Saw a headline some time ago about the Jamaican police looking into the negative effects of dancehall on the crime rate in the country. These police people, not psychoanalysts or psychiatrists or any kind of head doctor will make a decision on music affecting crime. Not that those have to be the only qualifications to make an informed decision but I think there needs to be some kind of medical / psychological research to what dancehall does to the psyche of the people?
It is long known how spiritual the Japanese culture is with bushido, the samurai and long history with Buddhism and discipline. What is it about the dancehall; a very deep culture in Japan now, sees in this great music as a way to their spiritual path that the colonial paid Jamaican police force is unable to see? A police force seeking to blame the music for their loss of control of the crime and murders in JA may be better served to look at past governmental polices with the IMF and World Banks and current western ‘powers’ deliberately downpressing the people of Jamaica? Japan, a foreign culture finds value to the music, yet the country that it is made in is being stifled by the colonial planted leadership.
Locking up Buju and harassing Queen Ifrica and other roots and or dancehall artist will not stop this expression of spirituality and truth. We have never needed anyone’s permission to chant!
At what point does this ‘cerebral’ police force look at the economic crush put on by that wonderful tourist trade that rakes in millions or even billions yet the JA dollar was, last time I checked, 86 – 1 Canadian and MANY struggle to survive hence the crime rate is out of control? When do the ‘bigger heads’ look at that as the core of the issue? When do they look at the effect of a devalued economy on the moral of the country (some of the country, as there are always some folks still living in privilege) and see THAT as the real issue?
One is aware that said police chief / commissioner was given this task by a ‘bigger head’ who was given the order by some other colonial master. Make millions yet stifle an economy then blame the problem on the music. Yup, that makes NUFF sense!
From time, reggae music has been like news. Roots music or much of the dancehall speak of the trials and tribulations of the people, world politics, colonialism, history (for instance Spear and Joseph Hill glorifying Marcus Garvey yet telling a truth about the pirate / rapist Christopher Columbus) crime, sex, love, hope, RasTafari, gun violence, always shining a light on injustice. That is really what the ‘authority’ figures are trying curtail! The artists speaking a truth of the constant abuses that the people face, is the path for research officers! NOT THE MUSIC! Don’t punish the player, research the game!
Yes, some of the tunes are and can be destructive yet when one lives in a hell, the music will reflect that environment. Look at the cause of the hell! Listen to the music and you will hear what affects the people.
These folks are the gatekeepers for what ‘they’ call the Slave Trade yet is more accurately and truly, an African Genocide, [‘slave trade’ is bad enough yet African Genocide is actually the truth] being continued today as they use our own law enforcers and governments to whip us into shape. Judas is always available to do his / her work.
The root of reggae / dancehall is from, of and about the spirit. It is why the music penetrates all cultures yet gets the biggest fight. It is why ‘they’ fight. It has NOTHING to do with the effects on the crime rate or the murder rate. It is about an attempt to stifle that spirit. That truth.
It is fine for major labels to steal from the dancehall yet change the name of the beat and give the originators no credit or promote anyone not Jamaican who sings reggae music and tell the world how versatile and talented the person is yet never elevate the place where it all originates.
Reggae is of the spirit and the soul. Stopping or curbing this expression only evolves it like the mythical Phoenix coming back more powerful each time for the spirit is eternal.