Sound Clash

Jamaican Dancehall Culture at Large


Megawattage sound systems have blasted the electronically enhanced riddims and tongue-twisting lyrics of Jamaica's dancehall DJs across the globe. This high-energy raggamuffin music is often dissed by old-school roots reggae fans as a raucous degeneration of classic Jamaican popular music. In this provocative study of dancehall culture Carolyn Cooper, Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, offers a sympathetic account of the philosophy of a wide range of dancehall DJs: Shabba Ranks, Lady Saw, Ninjaman, Capleton, Buju Banton, Anthony B, Apache Indian. She demonstrates the ways in which the language of dancehall culture, often devalued as mere 'noise,' articulates a complex understanding of the border clashes that characterise Jamaican society. Cooper also analyses the sound clashes that erupt in the movement of Jamaican dancehall culture across national borders.
  • Palgrave Macmillan; September 2004
  • ISBN: 9781403982605
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Sound Clash
  • Author: Carolyn Cooper
  • Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan

In The Press

'Cooper makes compelling - and as usual - controversial arguments about the fundamental relevance of dancehall music to the critical understanding of Jamaican culture to claat.' - Colin Channer, author of Satisfy my Soul and Waiting in Vain

About The Author

Carolyn Cooper is a professor at the University of the West Indies. She is the author of Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender, and the 'Vulgar' Body of Jamaican Popular Culture.