slackness n : the condition of being loose (not taut); "he hadn't counted on the slackness of the rope" [syn: slack]
Slackness refers to over all vulgarity in Jamaican and Caribbean idioms. It is also a genre of songs in Dancehall style with crude, sexual lyrics, performed live or recorded. Its pronunciation varies throughout the Caribbean; it can also be heard as "Slack" or "Loose" in St. Kitts/Nevis.
The rise of dancehall music coincided with some important shifts in Jamaican society. Politically, Jamaican people rejected the (originally revolutionary) democratic socialist regime of Michael Manley and the People's National Party, placing their hopes instead on Edward Seaga and the Jamaica Labour Party. Additionally, Bob Marley's death left a hole in the representation of both lower-class Jamaicans and Rastafarians. In part because of these political and cultural changes, dancehalls became stronger social bonding places for lower-class locals, and roots reggae music gave way to dancehall music.
The decline of roots-era reggae, related dance styles and rastafarian ideals led to changes in the lyrics a DJ chose. Sound systems had regained popularity, and DJs performed over extended grooves produced by a new mixing style of selecting called "juggling." The energy in the dancehalls became very sexual, with women wearing extremely revealing clothing, people dancing erotically, and DJs performing bawdier and cruder lyrics. Previously, sexual lyrics were generally merely suggestive, but the new "slack" lyrics, part of the rebellion against the fading Rastafari ideals, left nothing to the imagination, much like the clothing and dancing. "Music is far less important than lyrics in the [dancehall] genre"
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