Shaggy shares some words for music executive/producer Murray Elias, who recently criticized Dancehall artists while lauding Afrobeats stars
Veteran entertainer and respected businessman Shaggy has come out blazing as he defends dancehall protégé Skillibeng in what seemed like an unprovoked attack on his career by music industry executive Murray Elias.
Elias drew backlash last week after claiming that Dancehall was not attractive as a genre and that Afrobeats has a far better chance of global success. While reacting to the ongoing clashes between Stefflon Don and Jada Kingdom and Teejay and Valiant, Elias insinuated that the musical clashes were a sign of a fractured dancehall fraternity and claimed that Afrobeats artists had better skills than dancehall artists.
Murray Elias and Sean Paul
“First, Dancehall and Unity are oxymorons. It will never happen. Secondly, even if it were to happen, the Afrobeats artists are better songwriters, better singers, better artists than anything coming out of Jamaica. And by better, I mean more commercial on an international crossover level. Also, the Afrobeats Music Industry is well-funded and well-run, and the major labels see where it makes money,” he said.
He also claimed that Skillibeng’s song “Whap Whap” was a flop and that the RCA label had dropped the artist.
“All the dancehall signings have been flops, or the jury is still out,” he told The Fix podcast hosts.
Shaggy, however, had a scathing response for Elias, who he hinted was irrelevant to music and might be bashing the genre for his self-promotion.
“Why are we listening to a guy who has not been relevant in this culture in over a decade … this guy was working on a site [seeing] tour bus in NYC just a few years ago.., when was the last time this guy was in any dance in Jamaica.., this last year we have seen the success or Byron messiah’s Taliban and Tee Jays (sic) drift … 2023 was a good year for our culture … dance hall artist don’t have the privilege as other genre … each song you see coming out on these majors have at least a 3 to 5 million budget on their roll-out plan,” Shaggy said in a comment.
Shaggy comment via IG
He continued, “DANCE HALL isn’t that privilege. To every dance hall artist out there !! Keep doing your thing… Don’t be discouraged by some old a** underachiever!”
In the meantime, Skillibeng is still listed on RCA’s website as one of their artists. He signed to the label in March 2022, joining fellow artists Protoje, Lil Ike, and Jaz Elise, who also received a broadside from Elias in his earlier interview.