Loving Dancehall Music in Jamaica?

A Quick Crash Course on Dubplates – A Noob Friendly Guide

For those of you who are new to soundclashes as well as dubplates, you will want to read this article. In this article, you will learn the essential information about dubplates and soundclashes.

It all goes way back to when soundsystems has just begun in the year 1950 as an underground culture. Jamaicans began buying large amounts of radios.

1. They wanted to listen to the USA military channel.

2. They needed some sort of entertainment channel, which was provided via a huge continuous wave of popular American music.

During the earliest phase of this trend, soundsystems were made up of some very basic devices. They usually consisted of a record player, a simple amplifier and pre-amp, and any large speakers they could find.

Soundsystems gather up all the musical equipment they could get and held live musical events all over Jamaica. With this happening all over the country, soundsystems started becoming the local celebrities and garnered more followers and fans than any other local celebrities. This is the point that they started to name there soundsystems.

As time passed by, the equipments used by the sound systems got better and better. A system now consists of several Disc Jockeys, sound engineers, and MC’s and usually plays Dancehall, Reggae, Hip Hop and Jamaican music genres(daanshall in jamaican patwa). Events known as sound clashes are being held, where different soundsystems would compete for the crowd’s support.

These competitions usually are held outdoors. If not, they are held in dancehalls, clubs or larger venues. The way they decide the winner of the competition is easy – which ever soundsystem gets more support and better response from the crowd.

It all depends on the support of the crowd. The best way to make a soundclash really intense is by playing dubplate specials.

The crowd will show a greater degree of support if the specials are exclusive and new. Without a single doubt, this music trend has boosted the popularity of many Jamaican musical genres all over the globe.

What Are Dubplates?

Now you might be wondering, just what dubplates refer to. Dubplates can refer to dubs, samples and specials. All of these three have their own unique characteristics which you will find out soon enough.

A dubplate is a recording done by some Dancehall or Reggae artist which “bigs the soundsystem up”.

The effect of a dubplate is simple – it serves as a very important endorsement by an artist for the soundsystem. It instantaneously boosts the stage cred of the system as well as the crowd response.

We must also understand that dubplates hold important roles in soundclashes for a few reasons:

1. It can be hard to locate artists and celebrities who are willing to big it up for you.

2. It’s an expensive effort. Expect to pay thousands of dollars to get a dubplate done from a top performing Dancehall Or Reggae artist.

For these reasons, the audiences usually hold very high regards for soundsystems, which are capable of getting them. The crowd will respond and show the support at a much higher degree if the sounds plays a dubplate specials done by a respected and very popular singer or DJ.

Dubplates vs Specials Vs Samples
Most amatuers always confuse the difference between a dubplate, a special and a sample. A dubplate is a song that any sound that can get from an artist, if they can afford it. A special is a song that the artist agrees to make for only one particular sound system, which means no other sounds can play the special, and it adds up a lot to the exclusivity part of the game.

A sample is very much like a special, except that it’s unique and has a style that the world has never witnessed before.

Getting Dubplates:
There are a few ways to get dubplates. If your new to the soundclash game then its best to seek out others who you can trust to help you obtain dubs from smaller less known artist until you build up a trust for someone else to handle larger sums of money for the bigger artist.

Another way to get dubplates is via the traditional route. You will have to have a huge connection to get a dubplate this way, but if you do have the influence, then you will be able to locate highly respected celebrities and artists to do dubplates for you.

Expect to pay thousands of dollars to get a dubplate done from a top performing Dancehall Or Reggae artist.

A dubplate is a song that any sound that can get from an artist, if they can afford it. There are a few ways to get dubplates. Another way to get dubplates is via the traditional route. You will have to have a huge connection to get a dubplate this way, but if you do have the influence, then you will be able to locate highly respected celebrities and artists to do dubplates for you.

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