Following on the heels of his latest hit Watch Dem on the Aircraft Riddim, Ding Dong has put out arguably one of his most prolific pieces of artistry to date, ‘Fi Wi Dancehall‘. The official video for the new song, released on March 1st, 2020, is also the introduction of the new dance move from Ding Dong’s Ravers Clavers called “Da Rock Yah“.
The lyrics themselves don’t speak to the method of doing the moves, which is a total deviation from its long list of predecessors from as far back as ‘Ska‘, ‘Della Move‘, ‘Tatti‘, ‘Sweep‘ just to name a few. Visuals, however, suggest that it is a descendant of the ‘Killa Swing‘ and ‘Mock Di Dread‘.
This is not just a regular dancehall dance song. The dance itself is a footnote in this wonderful use of imagery, metaphors, and puns; skillfully put together by a veteran of the industry. Ding Dong has had hits from the mid-2000s and has been perennial in churning out hit dances/songs year after year.
Describing it as a real song in the introduction barely scratches the surface of deservedly accrediting his lyrical craftsmanship. This latest piece illustrates the growth of the artiste from his fledgling days of ‘Badman Forward‘, to his this latest work, a dance and a song – in the imagery of the Dancehall, and insights into major topics currently trending in the business. He has drawn from his years in the industry to give us the viewpoint of a patron, consumer, DJ, dancer, businessman, and ultimately a movement of international acclaim.
In an alliteration toasting Vybz Kartel, Ding Dong’s Fi Wi Dancehall begins with the wittiest lines in the whole song, “but bloody hell, is who giving dem hell from a cell. Guh du di maths, him neva tell yuh fi spell”!
Similarly, the entire song is littered with big-ups and references to a wide range of icons, from the vendors, fellow dances, to international stars, such as Usain Bolt, even characters such as ‘Pan A Knock’. Singing for the streets and the people, he presents dancehall as his everything just before lauding the impact of dancehall, locally and internationally.
Here, the longtime dancer-artiste, in genius, leaves us thinking – Is ‘Da Rock Yah’ just another dance…or should it be enjoyed as a metaphorical comparison of Jamaica’s small size to it’s great impact on the world.
In the words of the Dancer (– “the littlest Don pan dah map yah, but di impact wi have inna di world just bigga”), fans will not hesitate to pay homage to the ‘little but tallawah’ Rock, Jamaica. In hailing ‘To The World Boss’ and fellow dancehall lover, Ding Dong further comments on the impact of the little (‘Rock’) island – “Da rock yah wi mek yuh run fasta dan a bullet”.
Within the structure of verses and chorus’, Ding Dong asserts that the popular dance group which he leads – ‘Ravers Clavers’, are running not only the Dancehall but the world a la Usain Bolt, with ‘Da Rock Yah’.
Addressing the current issues affecting dancehall, the artiste pleads with the authorities to extend the 2:00 a.m. cut-off time that now obtains. He further pleads with his colleagues to unite in the dancehall for the prosperity of the industry and all its stakeholders. The audience is then taken into an imagery of the Ravers doing their new dance, with girls doing their moves and patrons knocking cooking pans in appreciation of the display. To him, it is reminiscent of his days dancing in the Black Roses Crew with Bogle ‘the-greatest’, whom he credits to have been buried with the lock, to which he (Ding Dong) has the key to the Dancehall.
Dancehall would not be Dancehall without females and their endearing character. From the viewpoint of a Dancehall veteran, Ding Dong does not disappoint in bringing to light females’ impact on their male counterparts and advises newbies on their interaction with them. He references, the sexual and erotic antics of the female, noting its intensive allure of the male to participate in coitus with them; while apprising his male audience in advice against fidelity to negate the occurrence of mining a jacket.
In respect to Dancehall’s history, the song gives credence to slangs and the fact that imagery in dancehall is everything. He again paints a picture of the parties in dancehall, where they are usually strewn with icons, noting that his entry to the party is accompanied by an entourage of over ‘one-hundred’ strong.
Toward the end of this lyrical artistry, the dancer singer addresses his stature in dancehall, as a creator of moves, sounds and business ventures. He speaks of his ‘finesse’ and his acclaim in making hits from the time of Bad Man Forward in 2005/6. Here he explains dancehall as his business – “Build mi dancer dem, tun Ravers Clavers inna business”.
He precursors his mention of the detractors of the dancehall, by crediting Bogle with his rise, maintaining that he will always be vocal and grateful for Bogle’s influence on his meteoric rise in the industry. He notes the negative impact of the detractors on the dancehall, calling-out those who regularly call the authorities to break-up dancehall gatherings. He pointedly asserts that the dancehall is indeed not dead; though going through a period of adversity, dancers will persist in being the standard-bearers locally and internationally.
This is one of the most topically well put together, and a literary sounding piece of work in the current dancehall landscape. Each verse is brilliantly crafted, lyrically aligning subject and reference, complemented by the personal character of Ding Dong’s lyrical essence. To the Dancehall lover, the subject matters addressed are indeed relevant and relatable, that even though we should be dancing ‘Da Rock Yah’, we will be singing the about Fi Wi Dancehall too.
Again, Excellent work from the ‘World Ding’! Watch the official video for Fi Wi Dancehall below.