Search I-Reggaenation

Saturday, August 13, 2011

GREAT INTERVIEW: Jimmy Cliff on the ignorance of skin bleaching and the sexual explicitness of dancehall

Reggae star Jimmy Cliff talks to Davina Hamilton about the ‘ignorance’ of skin bleaching and the sexual explicitness of dancehall
Written by Davina Hamilton 
11/08/2011 11:08 AM

BEHIND his softly spoken exterior, Jimmy Cliff is a man with much to say. Mind you, with a career that’s spanned over four decades, it’s no surprise that the reggae veteran has seen plenty, done plenty and formed many opinions.

Heading to the UK next month for a one-off performance at London’s IndigO2, the 63-year-old remains an energetic live performer with a genuine passion for his art. Describing himself as “one of the creative forces of reggae music,” the Jamaican star is well-versed on all things reggae and admits he’s not the greatest fan of some of the genre’s current output.

“In terms of where reggae is today… you have two kinds of reggae,” says the singer, who shot to international prominence with hits including The Harder They Come and Many Rivers To Cross. “You have those artists who express what we call roots and culture; people like Tarrus Riley and Queen Ifrica. And then there’s the other side of reggae, which is more about girls, cars and superstars, as well as an being an insight into the lives the artists live.

“I don’t like to call it negative; I guess it’s more of a pessimistic reality. I don’t really like it being that way, let’s put it like that. But I can’t stop it. Negative and positive exists in life, that’s just the way it is. I accept that [side of the music] for what is… but I’m happy to know that the roots and culture is still going strong.” .... [READ FULL INTERVIEW]


  1. Prescious moment for me is Then, when i found a great knowlege providing post. For this time, i am very much happy as i come through your blog and availed an oppertunity to fine such a valuable knowledge. praising your effort is a necceassary task for me.... Outstanding indeed.

  2. It's a harsh and bitter reality. You can obviously see the media's influence here (how they set the trend and perception of beauty). The reason why their skin tone is darker compared to other races is because these people needed the extra protection from the sun's harmful rays. If you'll look at the globe, the places where black people have originated sit at the equator where the sun's rays hit straight.