Shouts of ‘boo’ have long been the standard cue in the dancehall for entertainers to cut their losses and make a hasty retreat off the stage – before bottles begin to fly.
However, since Sting 2008, fans of dancehall artistes Vybz Kartel and Mavado have been voicing their opinions beyond the stage shows and taking it to the party scene.
On New Year’s Eve, loud cries of “boo”, to the shock of many patrons, rang out at parties such as Absinthe, 11:59 and Destination Las Vegas, when songs from lyrical rivals Kartel and Mavado were played. The trend continued at other events, including the weekly Bembe Thursdays last week, where overzealous fans proclaimed Gaza over Gully, or vice versa, thus keeping the lyrical clash from Sting alive and well.
For the selectors, it is a difficult spot to be placed in when patrons boo songs that are played. DJ Marc Chin of Coppershot Disco has seen it happen at a lot of parties since Sting and has had to play to the divided crowds.
“Each artiste have dem supporters, so it isn’t anything out of the ordinary … It happen wid Beenie and Bounty before.
“The rival tradition just continues in the Jamaican dancehall culture. In a way, it’s just like sports. Sporting fans boo the rival’s team. It’s something that will stop as soon as the confrontation dies down.”
Razz from Razz and Biggy also believes the phenomenon, which he has seen happen at a number of events, will peter out. According to Razz, this is the first time he has seen something like this happen in a party, as not even during the 15-year-long Bounty/Beenie feud did patrons bring their partiality to the party scene. He told the STAR, “It’s going to happen ’cause is like half seh Gully, half seh Gaza – is like the country split in half.”
Razz believes, however, that the unpleasant responses to certain songs is in part brought on by the selectors who play long sets of Kartel and Mavado clash songs.
“Di selectors, when they play a song a seh who seh Gaza, then they play another song and seh who seh Gully. For me I play so that people can just dance and party ’cause, obviously, if yuh seh Gully the Gaza people a go boo, and vice versa,” he said.
Selector Firelinks has tried to bring peace recently at New Year’s Bembe, telling music fans to keep the booing for the stage shows and keep the parties ‘nice’. After playing back-to-back Mavado and Kartel songs, he encouraged the fans not to take the music personal, but lyrical, and to encourage both artistes in their endeavours.