Jamaica 2.0

Jamaica is pretty much on the other side of the digital divide, except for weird parts of the entertainment industry that seem to be embracing web 2.0. Check it:

This video, by popular group Voice Mail (hilarious, I know), features itself on what is obviously a parody of YouTube, “VTube”. What’s really interesting to me is how meta the video is–the video is about the video teaching everyone how to dance. It’s almost Mims-quality. Also, the VTube logo looks mysteriously like Gmail’s…hmmm…

Another great example: reggae star Sizzla, known for his devotion to the Bobo Ashanti branch of Rastafarianism and his Alien-esque headwraps, has just released a new album called “I-Space“. Yes, the name is a mashup of Iyaric and web 2.0. Yes, it’s AMAZING. None of the songs have to do with Myspace, of course, but Sizzla, like almost all Jamaican artists, has a Myspace page.

Really, the Myspace approach makes total sense for Jamaica, where the music scene is much more bottom-up than it is in the states. In fact, the #1 song in Jamaica right now, Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls”, only got produced when Sean Kingston repeatedly bugged Beyonce’s producer on Myspace until he gave him a chance. What doesn’t make sense is that much of the force behind this bottom-up culture comes from downtown Kingston, where internet access is not really readily available. What does it mean when most people don’t have access to the internet, but the artists are starting to rely on MySpace? I have no idea, but I guess Jamaica is about to find out.


1 Response so far »

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    […] started to create a web presence for itself–most remarkably, the Jamaican music scene has exploded onto MySpace to connect with dancehall and reggae fans in Jamaica and […]

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