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Dancehall - Book

The Rise Of Jamaican Dancehall Culture

Soul Jazz Books

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Beth Lesser's definitive study of the 1980s Jamaican Dancehall scene features hundreds of exclusive photographs and accompanying text that captures a vibrant, globally influential and yet rarely documented culture that has been mixing music, fashion and lifestyle with aplomb since its inception. With unprecedented access to the incredibly vibrant music scene during this period, Beth Lesser’s photographs and text are a unique way in to a previously hidden culture.

Dancehall is at the centre of Jamaican musical and cultural life. From its roots in Kingston in the 1950s to its heyday in the 1980s, Dancehall has conquered the globe, spreading to the USA, UK, Canada, Japan, Europe and beyond.

Dancehall is a culture that encompasses music, fashion, drugs, guns, art, community, technology and more. Many of today’s global music and fashion styles can be traced back to Dancehall culture and indeed continue to be influenced by it today.

Born in the 1950s out of the neighbourhood jams of Kingston, Dancehall grew to its height in the 1980s before a massive influx of drugs and guns made the scene too dangerous for many.

This jam-packed visual history and text tells the story from its roots to its heights from that rarest vantage of the true, respected insider. In the early 1980s as Jamaica was in the throws of political and gang violence Beth Lesser ventured where few others dared and this book is a never before seen record of the exciting, dangerous and vibrant world of Dancehall.

 

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