Dancehall debuts at warm NY Thanksgiving Day Parade

Jamaican Dancehall artist, Sean Paul.
Jamaican Dancehall artist, Sean Paul.
Savannah Baker

Jamaica’s Sean Paul made history for the island and its homegrown dancehall music premiering the genre during the 96th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Born Paul Ryan Francis Henriques, the popular deejay was invited to perform his classic, hit song “Temperature,” on a warm day in November to join a roster of pop, country, r&b, gospel, hip-hop, Broadway and Latin performers who preceded the arrival of Santa Clause.
In front of the flagship department store located at 34th St. & Broadway where Father Christmas will be positioned until Christmas Eve, spectators crowded to cheer on the Jamaican recording artist who seemed overdressed for his ride on the “Colossal Wave of Wonder” float.
While the Rockettes bared their bodies for their high-kicking routine, Paul sported a heavy jacket on top of a hooded sweatshirt.
It was ironic that he lyricized “Down in Jamaica we give it to you hot like a sauna…” when temperatures peaked past predictability resulting with unseasonable weather conditions.
Paul’s outfit might have been distracting to some however, his beats and rhymes satiated fans with assurances “I got the right temperature fi shelter you from the storm…”
The song went number one on the Hot 100 Billboard chart 16 years ago and earned distinction for the dancehall artist by being his first to sell one million digital downloads.
Last week the popular recorder made an appearance at Webster Hall in Manhattan to commemorate the 20th anniversary release of his Grammy-winning “Dutty Rock” album.
There he delivered steaming hot renditions which earns him credibility as one of the top deejays from the island. Throughout the week the celebrated Jamaican maneuvered a media blitz confirming his position as top ranking in the genre.
Revered for collaborating with pop and hip-hop artists, Paul’s repertoire of hits has extended the reach of the dance friendly reggae offspring producing winning music hybrids.
He has recorded with Beyonce (Baby Boy) Sia (Cheap Thrills) Blue Cantrell (Breathe) Pharrell Williams (Aerosol Can) Nicky Minaj) Entertainment 2.0), DMX (Here Comes The Boom) Estelle (Come Over) and enumerable local artists.
Boasting a discography of successes in hip-hop, dancehall and reggaeton, Paul is currently nominated for a 2023 Grammy award for his “Scorcha” compilation.
And while his appearance at the parade marveled many, Ziggy Marley’s enticed children and parents familiar with reggae music.
Making his second appearance to the annual, holiday procession of balloons, marching bands and pop culture pageantry, the eldest son of Bob and Rita Marley returned after first debuting reggae music in 2009.
From Nickelodeon’s “Underwater Seascape” float Marley emerged with three of his sons to promote Pinkfong’s Baby Shark while singing “Music is Everything,” a single from his “More Family Time” album.
Leading the next generation reggae performers, his youngest son provided vocal accompaniment as the elders played drums.
Ziggy’s reggae debut of reggae on the “Jolly Polly Pirate” float showcased music from his “Family Time” album.
Fans of the genre relished the double deal which they claim was overdue.
“Reggae gone clear now!” Rastafarian, reggae musicologist Leslie Lam Moore said from a cozy Fort Lauderdale, Florida vantage.
Paul Smith, a Jamaican, restaurateur in Toronto, Canada endorsed the opinion.
And Jersey City, New Jersey resident Everald Hayles applauded the inclusion of dancehall and reggae adding that this year’s presentation seemed the most diverse of previous broadcasts.
Meanwhile Andrea Davis, originator of the International Reggae Day celebrations said although she embraced the landmark showcase it was unfortunate that her colleagues in Kingston, Jamaica missed witnessing the live performance because they were not informed of the significant premiere performance.
Other musical performers included — Paula Abdul, Jordin Sparks, Mariah Carey, Dione Warwick, Kirk Franklin, The Roots and Gloria Estefan.

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