Shane Brown To Young Artists: “Take A Page Out Of Popcaan’s Book” When It Comes To “Hype Men”

Dancehall producer and sound engineer Shane Brown says Jamaican artists are short-changing themselves when they fail to take the full complement of critical support staff, such as musicians and sound engineers on tour with them, while taking, instead, a throng of ineffectual “hype men.”

“That is one of our biggest problems in [the] Jamaican music industry. And I say that without apology,” Brown stated in a recent commentary.

The Gash Dem producer commended established artists like Sean Paul and Beenie Man for recognizing the importance of a professional entourage, including a sound engineer. “Wi haffi big up di older artist dem.  But yuh si di new artist dem, I don’t think dem even educated enough to understand that dem need an engineer,” he stated.

During a discussion on Irie FM’s “Easy Skanking Show,” Brown also singled out Popcaan as one of the artists who — despite being seen oftentimes with a considerable entourage during his downtime — was the consummate professional when it came to his studio sessions and live performances.

Popcaan’s approach, he said, was worthy of emulation by the younger acts.

“The thing about Poppy, is, one of his favorite place in the world is on that stage… and him teck it serious.  I know, one ting wid Poppy, yuh nuh si Poppy wid a bag a man pan di stage.  A him deh-deh a work di stage.  And him a carry him band, him full complement a musicians, as well as him technical team,” he said, pointing out that he has worked in a technical capacity with the Unruly artist in the past.

“Yuh si Popcaan again, even if yuh si him around wi a hundred man, not one of them can come in the studio when he’s working,” he added.

Continued Brown: “So let me tell you something, one of the things that we know a lot of younger artists can do – if you don’t want to listen to me or you don’t want to listen to say Tarrus, a Reggae singer – take a page out of Popcaan book.  The thing about it is, I think Pappy as a younger artiste can motivate some of even these younger artistes”.

Shane Beres Popcaan
From left: Juke Boxx Productions’ Shane Brown, Beres Hammond, Kiman Burnette (background) and Popcaan.

Brown was, however, quick to point out that the performers are not necessarily the only ones to be blamed, as opportunities for artist grooming is lacking in Jamaica’s music industry.

“It’s not their fault enuh, because right now we need artist grooming.   That’s one of the things that are lacking in our business.  Wi nuh have no artiste grooming.  Suh sometimes the artiste dem really just trying to find their way and nuh understand and sometimes from just experience and going out there, them seh ‘oh, mi si Drake wid him owna engineer.  How mi nuh have no engineer’? But then again, the music is in such a slump, that is only a few artists that can travel with a full entourage of a band of musicians and engineers alike,” he stated.

Addressing the matter of the “hype men” known for trailing behind artists at their behest, from the studio to the stage, with seemingly no particular purpose except for ego-boosting, Brown said that artists should try to cut this out, as not only is it unprofessional, but that a recording studio and the stage should be seen as “workplaces”.

“Wi have some artists weh prefer fi carry five an six hype man.  Mi nuh understand it.  Mi a seh dis ting without apology.  You si music, as informal as people think it is, for us professionals it’s like wi working in a bank or any establishment.  Yes, people coming out a concert enjoy themselves and whatever, but we are there to work,” he said.

“If I was working at a bank, I can’t carry seven bredrin come a di bank an dem a hang out with me as the teller.  And if mi a police, mi can’t carry mi bredrin come a di police station a hang out.   Suh how when you a guh pan stage now you waan carry seven a your fren dem pan di stage with you?  Weh yuh fraid a?  Are you shy?  Mi woulda love know.  Mi woulda love ask a artiste weh do it.  Mi want fi know if oonu shy up deh, or fraid a di crowd suh oonu feel seh oonu one caan face di crowd,” he added.

Advised Brown: “Because, professionally speaking, the first thing you do, yuh carry yuh working entourage, weh yuh have yuh road manager an  yuh have yuh bass player and yuh have a deejay; yuh have a engineer… but yuh jus a carry some people jus fi teck up space.”

Brown said that artists ought to be mindful that they are booked for stage shows to please fans, who are usually not interested in seeing their hype men prancing around onstage with them.

“So I think we need to take this music business much more serious an know seh ‘look here these are our bank; these are our place our work, and when it come to a concert what we are there to do first of all, to satisfy our audience that come out there to si wi.  Caw people work hard fi dem money.  Imagine you work so hard fi your money, an yuh waan guh watch a artiste pan stage, and when yuh teck a stock, a 10 a dem deh-deh.  Yuh a wonda ‘who is who’?” he said.

“Come on man.  Wi need fi stop short-change people an wi need to teck wi business first.  Wi haffi teck wi business more serious,” he added.

What's your reaction?
WP Radio
WP Radio
We Are Number 1 Source Of Exclusive Jobs
This is default text for notification bar