Like every genre of music, dancehall has its own fashion and flare and that which is quite different from Reggae. Unlike the trends that are associated with the Reggae culture and often comparable to Rastafarian styles, dancehall outfits differ quite significantly.
Female dancehall acts have an unmistakable sexed up and raunchy style, fused with the accessories of shocking colored wigs/hair, platform heels and excessive jewels for example. Nowadays they’ve taken things up a notch with their over-the-top cosmetic enhancements. From head to toes, the ladies stand in a league of their own.The men on the other hand may dial things down a bit and usually vary broadly in their selections. Younger deejays tend to keep it current and trendy while veterans may dabble in louder styles, like leather ensembles and those with a militant appeal, i.e. bullet proof vests and firearm harnesses. One thing is for certain; dancehall deejays are the only ones in the Jamaican music genre that will fascinate with the trappings of tattoos and skin bleaching.
While this list may include the culprits of some fashion faux pas, as it’s simply just a part of the culture, it will feature the dancehall artistes that have exhibited an advanced taste in their style choices and demonstrated an unyielding flare for fashion over the years
In no particular order, let’s begin …
All in the name of fashion, this dancehall superstar should perhaps top the list simply for her daring colorism call-to-action she pulled back in 2018 but that’s not why Spice is here.
Spice is one the boldest female deejays you will find. She has found a way to merge two generations of styles into one. Reminiscent of the early 90’s and that of the first matriarch of dancehall fashion; ‘Carlene The Dancehall Queen’, Spice has managed to bring all the bells and whistles of that era and mixed it in with new and trending looks.
Topped off with a flare of eccentricities, the tight and skimpy getups, plus her signature blue Smurfette inspired lacefronts, Spice is also known to don some of the most luxurious big-ticket brands.
“Thirst is nothing image is every ting”- Elephant Man a.k.a The Energy God
Elephant Man is known for many things fashion, one predominant feature that has remained consistent through the years is his flamboyant hairstyles. There is not one pigment on the color spectrum that hasn’t met the fibers of his hair — he has dyed it in every color there is.Ele’s outfits have been modified with the change in times; nowadays he can be seen rocking designer-brand joggers and close fitting tailored suits all in elaborate colors and patterns.
The overly chunky old-school chapperita chains are still secured in place and boldly stacked around his neck and wrists. To turn up the bling even more, he also now sneers diamond encrusted grillz on his teeth.
“Mek Mi Teach Di Gyal How Fi Be Fashionable!” – D’AngelModel turned dancehall artiste, and also former CEO of her own clothing boutique ‘Angel’s’ in Kingston, D’Angel is usually the best dressed in the room. She has always had an affliction for fashion and even prides herself as a fashionista. Check out her closet.
While many artistes only turn up their swag for on stage appearances, Michelle Downer is never down on her style. Whether on stage or out and about, she is always on fleek. Fans can catch her making a fashion statement in the supermarket isle.
D’Angel now has a custom apparel line of mainly graphic-tees that she has labeled, Frighten Friday Square Collection, inspired from her 2019 single Frighten Friday. The theme boasts uplifting lyrics from the track such as Nuh Bwoy Cyah Use Mi An Style Mi’ and Yuh Cyah Tek Back Nutten Weh Yuh Buy Mi.
While this is just another side gig in all that blooms fashion, she insists that she is a couture kind of girl.
“Gimme a few million pounds and me show dem some more style” – Stylo G
There’s a reason he’s called Stylo with a G, yep his style’O is G’reat … now you know. The Touch Down artiste can be seen switching from loud fashion to effortless chic, it just all depends on his mood perhaps.
He definitely likes to make a statement in his fashion choices, but don’t get it twisted, even though his outfits may often look costumey, whether it be daring color blends of big print patterns, his name brand tags are never absent. A frequent sport of designer-label tracksuits as well, he certainly makes a casual look pop with his mod-like swag.
Ever since he adapted his edgy looking dreadlocks and the usual escorting headbands, Stylo G has managed to make his look stand out that much more. He loves his bling, he doesn’t go over the top but they’re definitely a staple piece, along with the occasional sparkly outfits and… ohh, his diamond coated grillz, he has that too.
Yanique Curvy Diva
Nominated Fashion Icon of the Year by Jamaican Youth View Awards
This dancehall diva can make a raincoat look good, its one thing that she has one of the sexiest bodies around but her love for fashion and dressing up, morphs her to a whole new level of fashionable.
Yanique has been nominated for several fashion awards on account of her chic image and ever trending style. Her notorious fashion display took place during her hosting role on Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall, where she stole the show donning some of the most striking ensembles audiences had ever seen.
Curvy Diva’s longtime stylist, Keshon Hawthorne was arrested back in 2018, but she has still managed to keep her look popping regardless. She continues to push fashion borders and nails them every time, just recently she signed a multi-million dollar deal, making her the brand ambassoador for Lasco’s Konka Energy Drink. Just another medium to showcase her flamboyancy along with her music videos, concerts and social media pages.
