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Dancehall Cah Stall

Dancehall music, also called ragga or dub, style of Jamaican popular music that had its genesis in the political turbulence of the late 1970s and became Jamaica’s dominant music in the 1980s and ’90s. Central to dancehall is the deejay, who raps, or “toasts,” over a prerecorded rhythm track (bass guitar and drums), or “dub.”

The seductive chant of the dancehall deejay—part talking, part singing—came to prominence in the late 1970s but dates from as early as 1969, when U-Roy experimented with talking over or under a “riddim” (rhythm). This multimodal African diasporic style also is evident in the hip-hop music of North America, and the origins of both can be traced to West African performance modes.