$7,982
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92
backers
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Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Oct 20 2018
Constanze & AlisaBy Constanze & Alisa
First created
Constanze & AlisaBy Constanze & Alisa
First created
$7,982
pledged of $30,000pledged of $30,000 goal
92
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Oct 20 2018

About

Dear Friends, Family, Kickstarter Community and Dancehall Lovers,

We are overwhelmed by and grateful to each and every one of you who have come together to help us raise $8,000 towards our production goal. The support we have received from you has been amazing and we are appreciative of all of you.

Also we are grateful for the support from the outlets that have covered our campaign, namely Fader, Complex, Reggaeradio.it. In addition, we have upcoming coverage in Billboard, Rolling Stone, Vice, Guardian, Hot 97, and have been supported by some of the most amazing entertainers such as Diplo, Jackie Cruz and Yvonne Orji, as well as fashion influencers Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What, TK Wonder, Kristen Noel Crawley and Ugo Mozie. We are very thankful to Kickstarter who gave us the 'Project We Love' stamp of approval and highlighted us in their newsletter.

As first time crowd funders, we have learned an immense amount about the process, community and audience. That being said, we underestimated the time it would take to produce a Kickstarter campaign that we truly believe does justice to the book and to you. While we feel like we have been informative, there are many things we would like to improve on. The reason we decided to launch on Kickstarter is because we want the creation of this book to be a journey we share together. That means doing more than sharing information. We want to share the full experience, the artist's journey and make it a more personal experience. We also want to create a greater variety of rewards. To do this, we need a little more time. 

We have made the very difficult decision to discontinue the campaign and relaunch at the top of 2019. We are hopeful that you will stick with us and pledge your generous support again when we come back better than ever. We promise it will be worth the wait. 

Please note - your original & current pledges WILL NOT BE CHARGED. We will be reaching out to you thank you personally if we have your contact information. If you pledged as a "guest" without creating a Kickstarter account, we don't have access to your name, and cannot personally thank your or reach out to you, but please reach out to us at dancehallbook@gmail.com. 

 In the meantime, please stay in touch @dancehallbook on Instagram and on our website www.weofthedancehall.com where we will continue to release beautiful images post updates.

Thank you again for joining us on this adventure.

With love and gratitude, 

 Constanze (@constanzehan) and Alisa (@gingerjacobs)

If you pay attention to popular culture today, you have been exposed to Dancehall. If you listen to mainstream music today, you have heard the infectious tropical influence that is rooted in Dancehall. The legacy of this genre of music and culture is cross-cultural, yet it is often overlooked and under-credited.

 “There is nothing in the world named ‘dancehall music’. Dancehall is just a yard – you put a sound there, that’s dancehall. When I was a youth, you have a place like Chocomo Lawn - it was like the people’s yard. Sounds like Coxsone set up in that place, sounds like Duke Reid. When I was a youth there was nothing named dancehall music. Every sound was playing dancehall music. Every sound was playing in the dancehall.”                                                                    - Errol 'Flabba' Holt, Roots Radic 

Dancehall is a genre of Jamaican popular music, sometimes classified as a subgenre of Reggae music, that originated in the late 1970's and early 1980's. It has since evolved into a globally influential, all encompassing culture. The name 'Dancehall' quite literally comes from the dance hall, which was a space, usually open-air like a street or lawn, where music was played and parties were held. Dancehall music developed in the urban areas of Kingston, Jamaica and was a response to the socio-political climate and the people’s need for expression, enjoyment and the ability to create a sense of identity.  

"Well the vibes did irie, yuh know. The vibes did irie. Cause yuh find say, if Black Scorpio play Hanover, road block. We play a Westmoreland, road block. Ochi, road block. Just some nice vibes. Cuh normally know say we never usually preach, teach certain thing like what them likkle youth a teach, we just talk about social comment, hear some drama and reality so the vibes did nice, believe me." -General Trees
"Well the vibes did irie, yuh know. The vibes did irie. Cause yuh find say, if Black Scorpio play Hanover, road block. We play a Westmoreland, road block. Ochi, road block. Just some nice vibes. Cuh normally know say we never usually preach, teach certain thing like what them likkle youth a teach, we just talk about social comment, hear some drama and reality so the vibes did nice, believe me." -General Trees

Jamaica has always had a strong musical tradition. The island's many talented musicians are responsible for the creation of several of the most well-known genres of music from Mento, to Ska, to Reggae, to Dancehall.

