For the morally-conscious individual, it is very easy to write off dancehall music because of the disturbing lyrics (often violent and near-pornographic) that have come to characterize the genre. Those who understand the music however, will contend that this is not a true reflection of the original dancehall music that started in Jamaica as a sub-genre of the conscious, liberating and righteousness powered reggae music. Like a normal child, dancehall became more morally decadent with every step it took further away from its mother genre. In the process, love gave way to hardcore pornography and the rant for justice gave way to wanton violent lyrics strong enough to shock the unprepared mind.
Black I shot onto the scene with the bellwether-ing Tininii Kwano (the right way) that effortlessly forced a fan base into place leaving them yearning for more. His latest offering; Maanaa is a love story like no other. It is a commendable reverence of the African woman through the Rastafarian cultural conduit leading to the much needed heavy dose of consciousness for the neutralization of the debauchery in the music. The lyrics glorify culture in countless ways as much as it upholds the powerful image of the African woman. It promotes the unadulterated version of her character and bares the often not so evident African man’s love for his woman. Maanaa is a masterful work of art not only in lyrics but also in sound and quality. It is a well-crafted crossover born out of a fusion of traditional dancehall and hip-hop that is guaranteed to win the hearts of even non-dancehall enthusiasts. This great piece was produced by the young Golden Kid under the guidance of the indefatigable Atlanta based Kaddafi who has been behind the many hits from the Black I camp. Maanaa is bound to shift the Black I engine into 5thgear leaving many behind as far as Ghanaian reggae and dancehall is concerned.