In the 1993 documentary Ragga Gyal D'bout! three ladies explain why raggamuffin music is important to them. One of the ladies explains, “It tells you how good you look, how glamorous and beautiful you look. I love it, because if I as a black women was to wait for the wider media to actually portray me in a beautiful and positive light, I’d be old and gray.”

A subgenre of dancehall music, ragga blends electronic music and sampling together. Dancehall music if often scrutinized for being misogynist and homophobic, but these female fans laud it’s glorification of big women and dark-skinned women of African descent. They love it for the space it grants them to express themselves in outrageous ways: “Ragga allows you to express the exhibitionist side of yourself that you don’t get to express 9-to-5 Monday to Friday. 9-to-5 on a different person, I have to conform a view of what is professional, in the ragga world I can be who I am.” 

The female ragga fans in the clip comment on the integral roles women have played in development of ragga: “Ragga would not be ragga as it is without the support of women. The ragga deejays know that women form a hardcore bond of their audience, if they want to reach the higher echelons of the ragga industry, they know that they need to please us as women.”

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Tagged in: raggamuffin, Ragga Gyal D'bout!, ragga   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.


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