Music Monday – Stone Love

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If there’s one thing people know about Jamaica globally, it’s that the country’s music scene tun up.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the dancehall parties that are notorious for taking over the streets at night and into the early morning? Maybe you’ve seen photos of those giant sound systems that are stacked twice your height and look like they’d blow you away if you were to stand too close? But have you been to a dancehall party in Jamaica yet? No? Have no fear, Stone Love’s got your back.

Stone Love is, in the American sense, a DJ. In Jamaica the group would be called a “selekta” (selector). Stone Love built one of the first big-ass sound systems in 1972 and has been going strong ever since. At every bus park in Jamaica, you can find Stone Love CDs for sale that are essentially recordings of DJ sets. Stone Love plays parties island-wide, whether town or country.

An interesting and incredibly irritating function of Jamaican parties is the degree to which the selekta interacts with the crowd. They sing over the songs, shout random big ups at the crowd; one of my favorites I’ve ever heard was “Big up all di gyal dem weh ave gud hygiene! Weh brush dem teet befah dem come dung a pahty!”

In this mix, Stone Love throws out ones like “Big up to di gyal dem weh want a real man inna dem life!” and “Big up to all a di gyal dem who know sey di bwoy dem kyaaan trick yuh wid nuh ten gran an nuh twenty gran!” Are you catching any trends? Most of these shout outs are about women.

So, enjoy this Stone Love mix. It shows off the wide variety of music that Jamaicans actually party to.

The DJ shouting used to drive me insane to the point that I couldn’t enjoy myself, but now I just laugh and sing along. …ok, maybe it still drives me a little crazy. “Big up to di people dem who live an enjoy demself!


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