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Old October 25th, 2019, 07:17 AM
Jangle Jangle is offline
Reggae Prime Minister
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,325
Default Kanye West and this business of culture

Jamaica does sell well

I hope the most valuable lessons from the Kanye West visit to Jamaica last week have not been lost in all the hue and cry. But I fear that it has again escaped most of us.

It is undeniable that Jamaica is a strong competitor in mass culture and music culture globally. Even without the strength of economic resources, and with a population and physical size that sits like a dot in the huge mass of the USA, Jamaica is right up there at the pinnacle of the global imagination when it comes to having eyes and ears on our culture and music. We hear time and time again how the Jamaican cultural footprint is strong, how our music and sport icons are globally renowned, and how “wi likkle but wi tallawah”. Yes, Jamaica's global cultural capital is off the charts. But certainly there is more to this than just beautiful speaking? So let's talk about the Kanye moment.

Jamaica has long been branded globally. Jamaica has been trending globally for decades, long before the advent of the Internet and social media. No one markets Jamaica. Jamaica is! Red, green and gold are global signifiers of a specific form of Jamaicaness. Black, gold and green are also specific signifiers of Jamaican identity. Jerk chicken means something globally. The expletive BC imputes Jamaican identity. Ganja and Jamaica are intertwined, even while we are lagging behind in its monetisation. We are the sprint factory of the world. And I could go on.

What we do not have is the full appreciation of our global cultural reach. Neither do we have a clear vision as to how to transform more aspects of our culture into tangible and intangible products. Perhaps if we spent less time focussing on the negatives of our contemporary culture we could see more clearly. Then we could begin to create, market, and monetise far more products that are oriented around the brand that is Jamaica than the few that our artistes, musicians, dancers, sportsmen and women, our tourism practitioners, and a few other creative groups already provide. We could begin to hustle off the brand that is Jamaica, just as Kanye did. One day, one day.
Hey .. look at the bright side .... at least you're not a Liverpool fan! - Lazie 2/24/10 Paul Marin -19 is one thing, 20 is a whole other matter. It gets even worse if they win the UCL. *groan*. 05/18/2011.MU fans naah cough, but all a unuh a vomit?-Lazie 1/11/2015
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