Yeah, there's no arguing it, modern dancehall's basic premise is completely absurd, and pretty much about as good for jamaican culture in general as gangsta rap was for american. =\
Tons of talented DJs, but the straight dancehall songs tend to be pretty base (especially when you understand all the lyrics), that you can't help but feel really really guilty listening to them sometimes. ;)
It's also ironic, since the export nature of all jamaican reggae styles has DJs voicing on both dancehall and culture tracks. Although to be honest, I've come to realize more and more, that it's afflicting all modern reggae, even the cultural/conscious tracks. There's a lot of insecurity and resentment bleeding out of all the tracks, even the so called positive ones.
Still, there's no denying the raw energy of it. I used to be strictly into roots myself, and disliked all modern reggae, but it has a way of taking hold of you. The interesting thing is the evolution, even though Kartel has become a seriously polarizing figure based on the controversy of some of his actions, you can help but acknowledge his talent, and the fact that he's single handedly forcing a debate on a lot of cultural taboos, and the evolution of the genre secondly with higher production values, and a lot of flair. It's deeply fascinating the sheer amount of cache he's created, and he seems to be focusing it on an totally individualist ethic, however in a totally strange way. His rejection of the right of a deeply insular and judgmental society to tell him what he can and can't do is totally valid. It's just hard to recognize that as being the point when he chooses to exercise his freedom in regard to the whole bleaching scandal, but it's undeniably creating a dialogue, just as are his lyrics in regards to sexuality, intensely challenge other long standing and deeply entrenched taboos.
Kartel is of the dancehall equivalent of electro shock theraphy while acid tripping; there's no way you're going to come away from the "experience" without some serious changes to your world view, one way or another.
Also the drama is hilarious, and even though I'm disgusted by the celebrity drama of the US, I guess since I find it embarrassing personally as a part of that society, I can't help but be entertained with the dancehall beefs.
Anyway yeah. Dancehall is truly my one guilty pleasure. It's not something I'm even remotely proud of.