By TYRONE REID, Staff Reporter
A WISEMAN ONCE said that stardom
is addictive. Once you get hooked on that notoriety, it is a point of no return.
This manifests itself in the fact that local entertainers have serious issues
They despise the feeling
they get from the mere thought that one day their services will no longer be
needed. Many even opine that they will never retire. Maybe that can work, if
they decide to buy up their own records and attend their own stage shows alone
or with close friends.
However in any
business, there is an age of retirement. Music is no exception.
Famed producer Donovan Germaine said the
retirement age for a deejay is at maximum 35 years old.
"I have never seen a deejay last past
that age and stay current," said Germaine. This age limit should not be a hard
pill to swallow, since youths are the core of the dancehall's consuming
Thus a generation gap exists.
However, the wiseman says that there is
no law against an attempt at bridging the gap. "Well I think the ideal situation
is for an artiste to strive to bridge the generation gap, so as to have
cross-the-board appeal," highlighted longstanding radio disc jockey, Richie B.
However, many are unable to construct
such a bridge. Therefore, Richie B had no other choice but to concur with the
age limit given by Mr. Germaine. As a matter of fact, he proclaimed that setting
the bar at 35 years of old might just be too rich for the blood of many deejays.
Barkey - File
"The way things are going
right now, 35 is at the high end and an artiste has to be real good to go past
that and still have mass appeal."
Currently, among dancehall's elder elite
are Bounty Killer, 31; Buju Banton, 30; Shaggy, 34, and Beenie Man at 30. It
cannot be said that any of the aforementioned deejays represent the 'big man
inna di business' currently. Additionally, at their age they are not by a long
shot at the top of their games. Albeit, they still maintain mass appeal. Time
will be the ultimate deciding factor as to whether or not they can maintain that
mass appeal, since 35 is just a few doors down for these veterans.
While agreeing that singers usually last
longer than her and her male counterparts, Lady G did not embrace the age limit
advanced by Germaine and Riche B. "I don't agree with that," she said sternly.
She said that deejay Captain Barkey has flown past that age and in her mind he
still has the magic on-stage.
said she conceded that age will definitely have a big impact on the health of a
deejay's career. "For a deejay you cannot behave the same way you used to when
you get older and this makes it more difficult to appeal to the younger
generation," reasoned Lady G.
conclusion of the whole matter is as the renowned bard, Shakespeare, puts it
-'Parting 'tis such sweet sorrow'. Nontheless it is a reality.