Wayne & Wax on metrosexual tendencies in Jamaican dancehalls

posted on September 24th, 2008 by in Article, Fashion, Video

TightPants

This must be one of the best blog posts about Jamaican popular culture I´ve ever read – head over to Wayne & Wax – a place which is always worth a visit when looking for hi-quality links – and check his view on a Jamaican dancehall scene.

A scene, in which anti-gay lyrics still are an easy forward while especially dancing crews show what Wayne calls metrosexual references in their fashion, styling, and routines. Also, his observations on the role of the web for the relationship between Jamaica and its diaspora are pretty interesting.

What is of most interest to me in all of this is, to put it clunkily: the increasing and vividly/video-ly mediated exchange between yard and foreign, JA and BK(etc.), and the way that Jamaican and black (youth) cultural politics have been changing as a result of this greater degree of (digital) cultural production and p2p exchange. Jamaican (countercultural) style, at least since independence, has been very much animated by cosmopolitan/metropolitan movements and strivings. It’s not surprising that as black (American) youth culture has embraced rockstar/nerdcore/racially-transgressive style — often marked by what might be labeled “metrosexual” fashion — so have Jamaican youth in Brooklyn and Kingston alike, an ambivalent development for many observers/participants but nothing truly beyond the pale as far as JA-appropriations of foreign steez go (just check 70s reggae photos for tight clothes that put today’s fashions to shame).