Dancehall As Self-Care

dancehall-2 As both an August baby and a second generation Caribbean, I find myself operating at prime levels during the spring and summer months. My ideal weather is 75-80 degrees and sunny. Part of the reason I enjoy warm weather so much is because it reminds me of the family parties of my youth. I come from a very colorful Jamaican family who loves any reason to eat, drink, and party together. And the most important aspect of any Jamaican party, of course, is the music. Some of my earliest memories include little-Shanicka getting lulled to sleep by muffled bass-lines as the bashment continued in another part of the house.

During the cold and bleak winter months, I've relized that the easiest way to capture the spirit and energy of the summertime is to fill my Spotify playlists with dancehall and soca music. As soon as the riddim comes thundering through my speakers I can almost see my dad and uncles sitting around the domino table while their icy Heineken bottles get cloudy and wet with condensation.  And my aunt with an apron tied around her dress so that the curry goat and brown stew chicken don't stain her outfit. And my cousins with their paper plates piled high even though none of them helped with the cooking. And my grandma on the make-shift dancefloor, because at these parties age is no excuse for not dancing.

We're still a few more weeks away from the first day of spring and consistent warm weather. Until then I'll keep both the heat and volume on full blast while I whine up mi waist to the following tunes (and I encourage you to go the same):

  1. "Fever" by Vybz Kartel
  2. "So Mi Like It" by Spice
  3. "Calling in Sick" by King Bubba
  4. "Dip & Ride" by Destra Garcia
  5. "All Day In" by Konshens
  6. "Whine & Kotch" by Charly Black and J Capri
  7. "Remedy (Refix)" by Machel Montana and Shaggy
  8. "Only U" by PARTYNEXTDOOR
  9.  "Love Yuh Bad" by Popcaan
  10. "I Know There's Gonna Be Good Times (Dre Skull Remix)" by Jamie xx, Popcaan, Assassin, Konshens, and Kranium