Fashion Brands Fashion London Brands Fashion Event Fashion Tradeshow Passa Passa – The Dance That Could Save Kingston

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Passa Passa – The Dance That Could Save Kingston

In a poor neighborhood of Jamaica’s largest city, far from the typical tourist traps and with few economic opportunities, Passa Passa is a wild, ruthless, sweaty event attended by up to 20,000 people each week. It’s a dance party.

The club owner’s name is Popcorn The Legend, and he gestures toward the rugged parking lot in front of the Garden of Eden Lounge. “Park here,” he says. “From supporting the tavern to passa passa”

Around 3:30 am on a Thursday, the narrow stretch of Spanish Town Road in the West Kingston hinterland is packed with thousands of revelers. Raw, raunchy, and pure Passa Passa is not your parents’ conventional vacation spot. A staggeringly popular dance hall Wednesday night through Thursday morning at Tivoli Gardens, whose name is patois for ‘confused’ and he one of the island’s most feared ‘garrison’ communities It’s a street party.

The big draw is the girls in the scantily clad videos with painted bodies that spin and mouth the lyrics of every song. dance, and the movements are synchronized. Vendors sell hawk peanuts, candies, cod fritters, corn soup, snacks, and jerk chicken. The affable, bearded “Weedman” is a regular at Passa’s sessions, nimbly scurrying through the crowds and offering dried marijuana stalks to sell. Passa Passa’s voice actor, Maestro, steps behind the DJ booth and spins the latest club tracks from Nuh Linger, MySpace, Tek Weh Yuh, and more while churning out cunnilingus, loose women, and lewd lyrics about homosexuality. engage the crowd in a hairy frenzy while chanting

At 7:30 am, the party comes to an end. Bus drivers who take locals to work have a generous smile as they move through the crowds.

Passa Passa was created in 2003 by members of the Swatch International Sound System. Dylan Pow, the event’s chief executive, said, “Dancehall culture is as authentic as it comes, and we’re not interested in watering it down. Beenie Man, Sean Paul, It is a cultural hub for music, artists, dance, fashion, slang, etc., as evidenced by the frequent appearances of celebrities such as Shaggy, etc. But its success and longevity defy convention and history.More than entertainment and provide viable economic opportunities for Jamaicans.

But to understand why the passas are an aggressive force, you need to know the culture of the community known as the garrison. These communities – Tivoli, Trench Town, Concrete Jungle, Fletcher’s Land, etc. – are controlled by gangs and “dons” who control their movement and act as liaison between the community and political parties. Wars are fought to defend political boundaries and territories, and the protection of political parties insulates communities from law enforcement.Through Passa Passa, music and enterprise are catalysts for entrepreneurship, peace and community building. . Troublemakers avoid trouble so as not to face condemnation or backlash from their neighbors.

Nearly 20,000 revelers flock to this usually scorned community for a good night’s sleep, bringing their pocket money. As Popcorn told me, ‘the unemployed can be ‘trusted” [buy on credit] Start your business by buying chicken, fish, cigarettes or beer cartons from wholesalers. Sell, pay off your debt, and keep doing it. Everyone benefits. ”

New artists come in expecting to have their music played, and established artists come in to test new sounds and discover the next big thing. Once a violent gang member, the dancer works for the attention of famous entertainers, producers and promoters. These are opportunities to change their situation in ways neither guns nor politicians can. Powe explains: It’s always been,” he says Powe.

Ironically, Tivoli is represented in the Jamaican Parliament by current Prime Minister Bruce Golding. He neither condones nor condemns the Passa, an event that offers voters more economic opportunities than the government can provide. Many of Passa’s staff are garrison residents. When roads become flooded after a storm, vendors rent out wheelbarrows and drums to pump water and clear the streets so events can be held.

Passa’s popularity and power as a social and cultural trendsetter is increasing year by year. Thanks to mobile phones, YouTube and MySpace, what happens at a Passa party can instantly affect what’s happening far away, from Brooklyn to Tokyo to London. Corporate sponsors are also taking note, as evidenced by her strong presence in Jamaican brands such as Desnoes & Geddes, Digicel and Red Bull. Still, most of Passa’s business comes from worldwide sales of CDs and DVDs, DJs, artists, dancers, and sound in his Passa parties that package his system, as well as his recently launched line of t-shirts. is derived from

While the video lights are on, the community knows they have the world’s attention, and therefore are involved and accountable for their future. “It’s not just entertainment,” he says Powe. “We are developing a business model.”

“People may not want to live it, but they are eager to experience it. I love to say I’ve had that drink in Passa.”

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