“Just minding my own rich business, excuse mi” – Tanto Blacks
One of the most notable fashion-crazy artistes is none other than Tanto Blacks. His style is overly eccentric and so is his personality, actually one could probably say his outfits are a reflection of his oddball character.
This walking showpiece (i.e. Tanto Blacks) can be seen wearing elaborate sunhats in the rain, plush hooded winter coats on the beach, psychedelic mirrored shades at night, children’s accessories, white after Labor Day and just any gender mutual ensemble of assorted colors and styles.
Blacks is famously known for wearing numerous watches on both wrists. A popular gimmick of his ask fans, “Look at ma watch” as he gestures eyes to one wrist then quickly retracts it to show the other while he says, “No, this one.”
He’s always exhausting blitzy kinds of jewellery, including extraordinary eyewear, chunky teeth grillz, stacked style chains and wearing rings on all his fingers when the occasion calls for it.
There is absolutely nothing that Tanto Blacks wouldn’t wear and definitely no limit to his style… well it doesn’t appear that way.
Featured on the cover of ‘New York Summer Fashion Explosion’ magazine, 2020
From the brightly coloured wigs to her epic stage show outfits, Shenseea stands out as one of the most fashion-forward figures in dancehall. She loves dressing up and switching up her looks, like a chameleon her outward appearance changes with her moods and the times, and of course the occasion.
The ShengYeng queen is usually styled from head to toe and takes great pride in doing so. She is fascinated with wild lacefronts and hair extensions, these complete with long acrylic painted nails and tons of jewellery are among her must-haves.
You wont find her wearing anything frumpy; she loves when her body is literally banging out of her clothes – the boobs and the butt that is. The Blessed singer has a knack for wearing what suits her body and frame, which is why her look is always on point.
The face of Vendetta Urban Wear Collection
An artiste known to have made one of the biggest fashion spectacles in dancehall is this guy here, Alkaline. Who will ever forget those eerie eyeball tattoos he rocked a few years ago? Well now we know they weren’t really inked and he was cunningly wearing black scleral contact lens the whole time.
The Vendetta Boss has made his body a walking piece of art. Although it seems like he has dialed back on the shock-factor these days, the once very paled skin deejay (a well-known skin bleacher back in the day) is completely covered in tattoos and still rocks his twisted dreadlocks, which was once decked in platinum blond tints.
He certainly has a unique style with a ‘rough around the edges’ appeal, often accessorising with head bandanas and sketchy prints. The deejay’s edgy taste in fashion ultimately motivated him to launch his own urban wear clothing line, Vendetta Collection in 2017.
He describes the style as “Dancehall meets Urban Pop Rock Culture” and features sweatsuits and shirts emblazoned with the brand’s name plus many of his musical taglines.” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />
“Be who you want to be, not what others want to see” – Daniel D.I.
Even though this dancehall bombshell has somewhat stepped back from the limelight of late, we simply couldn’t leave her off this line-up. Danielle’s style is undeniably in a league of its own and seems to have gotten better with time.
Everything calls for a photo shoot with this quaintrelle, whether it’s her birthday or just a holiday, D.I. rounds up her crew for a day of modeling and high-fashion.
She loves trying wild hair trends, exploring a range of vivid colors from fiery red to platinum blond and even hacking off her own for the sake of fashion. She has a palate for sexy designer, couture and runway pieces and focuses heavily on professionally done make-up so she’s always magazine-ready.
Fans can expect to see more of Danielle very soon and even more of her amazing fashion as she is slated to appear in Dancehall’s first reality TV show, entitled Dancehall Divas. She also has a ‘Rebel’ merch collection that displays some of her sexy photo-shoot pics.
Fashion CEO, Konz876 and Konshens Clothing
He truly is testing the temperatures of the high-fashion crock-pot, while many have pointed out what they consider are his fashion faux pas, Konshens has stayed resilient in the heat, still pushing borders in his style choices.
The dancehall deejay launched his sneaker line Konz876 back in 2013 and then in 2018 broadened his entrepreneurial ventures with a clothing line, ‘Konshens Clothing’ that features graphic tees and hooded pullovers. Some custom looks brandish lyrics to some of his songs and others bear promotional photos of the deejay. There is a new clothing sub category dubbed ‘SubMachine’ which showcases animated jackets and now the ever in-need coronavirus facemasks.
His exploration in trends extends to hair tattoos and frequently dying his hair (an orangey red hue seems to be a favourite) along with signature accessories of designer eyewear, cross-body bags and his jewels.
While these didn’t make the cut, they were up for serious consideration.
Bad Gyal Cecile
Tommy Lee Sparta
Ding Dong Ravers