The foundation of Dancehall was the “sound system”. The sound system began in the inner cities of Kingston, Jamaica when a man would set up a record player and speaker, usually outside a bar or a small business, and play records. People who didn’t have access to the expensive uptown entertainment options or to transportation could enjoy music in what later on became complete social events. These events are what we now know as the dancehall. 

With the rise of the sound system, Jamaicans’ appetite for more music and new music grew. They no longer wanted to be restricted to the limited music selection played by the country’s two radio stations, or rely on recordings from the US and the UK. As a response, the production of local music skyrocketed,  and a recording industry was created to feed the sound system. 

In 1985, King Jammy’s Sleng Teng 'riddim' changed the course of Dancehall music. It was the first fully electronic riddim and represented the incorporation of technology into the dancehall. Fully electronic riddims meant that records could be made in the studio cheaper and faster than the previously live instrumental riddims that relied on human musicians. This, in turn, made production more accessible to new talent.   

“Them days we used to start deejay from like seven o’clock. Seven o’clock people start coming in and the dance sell out before ten. People outside can’t come in. Them time the currency was one for one with the US dollar, admission was two dollars to come in, and I would get like eight thousand dollars for the night, yeah man in the ‘80's.” -Yellowman
“Them days we used to start deejay from like seven o’clock. Seven o’clock people start coming in and the dance sell out before ten. People outside can’t come in. Them time the currency was one for one with the US dollar, admission was two dollars to come in, and I would get like eight thousand dollars for the night, yeah man in the ‘80's.” -Yellowman

The 1970’s marked a shift in the political climate of the country. A decade of Rastafarian-inspired roots and a sort of consciousness had spread internationally through Reggae music, and in some ways, alienated many locals who felt they could no longer relate to these messages that had not made any difference to the poverty, violence and everyday struggles they faced. 

Dancehall music emerged from these sentiments with new themes of dancing, sexuality, and violence. The importance of the 'deejay' or emcee reached new heights. Dancehall was relatable to working class people and their reality, and Dancehall parties became a place for them to escape.

Dancehall also became an economic driver for the citizens of many garrison communities that had limited access to financial resources. It facilitated various levels of low-barrier entrepreneurship. For instance, a person could cook a pot of soup, sell it outside a dance and make extra revenue to care for their family. On a larger scale, a successful weekly party brought regular money into a community. A popular sound system that played several nights of the week translated into an increase in various types of employment opportunities. Additionally, popular deejays and recording artists were offered opportunities to travel and work outside of the the country and improve their careers overseas. 

Because of the economic and social importance of Dancehall, in some ways it served as an unofficial peacekeeper and unifier of people. While Passa Passa, the famous weekly street party was held, it was safe to be in Tivoli Gardens, a notoriously volatile garrison at the time. People from rival political factions and diverse economic backgrounds would come together to enjoy the newest tunes, fashion trends, and dance. Orders were given from area leaders - the dons - that no one attending was to be bothered; and therefore, everyone could enjoy an unspoken certainty that they would not be harmed.  

"I was in the dance at age 5. I wait until my mom and pop gone a sleep. The dance was right in front of my house, anyway, so I just sneaked out of the house, went in the dance. They think I was a lost kid cuh people take their kids to dances, and they give me the mic to tell people my name, and my mother name and I said OK, I’m not a lost kid. I'm here to deejay. Run di riddim selector…damn place was on fire!” -Beenie Man
"I was in the dance at age 5. I wait until my mom and pop gone a sleep. The dance was right in front of my house, anyway, so I just sneaked out of the house, went in the dance. They think I was a lost kid cuh people take their kids to dances, and they give me the mic to tell people my name, and my mother name and I said OK, I’m not a lost kid. I'm here to deejay. Run di riddim selector…damn place was on fire!” -Beenie Man

The dancehall was a place where people would dress up in their best outfits, often custom made, their best jewels, and show off their best hats and accessories while dancing and forgetting their problems. People could create their own identity and experience a sense of pride because of it. In a visually oriented culture, fashion became an outlet for personal creativity and expression. 

