Dancehall and politics are squaring off from the release of dubplates recorded for some politicians ahead of the September 3 general election. Dancehall belles Shenseea and Spice have loaded ammunition in Member of Parliament (MP) Lisa Hanna’s campaign, while MPs Peter Bunting recruited Stylo G, Floyd Green rang up Teejay, and candidate Krystal Tomlinson expectedly had her spouse Beenie Man and Quada record dubs.
But some entertainers are not amused, and Bounty Killer is the latest of the lot to speak out. The ‘Warlord’ took to Instagram yesterday to share a 2013 newspaper article which saw Bunting, then security minister, attributing criminal activity to dancehall music.
“Of special note is the fact that the entertainment industry has been rendered defunct but can be temporarily reactivated to benefit politicians…”– Tanya Stephens
“I’m not trying to bash condemn or tell anyone what to do I’m just telling Y’all it’s not right based on dancehall fundamentals it was that independent platform for the masses plus the pressure and disrespect we faced from higher society over the yrs a poppy show business folks but to each his or her own,” the deejay said under the post.
He added that he was contacted to join the “dub campaign”, but stood his ground based on what he feels is hypocrisy.
“How many reached out to me and for got declined bcuz i’m Poor People Governor until death we shouldn’t be helping to foster the trust of the ppl for the leaders their policies and characteristics should determines that this is how these ppl planning on winning election today by presenting a hit dub instead of a hot debate?”
Incarcerated deejay Vybz Kartel has also shared his disgust about the dub-driven campaign, and other entertainers are joining in.
“Dear politician, support dancehall music all year round with the same amount of enthusiasm as you’re doing now for your political campaign,” producer DJ Wizzle said.
Bling Dawg reposted the sentiment while adding, “Set a hypocrite!!!!”
The Other Cheek artiste Tanya Stephens shared in part, “Of special note is the fact that the entertainment industry has been rendered defunct but can be temporarily reactivated to benefit politicians…”
Jamaican popular music and politics have had a complex relationship for decades. Some highlights of this rocky timeline include late reggae icon Peter Tosh’s denouncement of the “sh*itsem”, the constant conviction of dancehall for the crime crisis in Jamaica, party promoters and sound system owners feeling targeted by lock-off times, and deejay Spice alleging that her mic was intentionally turned off while performing at the Rio Sports Gala and Award Ceremony at the National Indoor Sports Centre in 2016, which was organised by the government.