Ah waaah gwaan inna John shop??? it lock up, dats wat! The Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica has only now decided that they're going to take "action" against the explicit lyrics within dancehall music. Well all I have to say is TOO LITTLE TOO LATE!
It is quite obvious to me that the only reason they're doing this is because those "in charge", the so-called "leaders" of our fair nation, have just taken notice of the contents of dancehall music. I suppose before this it was easier to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the social decay of our nation as long as no one was being called to take responsibility. Dancehall music has and will always be EXPLICIT. That's what makes it dancehall music!
I want to take you back to the 1990s with artistes like di Mumma Lady Saw with "Stab out mi meat", Mad Cobra with " Flex" amongst many other artistes who used dancehall music as a medium of sexual expression. Not to mention Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Spragga Benz and Elephant Man to name a few who seem to always find a creative way to express their desire to have sexual relations. These songs are and will remain to be my favourite songs as I am an extremely sexual being and they reflect my personality.
In more recent times, with the emergence of artistes like Vybz Kartel and Spice we've seen the sexual content of dancehall music evolve with the times. As the influences from North America got raunchier so did dancehall music. The metaphors became less metaphorical as people got more used to "getting to the point". Need I remind you of BET After Dark? With videos like Pussy Poppin by Ludacris? Sex became the main selling point in HipHip/Rap music and in turn it influenced the future of dancehall music.
Now, let's all be honest, from you know Vybz Kartel his sexual content has been explicit. This is not something that has happened in recent times. Who remembers "Sweet to di Belly", "Buddy nuh done", "PumPum Specialist" and of course my all time favourite "Tek Buddy Gal"?
Kartel slack from LOOOOONG TIME!!! So why we never try deal wid this when the wound was fresh? no man. Now that it is festering and stinking up the place people decide to "take a stand against explicit lyrics". Unnu bumbo!!! It has already infiltrated mainstream and the more you try to push it back underground is the more popular you are going to make it!
Here is the infamous Rampin Shop Video. As far as i'm concerned it is no raunchier than the videos on BET!
And for those who don't already know them, the Lyrics to Rampin Shop by Kartel and Spice.
On my recent trip to Jamaica I had endless debates with my friends about my disapproval of and unwillingness to do any form of "daggering" in public. For as far as i'm concerned a dagger is a weapon used to inflict harm and I had NO desire to experience that. Not 10, not 20, not 50 and certainly not 100 stabs! Tek weh yuh self wid dat! Go and stab something else! Please and thank you very much!
Prior to this, I had also heard of a series of weeknight dances which were promoting for want of a better word - "rape". With songs such as "Guh fi har" being used as commands to young men in the dance to grab any woman they wanted and "dagger her" or something of the sort. That was where I drew the line. For as much as I love dancehall music and will defend it for as long as I live, there comes a point when it's no longer entertainment and it is just plain offensive.
The question is, who should be in charge of what is deemed as explicit and implicit in dancehall music? Should it be left up to people who have no experience with the music? Or are we all so desensitized to the slackness that it has become the norm?
The sad thing is that, while at first these songs were only being heard by those who sought them out (hence why the bougie class were unaware of it cause dem song here nuh play @ Jazz and Blues Festival), as years passed they have diffused into everyday life. They play on the streets, in stores, on public transportation, completely accessible to all and sundry. Even then, those who chose to block their ears to the lyrics will only hear noise (like my mother and her generation). But what about the children? They are young and impressionable and anything with a catchy tune you better believe they'll be singing along. Regardless of whether or not they understand what it is they're saying. They know the words if not the meaning behind the words. There may be some who know that it's bad or wrong but who is sitting these kids down and explaining why?Who is explaining their sexuality to them? Warning them about the dangers of sex? and the risks involved?
I have to admit, Leachim Semaj makes a valid point here in the Jamaica Star (actually the article in the Star is much better researched than the one in the Gleaner as far as i'm concerned SMH @ the Gleaner again). The leaders of Jamaica have FAILED our children NOT the musicians. The musicians are expressing themselves. It's the institutions in charge of teaching and molding the minds of our youths that ought to take responsiblity for the current state of our society.
Artistes sing about guns, drugs and sex not because they necessarily want to promote it but because it's what they live and experience. In actuality the Rampin Shop is being used to promote SAFE sex with the Daggerin Condoms. So they are aware of the prominence of unprotected sex in Jamaica and they are doing their part in spreading this awareness. Which is more than I can say for the Broadcasting Commission who sit on their high chair and cast down judgement on the wayward instead of trying to formulate a solution to the current crisis we are now facing. All weh a guh happen now is that RETV, HYPETV, RJR, IRIE and all the other media houses are going to see a dramatic cut in the amount of content that they will actually be able to air. Does this ban also apply to music from North America? What about oldies? Where does this ban start and where does it stop?
I am curious to hear what Doctors Cooper, Niaah and Hope will have to say about this current ban. What kind of critical analysis will they be able to offer up as a resolution to this situation Jamaica has found itself in?
Who is actually to be blamed for the current state of our society? Is it a catch-22? Is there any real solution? or is Jamaica on a downward spiral to moral destruction? I smell a burning bush or is it a pillar of salt?
wish I had the answers