Police send strong warning to gun-toting artistes
Head of the Corporate Communications Unit in the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Stephanie Lindsay, is warning recording artistes against the practice of using guns as props in music videos.
According to Lindsay, the practice has been growing in recent times, and is not a positive representation of the music industry.
"The practice doesn't depict a good image, and it can send a message of violence and lawlessness. If it is proved that these props are real guns, charges can be laid if permits were not issued. We are seeing that more and more people have been doing the practice, and we have taken note of it and are looking into some of them," she said.
Despite the fact that the issue has already reached the police's radar, no charges have been laid, Lindsay noted. She also sent a strict warning to the artistes who are guilty of the practice.
"It does not speak well for your career, and it's best not to do such a thing, because people in high places are looking. If people perceive you as a risk, you will be held accountable. We have seen where persons have been blocked from visiting other countries because of the images they portray. Gun laws are taken very serious in some foreign countries, so artistes have to be mindful of what they do," she told THE STAR.
Lindsay further stated that some of the props used in the music videos could potentially be real weapons. She also said no permits have been given locally for some of the weapons featured in the videos, therefore possession of such guns is strongly prohibited.
Artistes like Dexta Daps, Masicka and Alkaline have used props resembling guns in the videos for songs like Owner, Infared and After All, respectively.
Artistes are actors
Meanwhile, veteran selector Ricky Trooper, who lost the privilege to travel to the United States in 2010 after posing with what appeared to be a gun in a YouTube rant, told THE STAR that artistes are to be viewed as actors.
"They are props, and it depends on the song that they are promoting. International artistes do it all the time, but as usual, they try to blame dancehall music for everything. Gun props are nothing to be taken serious as long as no harm is being done to people," he said.
The decorated sound system killer also said he has been forced to take his talents elsewhere since his visa revocation.
"Mi travel all over the world, and mi just come from Japan and will go Canada soon. At the time when my video was revealed, I did not know that it was illegal to pose with something that looks like a gun in a video. A prop is a prop, and this is how they always use dancehall as a scapegoat. Right now dem ban nuff dance. And music can't cause crime because if we stop producing sex and violent lyrics, those things will still occur. Is the Government must fix things and create jobs," he said.