Racquel Jones clarifies ‘dancehall disrespecting women’ comment

April 12, 2023
Racquel Jones
Racquel Jones

Last year, singer Racquel Jones, in response to the bashing that Dancehall Queen Spice was getting for her decision to perform at a Pride event in Canada, labelled dancehall as "the soundtrack for disrespecting women".

Her social media post made headlines, not all of them complimentary. However, Jones has now explained that she was not attacking dancehall, but rather "the disrespect and disregard for women that we have somehow convinced ourselves is 'cool'".

"That was sensationalised and taken out of context, and I'm happy for the opportunity to clarify," said Jones, who has recorded and toured extensively with renowned EDM group Thievery Corporation since 2016.

"In a post defending Spice's position to play at a Pride event in Canada, where she was being attacked by ignorant, offensive homophobic perspectives, I said that we've got bigger issues to worry about where dancehall is concerned."

Jones added, "And I did mention it being a soundtrack for disrespecting women, along with perpetuating violence against each other. That somehow read to people that I was attacking dancehall. Never. Nina Simone once said that an artiste's duty is to reflect the times. And that's exactly what we do as artistes, is to creatively reflect the spaces that we're in and the times that we're in. And whether the audience uses these pieces of art for entertainment or discourse, it's up to them how they consume that."

Jones, a former model and graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, where she received a bachelor's degree in visual arts, is working on her sophomore album, Grey Area, and recently released Elated, the second single from that project.

She emphasised that she was addressing "a broader issue of a culture that the art happens to mirror and to some extent, magnifies and even glorifies", and also had some sage advice for her peers regarding their status as role models.

"The cognitive dissonance at the core of these complex cultural issues will take a discussion far deeper than music and art to solve. But to my fellow artistes, all I'll say is this. Express yourself freely and unapologetically so. But in doing so, take some time, at some point, to think about a role and responsibility we may want to assume for the ones who look up to us, and how we can make some positive impact. And if we intend on those impacts being on a global scale, then we might want to examine the things we present as our art," he said.

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