Dancehall is a genre of Jamaican Popular Music originated in the 1970s. Roots style reggae had dominated up until the 70s, but dancehall grew in popularity and became the main reggae sound. A new generation of producers arose, and as time passed and digital instrumentation became prevalent the beats began to evolve and change, most noticeably through more upbeat tempos.
The genre's name is exactly what it sounds like. Popular Jamaican recordings would be played by local sound systems in the dance halls. This started in the 40s in the outskirts of Kingston in places such as Trench Town and Rose Town for Jamaicans that weren't able to participate in the uptown dances.
Canadian photographer Beth Lesser spend the 80s immersed in the Jamaican Dancehall scene. She photographed DJs, MCs, selectors and the dance halls themselves. Take a moment to appreciate the cultural aesthetic of the pictures above.
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