Dancehall Reggae Productions - Scrapy D
The majority of hard-core Dancehall Reggae fans who surf the world wide web know dancehallreggae.com is the number 1 site for news, views, cassettes, videos and the whole nine yards when it comes to Reggae. Voted the no.1 site in 1999, no doubt Dancehall Reggae Productions (DHR) will scoop that title again for the Y2K, but who is the mind behind the site?
Merton McKenzie aka Scrapy D was born in Oxford, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica and grew up in Holland Bamboo. He arrived in the USA at age 16 and received his nickname from the cartoon character son of infamous Scooby Doo, Scrapy Doo. Based out of New Jersey at present, Scrapy states, "soon we will also be having an additional base in Jamaica."
Although only 28, Scrapy started the website back in 1995. It started out initially as a personal homepage whilst he was at college. The catalyst was "dancehall info was very little on the web at the time." Scrapy then began to construct his web page to provide information on Dancehall to others. As he progressed, so too did the homepage which soon turned into a website handling sales of records, cassettes, videos and also providing Dancehall Reggae news on a weekly basis. In between all of that, the site also offers interviews with Dancehall Reggae artists, sound systems and DJs as well as hosting a very popular message board and chat room.
More recently, DHR has started having artists and DJs on rotation in the chat room every week. Artists who have passed through so far include Ward 21, Sean Paul, Harry Toddler (formerly of the Scare Dem Crew), Goofy and Morgan Heritage. This gives Dancehall fans even more accessibility to the people who provide them with the music they so love.
Scrapy not only has good content, but is very innovative with the design aspect of his website. He has learnt a few things to get to the stage where he is now, "I learned to write basic HTML and used to write the scripts for the early pages." He has now discovered programs which do the same job so he doesn't have to write the programs anymore, but he feels "it's better if you know what the program is actually doing because sometimes you will have problems which have to be fixed within the HTML coding."
The website is not 100% a solo effort as Drew Williams from hiphopreggae.com has a hand in designing some of the site with Scrapy doing the "putting together." The connection with Scrapy and Drew includes the fact that Scrapy edits hiphopreggae.com formerly known as Spectrum Entertainment Profile and dancehallreggae.com along with hiphopreggae.com and Thug Graphics come under the same banner of the Spectrum Entertainment Group.
Scrapy has a set of regular contributors to the site namely Julian Jones-Griffith, Neil ‘Junky' Harris, Jason Changez, Samson, Rookie, Roger Culture and yours truly, Lady Zimma & Miss Mention of the Dainty Crew. He also has others who submit the odd paragraph and charts, etc.
One of the main features of the website has to be the extensive cassettes, videos and records which are available for sale on the site. Scrapy is usually so on point that he has fresh cassettes straight from a dance within days of the event happening and he states "I have sources in Jamaica that keep me up to date with cassettes and everything concerning Reggae." These sales have to be the major business characteristic of the site and Scrapy provides a mail order service for people all over the world to log on and request music. DHR also record some events, which they attend if they are given the opportunity. This has spawned DHR's latest set of cassettes which have the DG (digitally recorded) tag attached. These are the ones recorded by DHR personally.
DHR also has interviews with artists, sound systems and promoters. At first these were just in Q&A format, but Scrapy has been moving with the times and now offers some interviews in audio and also video. A few of the video interviews include Ricky Trooper (formerly of Killamanjaro), Katarock, Mighty Crown and G-City Promotions. You can hear interviews with the likes of Bounty Killer, Burru Banton, Babycham and Wayne Wonder whilst the readers amongst us can check out interviews with people such as Renaissance, David Rodigan, Cobra, Spragga Benz and many more.
Commenting on the Reggae scene in New Jersey, Scrapy says that it "has died a bit since the early nineties due to loss of venue, but now promoters like G-City and a few others have been bringing back life to the state." As he is based in NJ, Scrapy attends quite a few events in the Tri-State area, as it's obviously easier to attend dances, which are accessible, but he also attends events, which he knows "visitors would like to hear about."
Getting into the same business as Scrapy takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It's his full-time job and he advises, "have love for the music first then you have to be innovative with your business plan."
As for DHR's plans for the future? "We have a lot of plans. I plan to offer exposure to new artists and upcoming sound systems pretty soon."
So massive, keep www.dancehallreggae.com either book marked or in your favourites list for easy access as right now Scrapy D has Dancehall Reggae locked!
To contact Scrapy D email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (US) 888-524-2533 or (US) 732-371-8420 or fax (US) 732-417-3821.