringing back dah vibes deh.”
It also shows that classic dancehall can get people moving, he added. The “Pon De River” artist has already done work on the rhythm before. That was in 2005 when it was sampled by former duo Leftside and Esco in 2005. At that time, it was called the Throwback Giggy. Elephant Man recorded two tracks on the project called “Play Hard Fi Get” and “Tight” featuring Action K.
Elephant Man intends to keep the new tracks coming as well as he also recently released “Bla Bla Blaa” and “X-Rated.”
Even though his intention was to capture the glory days of dancehall, he still found time to put his magic touch on it and infuse some modern culture. This can be heard in the lyrics, which focus on one of the latest slangs, “for me.”
“The girls dem a talk ’bout ‘a the stand up for me’ and ‘a di hairstyle for me’, so we kinda just mek the best of both worlds meet up. When a new slang come ’round, you know Elephant Man always try endorse it because a our culture that, Jamaica run slangs,” he said.
This came easily to him since he is also known for creating some popular slangs himself like “shizzle” and “good to go.”
Besides the popularity of the slang, he believes that dancehall needs to return to its roots and support the ladies. He added that while so many artists are focusing on gun lyrics, he decided that he wanted to focus on something more positive.
The track has already amassed over 23,000 views on YouTube since its release in November. The comments also indicate that his unmistakable style is being appreciated by fans.
“DANCEHALL NEEDED THIS! it’s like a booster shot of real DANCEHALL,” one fan said, another added, “Elephant man never leave he was just watching them young nigg#s show them how man DJ on riddim Elephant the energy god maaaaad,” and this fan agreed, saying, “i like it! more like an old school beat. even the way the girls dressed is old school.”