Column: Anger Management – Busy Signal, “Pon Dem”

12 May

The lyrical ammunition that feeds dancehall’s infinite archive of deejay conflict is fascinating for the dramatic posturing but also important because an angry deejay can be a lyrical murder if they have the capabilities. In some ways it’s what proves a deejay has reached status in the patriarchy (because dancehall is a patriarchy) or is trying to inoculate themselves into the circle. And if you’re young and poor in Jamaica, there is plenty to be angry about.

Since the beginning of the year, we haven’t been feeling the heat from many of dancehall’s “top” deejays, and call me nuts but a bout of anger is sometimes the best medicine for a) purging of societal corruption b) challenging the unchallenged c) invigorating a watered down career. The Anger Management column celebrates every thing about the angry deejay that we love to hate and hate to love. Check it out after the jump.

A venomous Busy Signal is one of my favorite facets of the dancehall. Closely followed is the hateful rattle of Aidonia or the paranoid schizophrenia of Bounty Killer. Recently Busy raised his weapon with stiff aim at ravaging the “pussyholes” of the world on “Pon Dem” off Di Genius’ Wildlife Riddim (released in April). Using the attack method of K.D. Knight (see Manett-Phelps) he goes in relentlessly with an insatiable craving for blood. See 1:09 where he slides off the top and carries the song seamlessly down the back slope. It’s in Busy’s ability to align rhythm and meter with lyrical purpose in this song that makes him exceptional as a deejay. Whether you’re a hater or not, you have to see the value in that.

Busy Signal, “Pon Dem”


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