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Visiting the Jamaican dancehall of the 1970 and paying tribute to some of the DJs that made their contributions
Deejay (alternatively spelled DJ) is a term in Jamaican music for a reggae or dancehall musician who sings and "toasts" to an instrumental riddim (rhythm).
Deejays are not to be confused with disc jockeys from other music genres like hip-hop, where they select and play music. Dancehall/reggae DJs who select riddims to play are called selectors. Deejays who are more likely to sing are sometimes called singjays.
The term deejay came about as a result of the act of some selectors (as they were called) of the 60s and 70s such as U-Roy or King Stitt toasting to the version side of popular records of the time. The version came about when the record company produced the 45 record with the song, the flip side of which had the instrumental version of the song. This gave the deejays the chance to make up on-the-fly lyrics to the instrumental music. This occurrence gave rise to deejay toasting and the term has been used in that context ever since.
Toasting, chatting, or deejaying is the act of talking or chanting, usually in a monotone melody, over a rhythm or beat by a deejay. Traditionally, the method of toasting originates from the griots of Caribbean calypso and mento tradition. The lyrics can be either be improvised or pre-written.
Toasting has been used in various African traditions, such as griots chanting over a drum beat, as well as in Jamaican music forms, such as Ska, reggae, dancehall, and dub. Toasting is also often used in soca and bouyon music. Toasting's mix of talking and chanting may have influenced the development of MCing in US hip hop music. The combination of singing and toasting is known as singjaying. more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deejay_%28Jamaican%29
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