Shabba gives reasons for turning down BET

| September 24, 2013
Kerran CaribDirect staff writer

Staff writer – Kerran Monroe

Jamaica News. The Jamaican music community was all buzzing during and after the 2013 Black Entertainment Television (BET) awards of 2013 where Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Dawn Penn and Chaka Demus and Pliers performed.  The performance went so well that when Beenie Man and Elephant Man came back home, they were buzzing with news that the organizers wanted to make a Reggae/Dancehall segment a staple at the event.

Beenie Man also revealed that Dancehall veterans Shabba Ranks and Lady Patra were also invited to perform at the event but they turned it down.  Patra’s reason for turning it down was the person who delivered the message (whatever that means).

Shabba only recently gave his reasons for not taking up the offer to perform at the BET award ceremony.  When Winford Williams caught up with Shabba at an event in New York, Shabba expressed his displeasure at the fact that he would not have been able to walk the red carpet like everyone else.  He saw that as disregard on the part of BET.

He was also displeased at the fact that he had to share a stage with five other artistes; however not in a conceited way.  His displeasure stemmed out of concern of how Reggae and Dancehall music are treated like second class genres to the American and British genres of music.  He felt that one artiste could have done the performance; whether it is, himself, Beenie Man or any other proven performer of Reggae and Dancehall.

Shabba Ranks. Photo courtesy blogs.miaminewtimes.com

Shabba Ranks. Photo courtesy blogs.miaminewtimes.com

Hence, in essence, Shabba is just seeking what many have been seeking over the years and that is respect for Reggae and Dancehall from international award bodies such as the Grammys and BET.

Therefore, after listening to Shabba give his perspective on the matter and why he declined the offer to perform, I must say that I agree with his reasons for not performing; and I commend him for making his position clear by standing firm in what he believes.

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