TEINO EVANS, Staff Reporter
Chuck Fender. - FILE
DEEJAY CHUCK FENDER says he will not amend the lyrics to his controversial song Gash Dem an Lite Dem.
The DJ met with members of the Broadcasting Commission on Tuesday in an effort to defend the song, and see if the ban, implemented last month by local radio stations, could be lifted.
However, Rachael Crooks, monitoring and customer service manager at the Commission, who was among those present at the meeting, maintains that, "the Commission, first and foremost, does not ban songs neither do we recommend that a song be banned, but there is a Children's Code for programming and the licensees are required to abide by the code, so songs inciting violence should not be aired during prime time. The only reason why this is an issue is because a member of the public made a complaint about it (Gash Dem An Lite Dem) and we are investigating it."
Fender says other radio stations are also planning to join in the ban, but this may not happen if the offending line is amended.
"Somebody from the RJR Group was saying that a better mi seh 'try dem an hang dem' because at least dat more legal, but wi nah change nutt'n, a suh di people dem love it an a suh it come spiritual, di song nuh have nuh violence inna it, it deeper dan wah dem a think, but from yuh a carry Jah banna, yuh a guh get a fight," Chuck Fender told The STAR. "If dem want mi tek out 'gash dem an lite dem' outa it mi nah guh do dat, is a spiritual fire mi a bun, dis song is a correction to wah a gwaan inna earth," he said.
According to Fender's Road Manager, Hansel 'Demus' Whyte, what they (the Broadcasting Commission) are saying is that, "under the Children Act, the song is not fit for airplay during the course of the day, but it can be played after 10 p.m. in the night, but if it is to be played before that, the artiste would have to do a radio version for that."
"Automatically, we would have to change the words 'gash dem an lite dem', because dem seh it a incite violence, because they are saying that the impression people get from the song is to literally take up the law in dem own hand," he added.
However, despite the suggestion that the song is safe to be aired after 10 p.m., none of the radio stations which had banned the song were willing to play it after prime time.
"I'm not aware that the song is still being played any at all, whether day or night," said a representative from Irie FM's Programming Department.
A disc jockey at Zip FM also said that the song was still not being played by them either.
However, Producer of the song, Shane Brown says that he would not have a problem with altering the line, though the song might lose its essence.
"I hear two suggestions, change it (gash dem an lite dem) to 'try dem an hang dem' or just leave the spot blank, but I will not be doing anything like that. Some other disc jockey friends of mine were also suggesting that we could put in 'jah gash dem an lite dem', suh it woulda be a higher power and not people taking the law into their own hands. The song all play more overseas than Jamaica and no American or Caribbean media don't have a problem wid it, but I don't have a problem changing it to 'jah gash dem an lite dem," Brown said.
Fender has since recorded another song entitled Freedom of Speech in which he airs his grouse. In it he sings:
"A wah dem a try, a di people dem rights dem a try fi deny? Hear mi nuh.
Afta mi fly out pon tour, mi hear seh Gash Dem get ban, Mmmm, bigga heads nuh waan hear it nuh more, dem seh run guh tek it off a every radio station, Oh! Uno nuh love God nuh more, it seem like righteousness nuh fi stand people uno see it, I hope uno see it, seh poor people nuh have nuh freedom of speech."