The Helmet Movement, A New Zimbabwean Dancehall Explosion Taking Over The Streets

By Takudzwa Kadzura 

The helmet movement is one of the least talked about stage in ZimDancehall. At the mention of dancehall one immediately assumes local artists will be mimicking Jamaican style of music but that thinking has been long eroded.


 The present crop of dancehall artists nowadays have adopted a more commercial approach deviating from the original hardcore dancehall. I am tempted to highlight that Soul Jah Love has been more consistent in terms of hardcore dancehall whilst his counterparts have developed to be more of musicians than dancehall artists. Sean Paul has not only been an outcast because of his background but he is no mention when we talk about the likes of Vybz Kartel or Sizzla Kalonji who have been belting timeless hardcore classics. Bazooka at one point name dropped Killer  T for abandoning hardcore dancehall. So with that impression one should be a careful dancehall fan to see the difference.

 Then, coming back to the purpose of this writing, the Helmet movement is ghetto before anything else. It is hardcore and truly reflects Jamaican standard dancehall music. With the level of talent in the likes of Dashocca, Jahnoz, Spragdocious, Eyetal Fyah, Mr Syncleer, I Ratty Mwanawambo and the other helmet artists it becomes something complex to comprehend their little commercial success.

 Again with Soul Jah Love who is to many the face of ZimDancehall music the helmet movement is not an orphan. There are big names which can and have propelled this movement to reasonable heights. We have had hits like True Life Story, Mind Your Business, Codeine, Munhu Wenyama and Bad Genna as a few top notables.

 Helmet music is undeniably too ghetto and very selective. The content in the songs mainly captures the urban high density dynamics. The music is driven by varying sources of inspiration but as the culture remains intact the impact will soon be felt.

 One cannot be blind to the fact that the growth of the helmet movement, a gradual but sure process, is imminent. It is already here, because the music is being made. Lots of helmets.

 And, many artists within the dancehall circles are embracing the helmet movement. Poptain poured the helmet sauce in his latest jam Munhu Wenyama. This also brings in a divergent focus of the instinctive hardcore dancehall culture.

 The whole ReggaeDancehall aspirations are to express the black youth daily experiences. There is something beautiful going on and we are missing it. Dancehall remarkably keeps evolving and proving to be a genre with no boundaries.

 The helmet movement is taking over the streets. 

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