Dancehall promoter blames music for crime
Veteran dancehall promoter and chart manager Stampede is calling for the music industry to shelve songs which are laced with violent lyrical content.
According to Stampede, based on the high crime rate artistes should be releasing more socially conscious music.
He also said the 'informer fi dead' culture often endorsed by the music has helped to cripple the attempts of security forces to fight crime.
"Mi wish the artistes that are singing about kill this and kill that will stop it. The juvenile dem a listen what the man dem a sing and a carry out the act," he said.
Stampede also dug into the argument usually propagated by artistes that music cannot facilitate violence. He said it is ironic that the same artistes who claim that music can bring peace will say it cannot bring violence.
"The same man dem will tell you that music is a message and then tell yuh seh it nuh influence people and that nuh mek no sense. Nuff of those gangster songs that play on the radio must ban, and all songs which promote informer fi dead culture must ban. The crime rate step up to a max right now. Too much women and children a dead, and the man dem can sing better songs," he said.
Not even the selectors were spared by Stampede. He claims good music is being ignored.
"Good songs nah play inna the party, but dem find time to play gangster songs which are promoting killing people. Sing some good happy songs and cut out the madness," he said.
The promoter also said the only informants he despises are the ones who interfere in the sexual lives of others by carrying 'news' to their sexual partners alleging sexual promiscuity, among other things.
However, record producer and artiste Hitmaker disagrees with Stampede. He also said the music has been better since the Broadcasting Commission made an intervention in 2009 to block violent content.
"Artistes are hardworking individuals in entertainment, and what they do is entertain. They are characters and the majority of the songs coming out in dancehall these days are gyal songs. So, if the music has been diluted since 2009, to say music is still promoting violence at this point is unfair. Violent music don't make Billboard nor Hot 97," he said.
Hitmaker also said Jamaicans have evolved to the point where they know that music is not to be taken literal.
"The root of the crime is poverty. The rape and death situation is out of hand. I have female families who take public transportation and I am worried because it could reach my door step. I think women need to have a women march for justice, march for safety," he told THE STAR.
"This is a serious case and perhaps the kids should travel with their phones and take pictures of the taxis that they are taking and don't take any strange taxi. I am also wondering if some of these cases are human trafficking because its becoming and epidemic."