Caribbean bad gyals subvert Euro-American dominant models of behavioral discourse. Bad gyals subvert hegemonic thinking. Bad gyals are transgressive against colonially imposed models of respectability. I am Isis, the riddim writer, a bad gyal with a PhD, and this is my blog.
Naming this blog “write pon di riddim” is a careful invocation of both my grounding and my purpose. The dancehall enthusiast will recognize my reference to the phrase “ride pon di riddim” and this is the reason why. As a musical genre that is, amongst other descriptors, invested in contemporality, the rhythm/riddim becomes the vehicle for an artist/ deejay to maintain relevance and dominance in an ever-expanding marketplace. This is to say that if the dancehall patrons/ massive are taken by a riddim, it is in an artist’s best interest to record lyrics on to that riddim with all immediacy, so that he too becomes a part of the conversation, so to speak. The male dominated field of Jamaican dancehall has heard deejays discuss how they “ride di riddim,” “hitch up pon di riddim,” and even how they have chosen to “siddung pon di riddim” for decades. Here I transform the deejay’s microphone into the scholar’s pen to “write pon di riddim.” I offer a blog that engages with the contemporary topics relevant to the Caribbean and its diaspora. The result of this riddim writing will be my repository or an archive of sorts.
“write pon di riddim” is reflective of my 2013 dissertation which brought into focus my twin loves: Caribbean literature and Jamaican music. This site will demonstrate this professional love affair. As the originator of a unique analytical methodology that I term a dub aesthetic, I offer a perspective that is informed by multiple modes of orality. My vision is for this digital collection of thoughts about music, literature, popular culture, politics, and their various intersections to grow into an extended community conversation. Ultimately, this site will be used to produce and archive examples of the dub aesthetic at play. As the site develops, you will find papers, articles, essays, and chapters that are works in progress.
Please note that all material on this site is a part of my research, is my intellectual property, and may not be reproduced without my permission. These ideas do not represent those of any institutions or organizations to which I belong.
Contact me at IsisSemajHall@gmail.com
Follow me on Twitter @IsisSemajHall
Follow me on IG @riddim.writer
©2015- 2019 Isis Semaj Hall