Jamaican DJ/Entertainer, Vybz Kartel is slated to perform at a show in Guyana on the 12th of December, 2009. This comes in the face of all the scorn and criticisms heaped on Government’s decision to rescind the ban imposed on another Jamaican artiste, Mavado, earlier this year.
To this date I am yet to hear from the members of society who voiced their disapproval of such a decision, notably, Norman Browne.
This is despite the fact that a recent study undertaken in Jamaica by no less a person than communication specialist and former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Marcia Forbes, found that the sexually explicit and violent lyrics for which Vybz Kartel is known, affects how Jamaican teenagers think and view themselves.
According to the study’s findings numerous young people between the age of 10 and 18 have spoken of the negative influence of Kartel’s lyrics and music videos on them.
Forbes, who put the issue in the context of the vicious Gully-Gaza feud between Kartel and his arch-rival Mavado, said the research showed that the deejay had power over what teenagers thought about and how they viewed themselves based on his lyrics. “One girl was delighted with herself because she met Kartel’s standard by having a tight ‘pum pum’ and not one that “placka like mud’, as he disparagingly described vaginas with lax walls/ ‘insufficient muscle tone’, Forbes said of a girl who ‘used Kartel’s’ lyrics to validate herself and her sexuality”.
One boy, she said, explained that the deejay’s Tek Buddy song of some years ago was good because it gave power to men.
“To this boy, the song showed that men were taking back power from women who were usurping men’s roles,” Forbes said, reiterating that “teenagers really listen to Kartel”.
Just recently, Jamaican police cracked down on several vendors at school gates in Kingston, who were selling badges depicting images of Kartel with what are believed to be two chrome 9mm pistols, bearing the words ‘Calabar Empire’, and another showing the entertainer holding what appeared to be a firearm to the head of an image which bears the resemblance of Mavado, and has the words, ‘Mi murder people inna broad daylight’. This was also reported locally by the Guyana Times.
Civil society’s silence is all the more perplexing given that only recently we learnt via the SN that a form one student of one of our local schools was stabbed in an altercation that arose as a result of a musical “clash”.
And so, Norman Browne et al’s silence could send the wrong signal. As persons out there might feel that the level of outrage shown by these folks after Government’s decision to rescind the ban on Mavado was as a result of their vexation with whom it was alleged to have benefitted. So as I had earlier urged: these folks should quit playing politics with our music.
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