CL-Week 6: Response to “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” (Vasudevan)

Before reading “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”, I had little knowledge of Jamaica. Now this article has given me a general impression of this Caribbean country, especially about its music. Reggae music, and later Hip Hop music that was derived from it, can both find their origins in Jamaican ghettos. Living in China where music is often influenced by politics, I am not at all surprised at the relationship between music and politics in Jamaica. Due to the conflicts between different parties along with the economic decline thereafter, Jamaican citizens chose reggae to express their feelings and wishes. In the mean time, politicians noticed the power of local music, and they wanted to use music to maintain social harmony. I am not against connecting music to politics, but I also do not encourage this phenomenon. During the election of American president last year, I admired that American singers and actors could freely present their standpoints. For them, music seemed a neutral art that could not be controlled by politics. Under the specific background, Jamaican music has developed into what we can observe nowadays. However, different from Chinese music affected by politics, the Jamaican music has much more passion and flexibility, which is very interesting to make further research. In terms of the story of Clive (later called Kool Herc), I really enjoyed reading about his growth in playing music. It is like witnessing the flourish of a new culture.

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