Dancing was another important aspect of Dancehall. The creation of new movements and phrases for specific songs drove communities to grow closer together and reinforced a sense of identity.The dance movements would reflect the music through elements of energy, sexuality, aggression and also everyday life. Dancers became a major highlight and a source excitement in the Dancehall, and their movements and slang would filter into everyday Jamaican life. 

“You got to be happening, you got to know all the up to date dances. People look at you and hope to learn from you, that’s what a dancehall queen is.” - DHQ Latesha
“You got to be happening, you got to know all the up to date dances. People look at you and hope to learn from you, that’s what a dancehall queen is.” - DHQ Latesha

The influence of Dancehall music and Jamaican culture on modern popular culture around the world is undeniable. It is acknowledged as the precursor of Hip Hop, and has heavily informed the work of many Western artists such as Rihanna, Drake, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. However, the genre itself is continuously overshadowed—many of Dancehall’s pioneers are often under-credited and fail to receive recognition for their work.   

"Whether I have a hit song out or not, people always want to see me. Whether it's my blue hair, whether it's the shoes that I wear, whether it's the performance I'm going to do. People want to see Spice because I am always different." -Spice
"Whether I have a hit song out or not, people always want to see me. Whether it's my blue hair, whether it's the shoes that I wear, whether it's the performance I'm going to do. People want to see Spice because I am always different." -Spice
  • High quality, hardcover coffee table book
  • 196 Pages with over 100 pages of original, high resolution color photographs of Dancehall artists, dancers and other practitioners of the culture
  • Primarily photographed in Kingston, Jamaica and surrounding areas
  • Features stories from some of the creators and authentic Dancehall music and culture
  • Printed in Italy 
“Mi wish mi could a go a di ghetto and put every youth pon some different plane fi go out inna di world and see what di world is like. Because you know there are certain things them spend on they wouldn’t do it because they see.” -Popcaan
“Mi wish mi could a go a di ghetto and put every youth pon some different plane fi go out inna di world and see what di world is like. Because you know there are certain things them spend on they wouldn’t do it because they see.” -Popcaan

Dancehall has a colorful and rich history that needs to be celebrated and preserved. Because the culture originated as a response to struggle, documentation and preservation were not immediate concerns. In addition, Jamaican culture has a strong storytelling tradition, with many incredible stories passed down in conversations and were often not formally recorded. This book hopes to serve as an anthology that captures the essence of the culture and its creators in a way that has not been done before. 

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We believe that independently crowdfunding this book on Kickstarter is the only way for us to control the production without compromising its content and quality. It also allows us to print and release it at an affordable price. 

The funds raised from this campaign will go towards completing production of the book, (which is already 70% done), post production (editing, proofs, color correction), design and layout, and most importantly, printing the book at the highest quality possible. Other costs include a Kickstarter fee as well as a fee that will go towards our campaign production team. 

Author, Photographer & Producer: Constanze Han

Producer: Alisa Jacobs                                                                                  

Book Design & Layout: Jonna Mayer                                                                               

Illustrated Artwork: Robin Clare                                                                                            

Campaign Consulting: Kelly Angood, Alex Daly, and Théo Münch of Vann Alexandra                                                                                                              

Marketing & Press: Jolaubi Osho     

Video Editor: Ted Raviv 

Video Narration: Zuri Marley

Archival Video: Jack Sowah 

Special Thanks: Alison Unterreiner, Desmond Ballentine, Ruddy Rock, Mohamed Suliman, Jay Will, Carleene Samuels, Sharron Diedrichs

Ce'cile
Ce'cile
Ninjaman
Ninjaman
Vanessa Bling (Formerly known as Gaza Slim)
Vanessa Bling (Formerly known as Gaza Slim)

Risks and challenges

After almost four years of research, interviews, and production behind us, we have about 70% of our total written and visual content locked down. While there are several people that still need to be interviewed and photographed, design and editing are under way. We hope to complete production by June of 2019 and have the book sent out to print by August 2019, with a release date of December 2019.

Our aim is to produce the book to the highest possible standards, so the only risk and challenge would be the possibility of a slight delay, but we will stay in contact with all our backers through regular updates.

Thank you for your time and support!

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    Dancehall Photo Thank You Postcard

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    One 13 X 19 inch, archival limited edition (of 50) signed, numbered, fine art gallery print of your choice (based on edition availability) and one copy of the Book, We of the Dancehall. US shipping included.

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Funding period

- (35 days)